While you shouldn’t have a big meal before going to bed, a healthy bedtime snack can improve your sleep and enhance your overall health.
Packed with nutrients and used in many ways, peanut butter before bed is a great option.
It’s delicious, inexpensive, and convenient.
It also fills you up and stays fresh in the fridge for a long time.
Have leftover celery from dinner? Spread some peanut butter on it for a bedtime snack.
Have an apple that you want to use up before morning? Slice it up and dip it in peanut butter.
Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or stir peanut butter into a bowl of yogurt.
Whichever way you decide to use this appetizing butter, it will do your body a lot of good.
This article will discuss the health benefits of enjoying peanut butter before bed.
What is Peanut Butter?
Peanuts aren’t nuts. They are legumes!
Beans, peas, and lentils are other examples of legumes.
When peanuts are ground into a paste, the result is peanut butter.
Choose natural butter instead of brands that may be high in added sugar, salt, or vegetable oils.
The fewer the ingredients, the better.
Making your own peanut butter is quick and simple: combine peanuts, a bit of salt, and honey as a natural sweetener in a food processor.
Kraft Only Peanuts Smooth Peanut Butter, for example, is made with just one ingredient: 100% roasted peanuts.
In comparison, Kraft Extra Creamy Peanut Butter contains sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil (cottonseed and rapeseed oil), salt, fancy molasses, monoglycerides, and diglycerides.
Fancy molasses is sugar, while trans fat (harmful to heart health) is found in hydrogenated vegetable oil, monoglycerides, and diglycerides.
To make peanut butter before bed a good choice, it is important to read food labels carefully and choose a healthy brand.
Calories in Peanut Butter
Peanut butter should be enjoyed in moderation. Two tablespoons of peanut butter deliver 180-200 calories.
It is important to be mindful of the overall calorie count for each of your meals and snacks.
There are about 180 calories in two slices of whole wheat bread and about 110 calories in two tablespoons of jelly.
A meal of two tablespoons of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches contains more than 600 calories.
The recommended daily calorie intake is about 2,000 calories for women, and 2,500 for men.
Even a moderate amount of peanut butter can give you about 10% of your calorie consumption for the entire day.
The next time you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, don’t heap on the peanut butter.
It can be easy to overeat peanut butter, so portion control is important.
For a bedtime snack, you don’t want to eat large amounts of anything (a heavy meal before bed can cause ingestion and make sleep difficult).
It’s best to eat peanut butter in small amounts, making it ideal as part of a bedtime snack.
The more active you are, the more calories you need to consume. Being active builds strength and endurance, increases energy, and improves concentration and sleep.
If you want to increase your calorie intake to match your activity level, peanut butter is a great option. It’s high in calories, but it’s also nutritious.
Protein in Peanut Butter
You’ll get about seven grams of protein with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
That’s about the same amount of protein a large egg has.
Protein is needed to build and repair muscle.
How much protein should you eat a day?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for adults is one gram per 0.8 kilograms of body weight.
If a 150-pound (68-kilogram) person had two tablespoons of peanut butter in a day, the peanut butter would supply about 12% of the person’s RDA of protein.
Bodybuilders and powerlifters usually consume above 2 pounds of protein for every pound of body weight a day to maximize their results and speed up their recovery.
Proper recovery from workouts reduces the risk of injury and enhances sleep.
Adding peanut butter to a smoothie is a great way to ensure you’re getting the protein you need after a workout.
Is peanut butter a good source of protein?
Peanut butter is a lean protein.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a lean source of protein (per 100 grams) has less than 10 grams of fat (no more than 4.5 grams of which is saturated fat) and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Peanut butter isn’t a complete protein, meaning it doesn’t contain all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts.
However, wheat bread has sufficient amounts of the essential amino acids which peanut butter lacks.
So a peanut butter sandwich using whole wheat bread constitutes a complete protein meal.
Does peanut butter make you lose weight?
Protein keeps you filled up, which helps for portion control and maintaining a healthy weight.
Peanut butter can be part of a successful weight-loss meal plan.
A study that included more than 373,000 men and women between the ages of 25-70 in 10 European countries showed that regular consumption of nuts (including peanuts) lowers a person’s risk of becoming overweight.
You don’t want to go to bed hungry, but you also don’t want to overeat before bedtime.
Having a serving of Greek yogurt (3/4 cup) with two tablespoons of peanut butter will give you about 23 grams of protein (nearly the same amount of protein a three-ounce chicken breast has).
This healthy snack before bedtime will fill you up without leaving a heavy feeling in your stomach.
Fat in Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is high in calories because it’s high in fat.
One gram of fat has nine calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or a gram of protein contains four calories.
There are about 13 grams of fat in two tablespoons of peanut butter, eight grams of carbs, and seven grams of protein.
However, about 80% of that fat is unsaturated fat.
Nearly the same ratio of unsaturated fat to saturated fat is found in olive oil, a product touted for promoting heart health.
Is peanut butter bad or good for cholesterol?
Consumption of saturated fat (solid at room temperature) raises the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as “bad cholesterol,” in your bloodstream.
Plaque can build up in your arteries with too much LDL cholesterol.
Consumption of unsaturated fat (liquid at room temperature) increases your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good cholesterol”.
HDL cholesterol helps carry away plaque from your artery walls.
Since peanut butter is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, it is a great addition to a healthy diet.
Unsaturated fat in peanut butter
Unsaturated fat is classified as monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat.
Excellent sources of monounsaturated fat include olive oil and avocados, while fish and walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fat.
Peanut butter is a good source of both types of unsaturated fat.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 6.6 grams of monounsaturated fat and 3.6 grams of polyunsaturated fat.
Although peanut butter is higher in unsaturated fat than saturated fat, eating too much peanut butter can drive up your intake of saturated fat.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 13 grams of saturated fat daily for people on a 2,000-calorie diet.
There are 3 grams of saturated fat in two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Nutrients in Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is high in antioxidants, which are needed for good health.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is important for maintaining a strong immune system, and a 100-gram serving of peanut butter has 45% of your RDA of Vitamin E.
Free radicals are waste substances which are boosted in the body by such ways as inflammation, pollution, and UV exposure.
Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, preventing and slowing damage to cells and tissues.
A diet high in antioxidants reduces inflammation in the joints, lowers the risk of disease, and boosts energy.
When you’re free of soreness and full of vitality, you sleep better.
Vitaminx and minerals
A study have shown that magnesium may enhance your sleep.
This mineral is needed for the nerves and muscles in the body to function properly.
People with diabetes often suffer from magnesium deficiency.
You’ll get 39% of your RDA of magnesium with 100 grams of peanut butter.
A 100-gram serving of peanut butter delivers 67% of your RDA of Vitamin B3 (niacin), 27% of your RDA of Vitamin B6, 18% of your RDA of Vitamin B9 (folate), and 24% of your RDA of cooper.
A diet high in nutrients promotes good sleep, making peanut butter before bed a great choice.
Another health benefit of peanut butter is that it is higher in potassium than sodium.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 189 milligrams of potassium and 152 milligrams of sodium.
Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Potassium reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure by helping to remove excess sodium from the body and relaxing blood vessels.
Peanut butter is low on the glycemic index, which helps people maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
It is digested slowly in the bloodstream.
The glycemic index is a 100-point scale that ranks foods according to how much they raise blood sugar after being consumed.
Peanut butter has a GI of 14, and any food with a value of less than 55 is considered a low-glycemic food.
A study showed that women who consumed 28 grams of peanut butter at least five times per week were at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Low in calories, high in protien
Comparing peanut butter to almond butter, which is another popular choice for people, peanut butter is slightly higher in protein but lower in fiber.
They contain about the same number of calories.
Nutella is another common spread.
This chocolate-flavored hazelnut spread is higher in calories and sugar than peanut butter, while peanut butter is higher in protein and nutrients.
Overall, peanut butter is much healthier than Nutella.
Does Peanut Butter Before Bed Help You Sleep?
The answer is that peanut butter before bed can help you sleep.
It makes you feel full, so hunger is less likely to disrupt your sleep, and it contains nutrients that help you feel more relaxed and sleep better, such as magnesium, vitamin B6, and potassium.
In order to enjoy the benefits of peanut butter, make sure you go for natural butter without added sugar, salt, or vegetable oils.
Enjoying Peanut Butter Before Bed
You can meet some of your daily nutritional requirements by eating peanut butter before bed.
I don’t mean right before bed, but you can eat it 1 – 2 hours before bedtime in case your stomach is not full yet.
Green leafy vegetables, for example, are rich in calcium and iron. Spread peanut butter on kale stems.
Peanut butter isn’t high in fiber, so the kale will help give you the fiber you need for digestive health.
Bell peppers and sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C, while brown rice is a great source of fiber and many nutrients.
Use these ingredients as part of roasted vegetables and rice dish topped with Thai peanut sauce (made with peanut butter).
Enjoy a small serving of this warm dish before bedtime.
While peanut butter should be consumed in moderation, it’s a great addition to a balanced diet.
As a plant-based protein, it’s excellent for vegans and vegetarians.
High in fat and low in carbs, it’s also keto-friendly.
There are only four grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) in two tablespoons of peanut butter.
The American Heart Association lists peanuts as a healthy choice.
In two separate articles, the American Diabetes Association lists peanut butter as a good protein source and a good source of unsaturated fat.
High in protein, unsaturated fat, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, peanut butter before bed can enhance your sleep.