Move over, peanut butter—you’ve got competition.
We know, how could we ever replace beloved peanut butter? A SB&J sandwich just doesn’t have the same ring as a PB&J sandwich does—but the health benefits of sunflower seed butter might be enough for it to deserve a place in your kitchen cabinets.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, best-selling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, sunflower seed butter isn’t only high in protein, it’s also packed with vitamin E, loaded with magnesium, and full of healthy fats.
One serving (a tablespoon) of organic sunflower seed butter contains an average of three grams of protein, which helps you feel full longer. (If you find yourself being always hungry, this could be why.) “Peanut butter has long been the reigning champion of portable, high-protein pre- and post-gym snacks. But sunflower seed butter can give it a run for its money,” says Dr. Axe. “That’s because each serving of sunflower seed butter has about three grams of protein, a great size for a snack, particularly when paired with carbs.” (Try these foods for plant-based protein.)
“Vitamin E is one of our body’s favorite antioxidants,” says Dr. Axe. Sunflower seed butter’s vitamin E content balances cholesterol levels, increases immunity, and even reduces the appearance of aging. In case you need more convincing, just one tablespoon of sunflower seed butter only has 93 calories and provides 24 percent of your body’s daily need of vitamin E.
Dr. Axe describes magnesium as being “the most important mineral in our bodies.” Magnesium is essential in maintaining high energy levels, stopping muscle spasms, relieving constipation, and even getting a good night’s sleep. “Thankfully, snacking on sunflower seed butter provides about 15 percent of what your body needs a day—not bad for just one tablespoon!” says Dr. Axe.
Just like avocados are chock-full of healthy fats, so is sunflower seed butter. Healthy fats help deliver vitamins throughout your body, absorbs nutrients, and gives your skin a healthy glow.
However, it’s important to note that while sunflower seed butter may be delicious, some pre-made jars sold in grocery stores have more than what you’re bargaining for—like hydrogenated oils and a lot of sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy sunflower seed butter options to choose from, like Nuts to You Sunflower Seed Butter.
“With peanut allergies highly on the rise many people have switched to sunflower butter,” says Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, Doctor of Chinese and Integrative Medicine. “It is worth making the switch because peanuts are loaded with mold, chemicals and they are also legumes and people with digestive disorders cannot tolerate.”