Peanut butter (also known as peanut paste) is a food paste made primarily from ground roasted peanuts, with or without added oil. It is popular primarily in Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
Peanut butter has been invented and reinvented over the centuries. Peanuts originated in South America, and Incas were known to have used peanuts to make a type of paste. Peanut butter became a very profitable business in the United States. Currently, the best-selling American brand is Jif, a product introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1958. Jif is now made by the J.M Smucker Company. Kraft peanut butter is the most popular in Canada. Kraft currently produces peanut butter for the Canadian and Australian markets. Australian health food company Sanitarium Health Food Company has been making commercial peanut butter since 1898. There also exist other nut butters, made from almond, cashew, and hazelnut, such as Nutella.
Peanut butter provides protection against cardiovascular disease due to high levels of monounsaturated fats and Resveratrol, though butter prepared with the skin of the peanuts has a greater level of resveratrol and other health-aiding agents. An excellent source of protein, and vitamins B3 and E, peanuts also contain magnesium, folate, dietary fiber and arginine. Peanuts also contain high levels of an antioxidant called p-coumaric acid.
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