What Happens To Your Bones When You Eat Lots Of Peanut Butter

Your bones get stronger when you eat a lot of peanut butter, so consider adding PB&J sandwiches to your diet. Sure, peanut butter can be higher in calories, but it has protein vital for maintaining bone health. The International Osteoporosis Foundation noted that getting proper protein in your diet is particularly important for osteoporosis patients. The foundation also stated that protein intake was positively correlated with bone mineral density. So how high in protein is peanut butter?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a single serving of peanut butter (45g) has 10 grams of protein. It also boasts 22 mg of calcium in a serving. As Medline Plus explained, your body needs adequate calcium to make healthy bones, and calcium is one of the minerals your body can't make. It's not just important when you're young and your bones are developing, either. Bones are going through a constant state of change, like your skin or your hair. Therefore, bones need a continuous supply of calcium to function correctly and avoid weakness. A serving or two of peanut butter a day can help you reach this goal. 

Beyond protein and calcium, peanut butter contains other vitamins and minerals, like copper, phosphorus, and magnesium, that are essential to strengthen your bones and keep your bone density high.

Vitamins and minerals in peanut butter that support bone health

You might think peanut butter is a sweet treat, but it's packed with nutrients. Like others in the tree nut family, it's got a few essential vitamins and minerals your bones love, like vitamin K, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B, and magnesium.

For example, per the USDA, peanut butter has .135 micrograms of vitamin K. While that's not super high, vitamin K is essential for healthy bone and tissue growth (via Medline Plus). Another indispensable mineral for bones is phosphorus. It's right up there with calcium, according to research in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Peanut butter has 153 mg of phosphorus. This is excellent for your bone health since, as you age, it can be hard to get enough phosphorus in your diet to keep your bone mineral strong.

Peanut butter also has a bit of iron to help keep your red blood cells and bones balanced. Research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed that a decrease in iron within the body can affect the bones by leading to an imbalance in the homeostasis of the bones. Therefore, iron deficiency can lead to bone loss. Furthermore, vitamin B found in peanut butter regulates homocysteine levels and prevents fracture, per Advanced Spine & Sports Care. Finally, magnesium works to help the body to absorb calcium, per Health Central. You need both in your diet to get the most bang for your bones. 

Copper in peanut butter helps maintain bones

Another big player in bone health is copper, but it doesn't get as much news coverage as its calcium counterpart. WebMD stated copper is a mineral that helps to maintain bone health and immune system function. According to the USDA, one serving of peanut butter has 0.42 milligrams of copper, which is about half the recommended amount your body needs for making energy and activating genes, per the National Institutes of Health. So, two servings a day could give you all the copper necessary to maintain your bone density.

Research in Biological Trace Element Research found total copper intake was associated with increased bone mineral density. The copper intake of 8224 individuals was studied, and copper intake was taken from two separate 24-hour recalls. Those with lower copper intake had a higher risk of osteoporosis, while those with higher copper intake had a lower risk. The implications of copper on bone mineral density were further seen in a review by Nutrients in 2021. The paper concluded that increasing your copper intake could slow down bone mineral loss and support bone metabolism.

There's no denying peanut butter can be good for your bones, given the vast nutrients and minerals it contains. However, watching the type of peanut butter you buy is important. Natural peanut butter is more nutritious and has fewer added sugars. WebMD notes natural peanut butter is also lower in sodium and saturated fat.