When You Eat Peanut Butter With Celery, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Some food pairings just make sense, like oatmeal and nuts or steak and broccoli. Not only do they taste great together, but their nutritional profiles complement each other, too. The same can be said about peanut butter and celery. Whether you nibble on them as a party snack or you turn to them as a crunchy delight at midday, they can be deemed somewhat of a popular combination. 

When eaten together, they offer a host of benefits for your body. Nutritionally speaking, one 5-inch-long, raw celery stalk (17 grams), along with two tablespoons of peanut butter (32 grams), can provide about 1.8 grams of total dietary fiber, 16.4 grams of fat, 7.3 grams of protein, and 7.6 grams of carbs, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You'll also be getting other nutrients like niacin, manganese, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, phosphorus, zinc, and folate.

In fact, celery (scientific name: Apium graveolens), thought to be native to the Mediterranean area, has been used as a medicinal plant since A.D. 1500. It belongs to the parsley family. The origin place of peanuts is considered to be Peru or Brazil in South America. The nutrients and compounds in both of these foods can aid your gut health, weight loss goals, and sleep habits. They can also keep your blood sugar levels in check. Let's take a look. 

You could lose weight from this healthy pairing

There's something to be said about eating foods that keep you feeling full for longer, especially when you're trying to lose weight. Foods that keep you satiated for extended periods of time mean fewer chances of giving into cravings or snacking on treats that don't meet your weight-related goals. It also means less of a risk of overindulging at your next main meal.

The combination of peanut butter and celery can help in this department. One reason is the high amount of fiber. In addition to supporting your digestion process, fiber takes a long time to digest in your system. It also adds bulk to the contents of your digestive tract. Both of these can help keep you satiated. Add in the protein and fat content from peanut butter and celery, and you're throwing in more nutrients that take a longer time to digest. Both protein and fat have been linked to regulating your hunger and satiating hormones in such a way that you end up feeling full for longer. 

Don't forget the high water content of the humble celery. The same 5-inch small stick contains as much as 16.2 grams of water, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Consuming water-rich foods not only keeps you hydrated; it can also help promote weight loss because of the foods' low calorie density. Be mindful, however, that eating too much peanut butter may derail your goals because it is considered a calorie-dense food. 

Your gut health may improve

Let's dive into what happens to your gut health when you eat peanut butter and celery. 

Peanut consumption has been linked to gut microbial diversity and an increase of "good" gut bacteria, which in turn can promote healthy liver metabolism, better immune function, and improved cognition and mood. Researchers who've studied peanuts' gut-related benefits think this could be related to the prebiotic fiber and polyphenols present in the popular food. Nuts, including peanuts, have prebiotic compounds that promote the rapid growth of beneficial gut bacteria, resulting in favorable changes to your gut health, per a 2020 systematic review published in the British Journal of Nutrition. 

Celery can improve your gut health too, thanks to its pectin-based polysaccharides and rich concentrations of fiber and water. Polysaccharides can protect against stomach ulcers, while water and fiber intake promote healthy digestion and poop habits. Additionally, per a 2021 study published in the journal Food and Function, fermented celery juice was found to be effective in modulating gut microbiota to prevent obesity-related metabolic disorders. 

Peanut butter and celery could help you sleep better

Eating a snack of celery sticks dipped in peanut butter might help you sleep better. Science credits the tryptophan content in peanut butter as one reason. Two tablespoons of peanut butter are said to provide 74 milligrams of the amino acid, per Real Simple. A neurotransmitter in your body, called serotonin, is made with the help of tryptophan. And serotonin is involved in the process of regulating sleep. It also helps produce what is popularly known as the sleep hormone, melatonin, which is responsible for telling your body when it's time to head to bed.

Consuming tryptophan-rich foods like peanuts was linked with better sleep in athletes, according to a 2019 study published in Nutrients. Celery, too, happens to contain a compound called 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh) (via MedicineNet) that has been linked to relaxing the central nervous system. Something else that messes with your sleep is getting woken up by a rumbling stomach. And consuming celery sticks dipped in peanut butter can help prevent that, for the same reason the snack assists with weight loss: it will keep you feeling full for longer. 

Additionally, as people with blood sugar concerns likely already know, maintaining good levels can assist with better sleep. Both celery and peanut butter may help with blood sugar control. Researchers credit a compound called apigenin and the fiber in the vegetable for this effect. With peanut butter, it's the spread's relatively low carb content paired with the high fiber and protein. Celery aside, consuming bananas with peanut butter also offers benefits.