Peanut butter and apples are two foods that seem to find their ways onto healthy food lists, either by themselves or as part of the legume and fruit groups, respectively. They also combine to make a quick snack
Peanut butter made solely from peanuts is a source of protein, fiber, manganese, niacin (vitamin B3), folate, vitamin E and reservatrol, which is an antioxidant that may have protective benefits for the heart. Peanut butter made with added ingredients will still contain nutrients, but the other substances, such as sugar, will take up room in that tablespoon that would otherwise hold more ground peanuts. Apples contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium and the flavonoid quercitin, which may have cardiovascular benefits. Part of the fiber in apples is pectin, the same substance used to set jam.
The combinations you can make from peanut butter and apples include everything from dipping apple slices in peanut butter, to substituting apple slices for jam in sandwiches, to using apple slices in place of bread with peanut butter spread in between. The combination provides both sweet and savory flavors.
Apples and peanut butter are a common combination, but their main nutritional advantage as a snack arises from the fruit and protein mixture that they form. This provides more nutritionally packed food than the empty calories of candy or soda. Additional variations include peanut butter and bananas, or apple slices and cheese, although the specific nutrients will change as you switch out different foods.
Sodium, Sugar and Fat
Peanut butter recipes vary by brand and method; homemade peanut butter may be nothing more than peanuts crushed in a blender. Store-bought peanut butter ingredients can range from peanuts and salt to including sugar and added fat (possibly hydrogenated). If you have to watch your sodium or fat intake, or want to avoid added sugar and hydrogenated fat, check the jar's label before buying. The idea that a snack is nutritious may make you want to eat it more often in place of sweets, so these added ingredients could affect any health conditions.
Kidney Disease Issues
The National Institutes of Health notes those with high blood levels of phosphorus may have to avoid peanut butter; other forms of kidney and digestive diseases require reducing fruits and vegetables. This means that as innocent as peanut butter and apples may seem, they can be among your forbidden foods. If you have a digestive or kidney disorder, consult your doctor about whether peanut butter and apples are among the foods you can eat.