Diet experts on how pistachios work as a recovery snack after exercise | Health - Hindustan Times

Pista health benefits: Diet experts on how pistachios work as a recovery snack after exercise

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Aug 16, 2023 06:21 PM IST

Pistachios, the little green powerhouses, make an excellent choice as a post-workout recovery snack. Diet experts reveal how these nuts work their magic

The word nutritious begins with nut(s), the perfect snack that can bridge your hunger between meals, during work or a in general, a great snacking option and health experts believe that eating a handful of pistachios on a regular basis can boost your daily nutrient intake, great for people who are working on weight management or fat loss and can even contribute to lowering the risk of disease in the future. For the uninitiated, pistachios make a great alternative snack when compared to those high in added sugars and poor quality fats and they offer a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Pista health benefits: Diet experts on how pistachios work as a recovery snack after exercise (Photo by Brenan Greene on Unsplash)
Pista health benefits: Diet experts on how pistachios work as a recovery snack after exercise (Photo by Brenan Greene on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Nutritionist and Dietitian Sakshi Lalwani gushed about American Pistachios being the little green powerhouses and shared that they are not only delicious but also make an excellent choice as a post-workout recovery snack. According to her, here's how they work their magic -

1. Protein-packed goodness: Pistachios are a good source of protein, which plays a crucial role in repairing and building muscles after exercise. This can aid in muscle recovery and enhance overall strength and endurance.

2. Nutritional treasure trove: These nuts are rich in essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, which are important for maintaining healthy energy levels, reducing muscle cramps, and supporting proper nerve function.

3. Anti-inflammatory properties: Intense exercise can lead to inflammation in the body. Pistachios contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help alleviate this inflammation, promoting faster recovery and reducing muscle soreness.

4. Satiety and portion control: Pistachios have a satisfying crunch and contain healthy fats and fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer. This satiety factor can assist in managing your overall calorie intake and support healthy weight management.

5. Convenience on-the-go: Pistachios are a convenient snack option that requires no preparation. They come in handy, portable, making them an ideal choice for a quick post-workout pick-me-up when you're on the move.

Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr Varun Katyal, Nutritionist and Wellness Expert, revealed, “A good post-exercise snack is one that provides your body the energy and the vital nutrients it needs in order to refuel, satisfies your hunger, is convenient to carry and is tasty. One power packed food which satisfies all these criteria is pistachio. Research shows that eating protein is beneficial in preventing muscle tissue damage when consumed after intense exercise. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest refueling with a mix of protein and carbohydrates 15 to 20 minutes after a workout for muscle repair and recovery and in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores. Pistachios contain 6 grams of protein per serving, making pistachios an ideal post exercise snack.”

He explained, “Potassium is a major electrolyte in the body that can help to regulate muscle control, nerve function and blood pressure. During intense exercise, the body loses potassium with sweat which can lead to muscle weakness. Including potassium-containing foods along with water helps replenish this important mineral after exercise. Pistachio nuts are a source of potassium, and a one ounce serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half of a large banana. Pistachios are a natural source of several antioxidants like lutein, β-carotene and γ-tocopherol, thus they can help in muscle recovery by combating oxidative stress and inflammation. Pistachios can help to prevent post-workout fatigue and facilitate optimal recovery.”

Remember, though, moderation is key! While pistachios offer a range of health benefits, they are also energy-dense, so be mindful of your portion size to avoid consuming excess calories. So, grab a handful of these little green gems after your workout and let their replenishing properties help you recover and refuel in a tasteful manner!

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