More and more athletes and bodybuilders turn to plant protein to supplement their diet. Although nowadays there are many plant protein supplements on the market that can boost your protein intake, it’s always better to base your diet on whole foods that can supply your body with fair amount of protein and healthy fats. In this respect, nuts and particularly pistachio nuts are considered a great source of both nutrients. This has been recently confirmed by several studies. Here is what they say.
PISTACHIOS ENSURE INCREASED SATIETY
Satiety, or the feeling of fullness after eating, is very important component of dieting. Many studies have already confirmed that all nuts help you in ensuring satiety and suppressing hunger. Pistachio nuts are especially interesting in this respect, and some even suggest that their effect is not purely chemical, but psychological as well.
According to a 2011 study in appetite, participants reduced calorie consumption by 18% and experienced greater satiety when they ate shelled pistachios as opposed to those eating pistachio kernels. The authors of this study propose that this might be due to shelling the pistachio nuts, which slows down the eating process. They also suggest that the image of discarded pistachio shells may have also acted as visual cue to stop eating. This is now known as the “pistachio principle”.
PISTACHIOS AND ALMONDS IMPROVE GUT HEALTH
A research conducted in 2014 discovered that regular consumption of pistachios and almonds may be hugely beneficial for the composition of gut microbiota which is defined as “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that share our body space”.
The study published by the British Journal of Nutrition brought to attention that introduction of pistachios or almonds in our daily diet, can increase the count of beneficial butyrate-producing bacteria in our body. They based their results on a test group of 16 people who consumed 3 oz of pistachios/almonds each day.
Butyrate is an important source of energy for the colonic epithelial cells, and according to some recent findings it promotes gut health. Additionally, as they are packed with fiber, consumption of pistachio nuts can improve the colon function. Dietary fiber is known for ensuring proper bowel movement.
Pistachios and Heart Health
Pistachio nuts also look after the health of our heart. Number of studies suggest that this is due to pistachio nuts being fantastic source of monounsaturated fats that can lower bad cholesterol count. Also, compared to other nuts, pistachios contain less protein, fiber and fats, and have the highest phytosterol content.
Phytosterol helps in lowering the cholesterol by hindering its absorption in the guts during digestion and by inhibiting the cholesterol production in our body.
Having all this in mind, we can conclude that regular consumption of pistachio nuts and other tree nuts is a reasonable choice for all people trying to reduce body fat, whatever their reason might be – improving their health, a bodybuilding competition, or just looking good without clothes. Not only do they make a good a good source of healthy fats, protein and fiber, they also promote satiety, keeping you full longer.
So, don’t hesitate to include them in your diet. In addition to pistachios and almonds, you can go with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans. They are not only a fantastic source of nutrients when included for breakfast, but adding one to two ounces two times a day, can provide you with healthy snack.