Packed full of minerals and healthy fats that help to lower bad cholesterol, nuts are the perfect go-to snack when you’re feeling peckish. Almonds, cashew nuts and walnuts and pistachios are nuts every runner should snack on and here’s why:
If you’re looking for a great post-run recovery snack, look no further than almonds. Not only do almonds contain calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which help keep your bones strong, they are also a great source of protein. It is important to eat some protein (as well as carbs) after a run, as protein-rich foods help to rebuild protein that has been broken down during exercise and help with post-run muscle recovery. One handful of almonds (32g) contains 13% of your daily-recommended allowance of protein.
Almonds also play a role in keeping blood sugar levels down when eaten with food that is high in sugar. One study found that when eaten with bread (a high glucose index food), almonds helped reduce the overal glucose index of the meal.
Pistachios contain more potassium and vitamin K than other nuts. Potassium is a vital mineral for runnners because it plays a role in keeping the body’s muscle tissue in condition. Any deficiencies in potassium can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and cramping. 100grams of pistachios contains 29% of your daily-recommended allowance of the vital mineral.
Omega-3 fats help to reduce inflammation by producing natural anti-inflammatory compounds that help your body heal and recover faster and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. The body, unfortunately, cannot manufacture omega-3s so it is important we obtain them from our diet. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acide, a type of omega-3 fat. Just one handful (32g) of walnuts contains around 91% of your daily-recommended allowance of essential omega-3 fat.
Cashew nuts are not only low in fat, but they contain high levels of magnesium. 100 grams of cashew contains 82.5mg of magnesium, around 21% of the daily-recommended allowance. The mineral protects against blood pressure, muscle spasms, soreness and fatigue. Magnesium also plays a role in turning the food we eat into energy, helping you run for longer.