Facts about protein in pistachios
Pistachios are one of the protein-dense nuts. The protein in pistachios is as much as the protein in eggs. However, since pistachios are tree nuts, the protein in them is also plant-based. Although they are not that different and the body needs both, it is so crucial for people who don’t eat animal-based foods. That’s why pistachios are so common in vegetarian and vegan diets. In this post, we are going to explain all about the protein in pistachios and what makes it different from animal-based protein.
Plant-based protein vs animal-based protein: what makes them different?
Protein is an essential part of everyone’s diet because it helps the body make bones, muscles, skin, hair, and commonly, it will aid your body to work properly because every part of the human body contains protein cells. There are two sources of protein, plants, and animals. The plant-based protein is the one that contains in some fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and anything related to plants. Animal-based protein is also the protein that we gain from eating foods such as meat, fishes, pork, chicken, eggs, and all the animal products.
Although they seem the same, they have some differences too. The main difference between animal and plant protein is that animal proteins contain more essential amino acids (EAA) compared to plant protein. It means that to meet your body’s protein requirements, you need to eat less animal protein and more plant protein. On the other hand, pistachios found to be a complete protein. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a complete protein food is the one that contains all nine essential amino acids.
Generally, most of the animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, contain all complete proteins. But, for people who don’t eat this type of food, it’s great news to know that they can find complete proteins in pistachios.
What are the benefits of protein in pistachios?
1. Protein in pistachios help you lose weight
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that reduce appetite and hunger levels. When you eat high-protein foods, you will feel fuller and may avoid eating unhealthy snacks during the day. Therefore, you can maintain your weight by eating less. That’s why pistachios are a great choice in many weight loss plans. A study shows that adding pistachios to a daily diet can help people eat fewer calories without having to restrict anything.
Furthermore, an adequate amount of protein in the body can improve the function of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of the main hormones in the brain that can control your craving and the feeling of addiction. Therefore, eating pistachios can reduce craving and desire for eating late-night snacks, which may lead to weight gain.
In case you haven’t been convinced yet that the protein in pistachios can help you lose weight, we can talk about how protein can boost metabolism and increase fat burning. More proteins can burn more calories. However, we need to mention that pistachios are also high in calories, that’s why it’s essential to know how many pistachios you can eat per day. Therefore, if you want to lose weight, it’s better to follow a planned weight loss diet in which you can be sure you are not overeating pistachios.
2. It helps athletes build more muscles
Protein is what athletes need to increase muscle mass and strength. Since pistachios are rich in protein, eating an adequate number of this nut can help athletes build their bodies and promote muscle growth. That’s why it is recommended for athletes to eat pistachios after their workout. That’s a more natural and healthy way to build muscles rather than consuming protein powders.
Moreover, protein can prevent age-related muscle weakness, which may lead to sarcopenia.
3. Protein is good for bones
Bones are so prone to damage, and at the same time, they are the body’s column, which makes us standing and helps us move. One of the benefits of protein to the body is that it can empower our bones. Many studies have shown the impact of protein on bone health. People who eat more protein may have healthier and stronger bones as they age. Therefore, they may have a lower risk of bone-related damages, such as fractures or osteoporosis. Additionally, protein in pistachio is even more beneficial for women because they are at high risk of osteoporosis after menopause.
4. Pistachios can lower blood pressure
One of the benefits of pistachios is that they are so heart-healthy. The protein in pistachios can lower blood pressure, which is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, pistachios have no cholesterol and are rich in good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), which are healthy to the heart. Therefore, a high-protein diet can reduce the risks of many cardiovascular problems.
5. Protein in pistachios helps body repair itself
When your body has been injured, it’s mainly protein that can help it repair. Some studies show protein can speed up recovery after injury. That’s because it’s the protein that can build blocks of your tissues and organs. Therefore, eating more protein can protect your body against injuries and help it repair itself.
Is eating too much protein harmful to the body?
Protein in pistachios has many benefits to the body but eating too much protein may have some side effects:
- Consuming protein that is more than your body needs may lead to weight gain. That’s because the excess protein will turn into fat, and the surplus amino acids won’t be absorbed into the body and will be excreted. It’s even worse when you eat high-calorie foods, such as pistachios. That’s why it’s important to take care of daily calorie and protein intake.
- If you eat too much protein and restrict your carbohydrate intake, you may encounter with bad breath. It may occur when you are following weight-loss diets, such as the keto diet. To prevent this from happening, you need to double your water intake during the day. Brushing your teeth more often, and chewing gum will be helpful too.
- High protein and low fiber may lead to constipation.
- It’s important to know that protein may dehydrate your body. That’s why you need to drink more water if you are following a high-protein diet. If you don’t care about this condition, especially when you have an active lifestyle or you are an athlete, your kidney might be damaged after a while.
Note: our body needs all types of vitamins, minerals, and other essentials, such as calcium, fiber, protein, and so on. It’s important to follow a diet that has all these nutrients as much as our body requires. Consuming too much of any of these nutrients might be unhealthy, and the body may react to this overconsumption in different ways.
How much protein is enough?
There is no exact amount of daily protein for everyone. The daily recommendation of protein intake depends on different factors, such as age, gender, health, activities, and other variables. Therefore, if you want to know how much protein your body needs, it will be better if you visit a nutritionist to check all these factors and give you an exact number so you won’t overtake protein on your diet. However, it is also recommended to consuming an average of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Every 50 kernels of pistachios almost hold 6 grams of protein, which is not that much for an average person with a normal lifestyle. However, you need to know that this number of pistachios will give your body almost 160 calories, which is somehow high for these small kernels. Therefore, if you want to add pistachios to your daily diet, check other foods protein and calories too, especially if you are consuming other nuts alongside pistachios.
Every person needs a different amount of daily protein intake. They can take this protein from animal-based products, such as fish or meat, and plant-based products, such as pistachios or quinoa. The protein in pistachios is known as a complete protein, which is rare in the plant-based products group. Commonly, the complete protein foods are found in the group of animal-based foods. That’s why pistachios are so well-known in vegetarian or vegan diets. This nut will fulfill the needs of daily protein and essential amino acids that the body requires. However, it is crucial to take care of the number of pistachios you eat during the day because overtaking protein is not recommended in any diet.