Easy Post-Workout Snacks

hummus

The food that you eat after a workout is extremely important, as it needs to be something that will help your body to repair muscle tissue while replenishing your glycogen stores, which end up depleted after periods of intense exercise. If you have been looking for some new post-workout snack ideas, these are not only deliciously healthy, but incredibly satisfying too.

Hummus with a Whole Wheat Pita
Hummus, which is a dip that is made from puréed chickpeas, is packed with protein, and a whole wheat pita is a great source of carbohydrates post-workout, making this a fantastic, and tasty, combination. To add some extra zing to this snack, try incorporating some new flavors into your hummus, whether this be red peppers, jalapeños or beets, all of which will provide your body with some extra antioxidants too.

Pistachios

Dry Roasted Pistachios
While all nuts contain protein and healthy fats, pistachios have the highest levels of potassium in comparison to all of the other nuts, and since potassium is an electrolyte that you lose through sweat, pistachios make a great post-workout snack. To add more texture and flavors to this snack, toss some pistachios into a bag with raisins, along with some other nuts and seeds, making your very own portable trail mix.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
A large number of athletes tend to depend on protein shakes for their post-workout snack, but the taste of these can often put many people off. For a healthy and tasty alternative, try whipping up a peanut butter and banana smoothie at home, adding a small touch of protein powder, along with some almond milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The protein in your smoothie will provide your body with long-lasting energy, while the cinnamon will help to control your blood sugar levels after your workout. If you want to make your smoothie even more nutritious, experiment with adding some other fruits, or leafy greens such as kale or spinach, to the mix.

Yogurt parfait

Greek Yoghurt Parfait
Greek yoghurt contains just the right amount of digestible protein to help your muscles recover from a workout, and turning it into a yoghurt parfait makes it even more nutrient-dense. While this may sound like a complicated snack, it will only take you a couple of minutes to put together. Simply pour the yoghurt into a portable container, before topping with granola and berries, making sure to remember to bring along a spoon!

Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Chicken
If you have been working out at home and have access to a kitchen immediately after, then this hot snack promises to hit the spot. Sweet potatoes are a hugely beneficial post-workout food, as they are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients, as well as just the right amount of carbohydrates. Eating this along with some grilled chicken will not only create a well-rounded snack, but will also ensure that your body is receiving all of the lean protein that it needs.

Eating after a workout is important, and you should aim to have a snack within 20 minutes of your training in order for your body to optimally function. While you may feel ravenous after a particularly gruelling session, be sure to keep your snack under 150 calories, so that you do not undo all of the hard work that you have just done.

Holiday Foods That Are Actually Good For You

Woman having a salad

With the festive season upon us, we are all likely to end up indulging in our favorite holiday foods, maybe making a small effort to stay away from the unhealthiest dishes of them all. However, some of your favorite foods are absolutely packed with nutrition and health benefits, making them worth the extra helping! Let’s take a look at some of the traditional holiday foods that are actually good for you.

Turkey for a holiday dinner

Turkey
Turkey is a fantastic source of protein, with one serving providing half of the recommended daily amount of folic acid, as well as plenty of vitamin B, potassium and zinc. Eating a high-quality protein such as turkey also triggers satiety, meaning that you will feel fuller, faster, making you less likely to indulge in the unhealthier options. Unless your turkey is deep fried or smothered in gravy, this meat is actually quite good for you, although we would recommend trimming off some of the skin before eating, as this is where most of the fat and calories are contained.

Sweet potates.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, unless they’re covered in butter or marshmallows, are one of the healthiest vegetables out there. We suggest roasting them, as this gives them an intense flavor without the need for unhealthy fats. Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin A and phytochemicals, all of which help to keep aging, arthritis and cancer at bay. They are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, so be sure to have a sweet potato dish on your table this year!

Cranberry sauce and chicken breast.

Cranberries
In addition to being low in calories and rich in fiber and potassium, cranberries also contain powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. They also contain unique compounds that have antibacterial properties, enabling them to prevent urinary tract infections. However, since cranberries are naturally low in sugar and have quite a tart taste, most recipes that utilize them require quite a large quantity of sugar to be included. We suggest replacing the sugar with a healthier alternative, such as honey or even other fruits.

Woman drinking hot cocoa

Cocoa
There is nothing quite like a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter night, and this experience is now going to be even more enjoyable with the knowledge that cocoa is actually good for you. Experts advise that a small piece of chocolate each day, usually about 30 calories worth, significantly lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. We recommend using dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, as these contain much higher levels of the antioxidants that bring about these brilliant health benefits.

Now that you are aware of the holiday foods that are actually good for you, you won’t need to feel bad about that extra slice of turkey or that extra helping of sweet potatoes. Don’t forget that there are many other popular holiday foods that also have some great health benefits, from cinnamon to pecans to green beans, and with a little bit of planning, it won’t be too difficult to make your holiday feast the healthiest, but tastiest, one you’ve had yet!