Pistachio Benefits

Health Benefits of Pistachio

Hello everyone, I am Ruby Agarwal and this is my article on the benefits of pistachios.

Pistachio is the fruit of Pistacchio vera tree. It is a yellow-green coloured nut found inside a hard naturally beiged colored shell. The shells of some pistachios are colored red (with vegetable dye), while others have been blanched until white.

Pistachio nuts have a delicate, subtle flavor that is wonderful either for eating out of hand or for flavoring both sweet and savory dishes.

Pistachios, also known as the “skinny nut”, are a super quick snack that can easily be enjoyed on the go or at home.

They can be added to salads, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes or can be eaten out of the shell.

Pistachios are a good source of copper, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and B6.

The nuts deliver 30 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, so they pack a considerable wallop from a nutritional standpoint.

Pistachios were once a treasured delicacy among royals. In modern times, pistachios are appreciated for their flavour and the nutritional benefits they offer.

Pistachios are called “the smiling nut” in Iran and “the happy nut” in China. People in the Middle East sometimes refer to the pistachio as the "smiling pistachio."  In those same countries, if you are sitting under a Pistachio tree and you hear the shells snapping open, it is a sign of good luck.

Pistachio nuts are especially popular in Indian and Mediterranean cuisines.

Pistachio Health Benefits

Cracking Open A Handful Of Pistachios Releases Numerous Health Benefits that support and assist body function.

1. Nutritional Benefits of Pistachios: A 30g serving (about 1 ounce) of pistachios has 49 kernels, 170 calories and a variety of different vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients. This little nut comes out big on nutrition.

2. Fiber in Pistachios: Pistachios contain fiber. Lots of it! Pistachios, in fact, contain higher amounts of fiber than many high-fiber foods. If you are trying to boost your intake, pistachios are an excellent source of dietary fiber.

3. Pistachio Protein: If you are looking to replace animal protein with vegetable protein, pistachios eaten in conjuction with protein-rich grains, vegetables, and fruits, can help you to add protein to your diet. Pistachio nuts are an excellent source of vegetable protein.

4. Pistachios and Antioxidants: Oxidative stress can cause damage to the human body, resulting in diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Dietary antioxidants help to reduce the damage. Pistachios contain phenolic compounds, which are believed to account for the antioxidant capability of certain foods. The pistachio nut is placed in the highest group for antioxidants.

5. Pistachios and Carotenoids: Pistachios contain significant amounts of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids have been linked to reduced risk of developing macular degeneration, a condition that results in blindness for aging Americans.

6. Pistachios and Phytosterols: Pistachios are also rich in plant sterols. Current research suggests that phytosterols may lower the absorption of dietary cholesterol from other foods. In fact, plant sterols are now being added to foods because of this beneficial effect.

7. Nuts render a cardio-protective effect:  Dr. Koeyigit (Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Harran University, Turkey) carried out a study to evaluate a pistachio-rich diet as compared to a diet that excluded the nuts to determine whether inclusion of pistachios could affect cardiovascular health. The results demonstrated that the pistachio diet lowered total cholesterol. LDL and HDL levels were also affected.

8. Nuts render a favourable effect on blood lipids and may also protect against coronary artery disease because of amino acids such as arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide, a vasodilator that can inhibit platelet adhesion.

9. Pistachios and Heart-Healthy Fats: Pistachios are a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease when they replace saturated fats in the diet.

10. A Handful of Pistachios May Lower Cholesterol.

11. Provides Source of Antioxidants usually found in leafy green vegetables and brightly colour fruit.

12.Thought to be rich in nutrients that reduce hardening of the arteries, pistachios may also protect against coronary heart disease through other mechanisms.

13,Pistachios May Calm Acute Stress Reaction  Eating pistachios may reduce the body's response to the everyday stresses of life lowering the risk of developing hypertension.

14.Eye Health: Pistachios contains two unique carotenoids not often found in other nuts. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin act as protective antioxidants that have been associated with eye health and reduction of the risk for developing age-related macular degenerationm which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness.

15. Pistachios are also an excellent source of copper, manganese and Vitamin B6, as well as a good source of a variety of other B vitamins.

16. Copper is important as a component of enzymes and helps in the formation of connective tissue.

17. Manganese plays a role in tissue development, growth, reproduction and the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.

18. Vitamin B6 is important in the development of antibodies within the immune system and it also assists with healthy nerve function and the production of red blood cells.

19. Pistachios also contain fiber which is beneficial for gastrointestinal health.

20. Weight Loss: They are a lower calorie nut. A serving of pistachios is about 49 nuts, providing 170 calories.

21. Pistachios are most often found still in the shell. It takes a bit of work to get into them which slows eating time allowing the brain to more effectively signal the gut when a person is full. In addition, this slower eating can lead to more mindful eating and enjoyment of the food.

22. The pistachio nut is a member of the cashew family, and like most nuts, pistachios are cholesterol free.

23. Antioxidants in Pistachios Can Slow the Aging Process.

24. Pistachios to Combat Diabetes: The special antioxidants found in pistachios can prevent a harmful process called glycation. Glycation occurs when sugars bond inappropriately to proteins, making the proteins unusable. This is the process by which diabetes damages tissues, and its products are called AGE or Advanced Glycation End-products. So pistachios can be a powerful ally in the treatment of diabetes and its related syndromes.

25. They are inexpensive, especially if you shell them yourself.

26. They may lower your risk of developing blood clots.

27. They have a high iron content.

Including delicious pistachios into any eating plan may be one of the best things you can do to protect your health.

These can be consumed in a number of ways:

•Add chopped pistachios to yogurt or cream cheese.
•Pistachios can be added to muffins, pancakes, or oatmeal.
•Try to consume approximately 30 nuts (18 g) 4 times per week.
•Unsalted pistachios are an excellent addition to vegan or vegetarian diets.

Pistachios are one snack that will do much more than curb your appetite. Munch on a handful the next time you need a snack and reap these healthy rewards.

Caution:
Avoid dyed pistachios, as many food dyes can be harmful and may produce ADD/ADHD-like symptoms in children, especially when consumed in combination with other food additives.

Author Brief Bio: Ruby Agarwal is a psychology graduate, pursuing her MBA in Human Resource Management. She is also doing her Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Guidance. She practices Pranic Healing and is working with a few NGO’s, highly creative, loves travelling, reading and a guitar player.

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