Go Green for healthy snacking

Nutrition in Pistachios

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pistachios Lower Cholesterol

  • Numerous studies have validated the health benefits of nuts. In particular, 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.
  • Dr. Hu (Harvard Department of Nutrition) reports in an overview article that nuts render a favorable 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.
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. (Institute of Medicine, 2002a).

Pistachio Diet

In trials, people on the 4-week pistachio diet showed no weight gain while improving risk factors for heart disease (Journal of the American College of Nutrition). The study showed that a daily dose of pistachios is beneficial in relation to cardiovascular disease. Study participants had moderately high cholesterol levels and consumed 15% of their calories from pistachios. Over a four-week period, blood lipid levels improved.

Benefits of Pistachios

Eating pistachios renders significant benefits in relation to human health. Pistachio nuts deliver a nutritious array of important nutrients and compounds that support and assist body function.

  • 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

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

You can eat 50 pistachios and only take in about 160 calories!

Read more at Suite101: Health Benefits of Pistachios: Nutrient Dense Pistachio Nuts Make a Heart-Healthy Snack

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