Here are 9 Healthy Pistachio benefits that you deserve to know.
What Are Pistachios?
Pistachios are one of the oldest edible nuts and is a member of the cashew family. It’s tree originated from Central Asia and the Middle East. The tree produces seeds that are widely consumed as food. Pistachios were a common food as early as 6750 BC and still commonly used up to this time. They are native to Iran and Iraq. Pistachios were cultivated in Iran, Iraq, and Syria and were introduced to the Romans only in 100 AD. Today, apart from Iran, Iraq, and Syria, pistachios are being produced in many countries such as the United States, Australia, Turkey, and China, among others.
A pistachio tree takes about 10 to 12 years to produce the first crop. It’s seeds are edible. The nuts of pistachio are not seasonal and are available all year long. They can be bought from almost any grocery store or supermarket here in the Philippines.
Pistachios are available today in various forms such as shelled, unshelled, sweetened or salted. The shell of the nut protects it from physical damage and various infections. On the other hand, salted and sweetened pistachios may not be a good choice because of their high sodium and sugar content. It would be best for you to buy unshelled nuts, as they are in their natural form. Store them in airtight containers to protect them from moisture. Place these containers in cool and dry places so that they can last for many months without spoiling them.
Pistachios are one of the few nuts that contain most of the nutrients required by humans to maintain their overall health.
Pistachio Nutrition Facts
Pistachios contain nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and amino acids, fats, and dietary fiber. They are rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, sodium and selenium. They also provide you with essential vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline and betaine.
Pistachios contain a lower calorie content of only 160 calories per one ounce in comparison to other nuts and dried fruits. It also contains a higher amount of protein in comparison with other nuts, too. Pistachio contains 6 grams per 1 ounce of protein, which is the highest in comparison to other nuts.
The fat content in pistachios is also the lowest as compared to the other nuts. Statistics collected by Thomas and Gebhardt (2006) show that the fat content is 13 grams per 1 ounce.
They are also a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and antioxidants.
Eating pistachios on a regular basis helps decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), which is known as bad cholesterol and increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), commonly known as good cholesterol.
All of these nutrients make pistachios best suited for a good health.
Healthy Pistachio Benefits
Healthy pistachio benefits include:
1. Healthy Heart
Pistachios are heart-friendly nuts. Regular consumption of pistachio can decrease the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. The antioxidants, phytosterols, and unsaturated fatty acids (both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids) are great for promoting a healthy heart.
2. Weight Management
If you are on a diet, consider eating Pistachio. Evidence suggests that pistachios, with their lower calories, high protein, low saturated fat, and high unsaturated fats, are a perfect contender for weight management.
3. Prevent Macular Disease
Pistachios contain carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of contracting an age-related macular disease in the elderly. Include Pistachios in your veggie diet.
4. Skin Care
Pistachios help eliminate skin dryness. The saturated fat plays a major role in this aspect. The fat also acts as a good carrier or base oil as it is used as an ingredient in traditional therapies like aromatherapy and traditional massage therapy.
5. Dietary Fiber
Pistachio is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps in the smooth digestion of food. A serving of about 1 ounce or 30 grams of pistachios contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber, more than enough to get your digestive tracts working at optimum capacity.
6. Aphrodisiac Properties
Men have been consuming pistachios to increase sexual vitality in men. Studies have shown that those men who had a daily intake of about 100 grams of these nuts for three weeks improved their erectile function by around 50 percent. This was confirmed by ultrasound scans of blood flow in the penis.
7. Antioxidant Properties
The Pistachio shells are found to contain a considerable amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that form in the body after cellular metabolism and can cause conditions like cancer and heart disease.
8. Defense Against Diabetes
Pistachios help control diabetes. In people suffering from diabetes, the sugars form inappropriate bonds with proteins and make them unusable. This process is known as glycation. The antioxidants present in them help in reducing the process of glycation and thus can help in controlling diabetes.
9. Absorb Iron Faster
Pistachios have a high copper content, which helps in the higher absorption of iron into the body from food sources. This can help combat conditions like anemia.
Pistachios are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants and various nutrients, including vitamin B6 and potassium.
Healthy pistachio benefits may include a healthier stomach, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, in addition to promoting weight loss and eye and blood vessel health.
More so, pistachios are delicious, and fun to eat. For most people, including pistachios in the diet is a great way to improve overall health.