Are Pistachios Good for You?
The hot dry conditions of Middle East have not prevented it from reaping some of the best fruits in terms of taste and health. One such example is pistachio: a popular nut based dry fruit which has got some good share of spotlight these days. The reason for recent popularity of this nut is the long list of essential nutrients it has along with the taste criteria upon which the nut works out very well.
Native to the dry areas, pistachio are a tree product where the fruit is placed between two shells. From Arabian nations, the nut has spread all over the world with a wide commercial success. United States also stands as one of the largest exporter of the nut and gives a good company to Arabian nations in satisfying the ever increasing demand.
Nuts to the Health!!!
When the health quotient became so important for the urban population, nuts were discouraged for the high fat and oil content. However, several researches eventually proved that nuts are needed for the much needed healthy fatty acids and nutrient pool of vitamins, proteins etc. Pistachio is no exception here and in fact has a larger pool of nutritious elements. It has also faced a lot of myths such as generating excessive body heat, containing an excessive amount of fat and was taken as a solution to gain weight. Thorough research and a deep coverage and verification of pistachio has revealed a totally different nutrient list which not only makes it a one-for-many benefit snack but also gives it a status of a luxurious health snack.
Let’s find out what 100 gm of dry roasted pistachio nuts give us, and how are pistachios good for you!!
|Nutrient||Value (per 100gm Pistachios)|
|Total lipid (fat)||44.82 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||29.38 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||9.9 g|
|Sugars, total||7.74 g|
|Calcium, Ca||107 mg|
|Iron, Fe||4.03 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||109 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||469 mg|
|Potassium, K||1007 mg|
|Sodium, Na||6 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||2.34 mg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||3.0 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||1.122 mg|
|Folate, DFE||51 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||13 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||259 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||2.42 mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||13.2 µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||5.456 g|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||23.676 g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||13.448 g|
Data from: USDA Nutrient Database
Taking on the pistachio nutrition facts, 49 nuts of pistachio (approximately 28.35g ) contain more vitamin B6 than two wedges of watermelon. It has higher potassium content than banana and more lutein and zeaxathanin than a glass of orange juice. This arid nut compensates for almost all the other nutritive fruits and vegetables that cannot be grown in there.
If your doctor or your mother or your wife is constantly nagging you to eat pistachios and you are resisting the their recommendation cum advise, let us take you to a journey of texts and proofs which will be show how right they are!! In case you have pistachios in your regular diet and are unaware of its benefits, we will detail you too and you can then add or subtract some food from your daily schedule whose benefits have been taken care by pistachios.
Nut Power: Benefits of Pistachios!!
1. Power up the Heart:
Pistachios are enriched with mono and polysaturated fatty acids which are known as nature’s way of controlling cholesterol levels and maintaining heart’s health. Pistachios are also known to increase High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) which are quite known to increase heart’s strength.
There have been several cardiovascular studies regarding effects of pistachios. The most recent research conducted by Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (in association with International Diabetes Foundation) has indicated pistachios to be effective in reducing body fat, maintaining cholesterol levels and ceasing oxidative stress. Including a small portion of pistachio as snacks would be highly beneficial in maintaining body metabolism and reducing heart related problems.
2. Check on internal Inflammation:
Inflammation is a natural reaction of our body shown to injuries or diseases. It is one of the responses of the immune system and can even be sparked due to protein imbalances. Pistachios contain Vitamin A, vitamin E which, along with some minor anti-inflammatory components, is very effective in keeping unwanted inflammations.
3. Weight Watcher:
For those who are watching their weight, eating pistachio based diets would be a wonder. A single serve of 30 pistachios, enough to fill a stomach for two hours, contains only 100 calories. This fact has been confirmed by the researchers at Harvard University and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. With respect to the research, an article was published in The New York Times, in an interview with Harvard Cardiologist and epidemiologist, quoted “This study shows that conventional wisdom – to eat everything in moderation, eat fewer calories and avoid fatty foods – isn’t the best approach.”
4. Reducing Cancer Risk:
Containing a good share of antioxidants and Vitamin E, pistachios stand as an effective cancer risk reducer. A recent report by the Government of Turkey says pistachios contain an anti-oxidant named “resveratrol” which is known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and various cardiovascular diseases.
5. Benefits of Pistachio for Skin Care:
Vitamin E content protects the skin from being exposed to ultra violet rays. It is also known to keep the skin smooth, free from effects of dryness, ageing and pigmentation. Since pistachio contain sufficient amounts of vitamin E, your skin would be rejoicing and giving a healthy glow if you are a regular pistachio snacker.
6. Control on the Blood Sugar Levels:
If someone is prone to irregular high blood sugar levels, pistachios might serve as a good snack to calm it down. A small bowl of pistachio would stimulate down the absorption of glucose in the blood, thus optimizing the blood sugar levels. Hence, a diabetic patient should have a pistachio based diet. Pistachio would also be beneficial when one takes a highly sugary diet.
7. Pistachio Benefits from Vitamin B6:
Vitamin B6 accounts for one of the highest ratio constituent in pistachios. This vitamin plays an important role in blood production: aiding hemoglobin production, lymphocyte production etc. Hemoglobin is part of Red Blood Cells and supplies oxygen to all body organs. Supplementing vitamin B6 would increase the oxygen content in hemoglobin. This apparently would boost the working of internal organs, including the brain. That is why we hear elders and old people in the house pushing us around to eat pistachio.
White blood cells increase body’s immunity and act as defense force of a human body. These are produced in the lymph nodes (spread all over the body) and are kept clean and working by vitamin B6. Hence, this vitamin also increases the body’s immunity.
8. Power your Eyes up:
Pistachios are rich in carotenoids which get converted to Vitamin A after being processed. Vitamin A increases eyes’ ability to focus and hence are needed, especially when someone works in front of a computer or lives in polluted environment which may harm the eyes. It also resists the natural ageing processes which affect the eyesight of the human eye.
9. Muscle Movement:
Pistachios contain potassium which, in association with sodium, plays an essential role in muscular movements. Flexibility in muscular movements benefits a lot to athletes and sportsmen. Regular diet of Pistachio would not only enhance their muscular movements but will also strengthen other body organs.
Pistachios are famous type of dry fruit and are sold in air tight packets in an open and serve manner. Apart from that, pistachios are also part of many sweet dishes and puddings. There are pistachio based cakes, ice creams, cold milk shakes and several other delicious foods. Here, pistachio works as a flavoring agent too. Many types of nutritional/health oriented candy bars have pistachio as one of their prime ingredients.
Pistachio based dark chocolates have also been highly appreciated by several nutrition experts all over.