I hope you have read my last three posts on the series of “Dry Fruits are Good for Health” telling you benefits of Almonds, Cashews and Raisins. Hope you are liking my posts and taking benefits of information provided. Today we will tell you about benefits of Pistachios (Pista)
The health benefits of pistachios include a healthy heart, weight management, protection against diabetes and hypertension, and improved digestion. The vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein found in pistachio are all good for your health.
What Are Pistachios?
Pistachios are one of the oldest edible nuts and are commonly used all over the world. They are native to Asia, particularly in Iran and Iraq. Archaeological evidence dates the association of pistachios and man as early as 6,000 BC. They 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.
Pistachio nuts belong to the anacardaceae family from the genus: Pistacia. A pistachio tree takes about 10 to 12 years to produce the first crop. They are a drupe, where the fruit has a large seed in the center. This seed is edible. The nuts of pistachio are not seasonal and are available all year long. They can be bought from almost any grocery store.
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. The ideal way is to buy unshelled nuts, as they are in their natural form and are the least processed. They must be stored in airtight containers in cool and dry places so that they can last for many months without going bad.
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 & amino acids, fats, and dietary fiber. It is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, sodium and selenium. Pistachios also provide you with essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid choline and betaine.
According to Thomas and Gebhardt (2006), pistachios contain a lower calorie content of only 160 per one ounce in comparison to other nuts and dried fruits such as cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts.
Pistachios contain a higher amount of protein in comparison with other nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. The amount of protein found in pistachio is 6 g per 1 ounce, 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 g per 1 ounce.
Pistachios are also a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and antioxidants. Taking them on a regular basis helps in decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as “bad” cholesterol and increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), commonly known as “good” cholesterol. All of these nutrients make pistachios best suited for a good health.
Health Benefits Of Pistachio
Health benefits of pistachio include:
One of the biggest health benefits of pistachios is that they are heart-friendly nuts. Research suggests that regular pistachio consumption can decrease the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. The antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids (both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids) are great for promoting a healthy heart.
Pistachios are also the first choice for people who are dieting. Evidence suggests that pistachios, with their lower calories, high protein, low saturated fat, and high unsaturated fats, are an ideal contender as compared to other nuts and dried fruits for ideal weight management.
** Source: Organic Facts (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-pistachio.html)
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