A reader sent in a comment on the food value of pistachios and also sent me some samples. I thought it was worth looking into them.
It turns out that pistachios have super health benefits.
Here’s what the Galvin Nussingten of Streetdirectory.com says about them, “Pistachios help your cells. That’s right! Your cells get tremendous benefits from the antioxidants in these nuts. It’s one of the reasons why eating lots of chocolate isn’t all that bad. You may not be aware, however, of how helpful antioxidants can be for fighting oxidative stress, which is known to cause cell structure damage. Because of this, antioxidants are incredibly important to your overall health. Did you know that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have been linked with a lack of antioxidants?”
I wrote about the value of antioxidants previously.
A brochure from Orandi Ranch states that a serving of pistachios has more antioxidants than red wine and blueberries combined.
Galvin continued, “Pistachios help your eyes. Are you concerned about having vision problems or going blind as you become older? You’re in luck, because pistachios are high in carotenoids. Why does that matter? Humans need certain carotenoids to maintain good vision. Macular degeneration is one of the main causes of eyesight loss in the elderly. Pistachios contain carotenoids that will actually lower your chance of contracting macular degeneration.
“Pistachios help your heart. Do you have a family history of heart disease? Several different institutions, such as Harvard, have done independent tests on pistachios. Each of these tests has suggested that the pistachio can reduce the chance of heart disease in people who regularly eat them. Pistachios are good for your heart! They improve its general health by decreasing your cholesterol levels and increasing your monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
“Pistachios help your bowels. Pistachios have as much fiber per ounce as oatmeal. Why is that so important? Fiber has been shown to ease constipation and hemorrhoids because it soaks up excess water in one’s bowels. Research shows that fiber reduces the risk of painful diseases like colon cancer and diverticulitis.
“Does this sound interesting? Great! But there’s more! Pistachios bring you thirty different vitamins and minerals. They also offer a wealth of protein. They provide nutrients like copper, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and B6. These are all things that you need to stay healthy and happy. That’s why it is important to add pistachios to your diet now and make them a number one part of your diet every day. Pistachios bring you tremendous benefits.”
“Two ounces of pistachios has more protein than two ounces of cooked halibut, more fiber than two ounces of cooked broccoli and more potassium than a large banana.” according to the Orandi Ranch.
Here is the USDA breakdown on nutrients for one ounce of pistachios: 156 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, no cholesterol or sodium, 8 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Pistachios are a snack or garnish rich in nutrients, but be forewarned, they are also rich in calories, so pay attention to how many you eat. Actually, there was a study a while back that showed the pistachio and almond calorie counts were about five percent high as some of the fats in these nuts are not digested but go straight through the system and are excreted.
Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter reported, “In a new clinical trial published in Diabetes Care, Spanish researchers tested the effects of about two ounces (57 grams) of pistachios daily in a group of 54 adults with prediabetes. That condition, characterized by borderline high blood sugar levels, progresses to diabetes in 15-30% of patients within five years.
The study randomly assigned half the participants to consume a daily handful of pistachios. A control group added olive oil and other fats to their diets instead to keep total calories the same between the groups. ”After four months, participants who consumed pistachios showed significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels, protection of unhealthy LDL cholesterol against oxidation (which makes it more dangerous), and drops in some markers of inflammation. Neither group saw a significant weight change. ”Although pistachios were used in the study, which received funding from the American Pistachio Growers association, researchers speculated that other nuts would have a similar effect. They also cautioned that because nuts are a concentrated energy source, it’s important to substitute nuts for other foods in your diet to keep from adding calories.