I love eating pistachio and I know you too do! Yes I do, because it is distinctively tasty and delicious!!! But the questions are; why do we actually eat this tasteful nut and of what value is it to our health? What happens when people try eating pistachios regularly? The fact still remains that oftentimes, we tend to eat certain food without considering the impact those food contents have on our health. This shouldn’t be the case, because it is highly imperative that we take our time and know exactly what we consume, why we consume them and how to consume them. So if that’s the case, then this article is for you as it gives some detailed reasons why you should include pistachios in your diet. In case this is your first time of hearing the word pistachio, apparently you might want to know what this nut is all about, its origin and its nutritive compositions.
Firstly, pistachio belongs to the same family of cashew, in fact the nut has a sort of similar physical appearance with that of a cashew nut. It was originally from Asia and the Middle East before spreading to other parts of the world including the United States and the Mediterranean. Honestly, pistachios are among the most tasty, delicious and healthy nuts all over the world. The fruit is a creamy hard drupe that comprises of an elongated edible seed, which can be roasted and consumed as snacks or used for cooking assorted dishes. The interesting thing about this nut is that it has no side effects, so it can only do you good to increase your intake of pistachios.
The pistachios plants are dioecious in nature with unisexual and apetalous flowers. The seeds flesh are characteristically light greenish in colour while the seeds have a light mauve colour. However, the flesh changes from light green to light yellowish-reddish colour on ripening. Although pistachios are notable for their high constituents of vital minerals and nutrients, they however contain urushiol, which is an irritant that causes allergic reactions. SO if you are allergic to nuts, please do stay away from this nut.
Pistachios are highly nutritive and are an excellent source of vital nutrients and minerals such as Pantothenic acid, Iron, protein, Magnesium, vitamin B2, Potassium, Zinc, carbohydrates, fiber, Niacin, Calcium, Phosphorus, Thiamine, Manganese, Folate (B9), vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin C, unsaturated fat, lutein zeaxanthin, riboflavin and trace metals,
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PISTACHIOS
Pistachio are an excellent source of nutrients, minerals, phyto-chemicals such as polyphenolic antioxidant compounds, vitamin E and carotenes etc, which help to get rid of toxic free-radicals from our body,thereby protecting our body from infections and diseases. Some of the health benefits of pistachios include but not limited to;
1. Diabetes Control
A study by Sari et al. in 2010, proposed that consuming high amount of pistachios helps to maintain a balanced blood glucose level. To a larger extent, pistachio helps a lot in controlling diabetes. The presence of antioxidants in pistachio help to minimise the process of glycation, which is caused by improper bonding of proteins with sugar thereby rendering them worthless. Therefore reducing the process of glycation helps a lot in controlling diabetes. Also a diet of at least two ounces of pistachios per day helps to reduce insulin and fasting glucose levels that are linked with diabetes.
2. Iron Absorption
Pistachio has a high copper content that ensures a higher absorption of iron into our body system from food sources. This helps to protect the body against red cells or haemoglobin deficiency known as anemia.
3. Heart Health
The presence of l-arginine in pistachios, helps to make the arteries linings more flexible thus making it difficult for blood to clot and cause heart attack. Researchers confirm that regular consumption of pistachios helps to reduce the cholesterol level. The individuals who participated in this study were made to eat a low-calorie diet in the form of pistachios for four weeks. The outcome was that those individuals that consumed more of pistachios had their cholesterol level lowered unlike those that choose other low-calorie food constituents. So eating pistachios quite regularly helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol as well as increase good HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Pistachios also contain vitamin E, which reduces the ability of the arteries to clog with plaque. All these attributes go a long way in minimising the risk of cardiovascular attack in human being, hence pistachio ought to be a must eat for everyone for a healthy-working heart.
4. Skin Care
Pistachios are rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant helpful for eradicating harmful free oxygen radicals as well as maintaining healthy mucosa and glowing skin. Pistachios contain emollient properties, which help to maintain a healthy skin as well as protect the skin from dryness.
5. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that is also known as impotence, which is weakness or inability of man to have or sustain an erection. This health condition can be quite disturbing and challenging however, a research carried out by Aldemir et al. in 2011, showed that pistachio greatly influences sexual vitality in men. Moreover, a similar study by Schor in 2012, proved that regular consumption of pistachios helps a lot in improving and maintaining healthy erectile function. The study recorded that the participants for the study showed a tremendous improvement in their erectile functioning within several weeks of consuming pistachios during the experiment. Pistachios are known for their high constituent of aphrodisiac properties, which help to boost sexual health in men.
6. Culinary Purposes
Due to its pleasant flavour, pistachio is used by different countries for assorted cuisines. Pistachios can be roasted and eaten as snacks, used for cooking food, used for baking cakes and pastries. The pistachios oil is also graded as one of the most healthiest cooking oils in the world.
7. Weight Management
Based on the weight loss program organised by Li et al. in 2010, they proposed that eating pistachios regularly significantly sheds excess weight from the body as well as helps to maintain a healthy body weight. In that case, snacking on nuts such as pistachios helps a lot in controlling our body’s weight due to its high fiber content that makes them more filling, thereby helping us to eat lower portion of food in a day. Nonetheless, since pistachios contain unsaturated fat, it is advisable to only consume a reasonable quantity in a day.
8. Medicinal Purposes
Pistachios oil are processed and used in pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing medicines, for producing oil used for traditional medicine, massage therapy and aromatherapy.
The presence of dietary fiber in pistachio makes it very helpful for easy digestion of food.
10. Anti-carcinogenic Properties
Researchers confirmed that pistachios contain antioxidants that help to counteract the effects of a carcinogen thus inhibiting the development of cancer. Antioxidants also help to neutralize the free radicals present in the body after cellular metabolism.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
1. Aldemir, M., Okulu, E., Neşelioğlu, S., Erel, O. and Kayıgil, Ö. (2011), Pistachio Diet Improves Erectile Function Parameters and Serum Lipid Profiles in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction, International Journal of Impotence Research 23, pp. 32-38.
2. Emily, L. B., Terri, D. B. and Lester, A. W. (2009), Effect of Cultivar and Roasting Method on Composition of Roasted Soybeans, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 89 (5), pp. 821-825.
3. Shakerardekani, A., Karim, R., Mohd G., H. and Chin, N. L. (2011), Effect of roasting conditions on hardness, moisture content andcolour of pistachio kernels, International Food Research Journal, pp.59-60.
4. Sari, I., Baltaci, Y., Bagci, C., et al. (2010), Effect of Pistachio Diet on Lipid Parameters, Endothelial Function, Inflammation and Oxidative Status: a prospective study. Nutrition, 26(4), pp. 399-403.
5. Schor, J. (2012), Pistachio Nuts and Erectile Dysfunction Snacking on pistachios improves erectile function and Cardiovascular Health Markers, Natural Medicine Journal, Vol. 4 Issue 2.
6. Seyed fathollah Amiri Aghdaie, (2009), Investigating Effective Factors on Iran’s Pistachio Exportation, International Journal of Marketing Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.35-36.
7. Wang, X., Li, Z., Liu, Y., Lv, X. and Yang W. (2012), Effects of Pistachios on Body Weight in Chinese Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrition Journal, 11:20.