Properties and Benefits of Pistachio: The pistachio tree is a sun-loving plant which can thrive in the most arid place on earth: the desert. The trees can withstand temperatures below 0°c and even up to 50°C. Regular consumption of pistachios boasts several wonderful health benefits such as lower blood cholesterol levels and inflammation reduction. In addition to healthy essential fatty acids, pistachios contain more than generous amounts of dietary minerals and vitamins and it is this high concentration of nutrients that proves beneficial for human health.
Vitamins B1, B6, A and E as well as potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc are all found in generous amounts in pistachio nuts. When unripe, pistachios resemble elongated, pointy, yellowish grapes. They slowly start to ripe and turn a pink-reddish color. As a ripe nut, the pistachio contains a savory, slightly oily kernel inside a hard, beautiful beige shell. In order to enjoy all the health benefits of pistachios, it is best to consume them fresh.
The roasted and salted varieties have a high salt content which greatly decreases their health contributions. Indeed, salt gives flavor to all foods, but remember that a preference for highly salted foods can lead to serious medical problems such as hypertension, fluid retention, weight gain and so on.
As you may have noticed yourselves, producers tend to salt almost all nut and seed products. Interesting enough, fresh nuts and seeds have by far the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals and it is a known fact that a high salt intake is can cause serious damage to one’s health. If you really wish to keep healthy, always choose unsalted sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and pistachios because salted varieties are only a health-hoax.
Nevertheless, regular pistachio consumption has great health benefits on human health. For instance, a handful of pistachios can efficiently reduce blood lipids levels and, consequently, contribute to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Also, studies suggest that the seeds (yes, they are actually seeds) contain potent antioxidants which help counteract oxidation effects in the body.
Antioxidants not only help us maintain our youthful appearance, but also offer protection against a variety of diseases caused by free radical oxidation. For instance, when part of a balanced diet, pistachios can reduce inflammation levels in the body. According to research, high inflammation levels are known to cause a number of serious illnesses, cancer and cardiovascular disease included.
Pistachios are both healthy and figure friendly: a handful of pistachios makes a truly healthy snack and a great way to help you keep you weight under control. Despite their high caloric intake, pistachios, as well as all nuts varieties have a high fiber content. Fiber prevents the absorption of some fats at the intestinal level and helps keep cholesterol levels and weight within healthy limits.
The key is to eat wisely and moderately and you won’t ever have to worry about body weight problems. Phytosterols found in generous amounts in most plant species, pistachios included, contribute to lower cholesterol levels as well. A regular consumption of the seeds can thus have amazing benefits on cardiovascular health.
Pistachios are a wonderful snack for both adults and children. However, if you have never eaten them before, it is best to take an allergy test called ‘skin prick test’ which will reveal a potentially dangerous allergic condition. The seeds are also a rich source of essential fatty acids, mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are required by the human body in order to function properly and they play an important part in supporting cognitive functions such as memory, focus, attention, etc.
In addition to this, pistachios contain impressive amounts of many essential nutrients such as pyridoxine (131%), thiamin (72,5%), folate (13%), pantothenic acid, niacin and riboflavin. All of these B vitamins are essential components in many enzymatic processes and support the distribution of energy throughout the body, preventing mental and physical fatigue. Moreover, the seeds contain a high concentration of vitamin E (150%). Ladies, pay attention: vitamin E is what keeps your skin looking fresh, radiant and beautiful.
More important, they are an incredible source of dietary minerals such as copper (144%), phosphorus (54%), iron (52%), manganese (52%), magnesium (30%), potassium (22%), zinc (20%), selenium (13%) and calcium (11%). A decent copper intake is a solution against premature hair graying. Iron prevents anemia. Manganese has a potent antioxidant activity.
Magnesium increases calcium absorption and supports muscle health. Potassium lowers high blood pressure. Zinc increases our immune system’s response to infections. Selenium is believed to support the activity of the thyroid gland and calcium promotes strong, healthy bones.
Imagine you could enjoy all of these health benefits and many more. A regular consumption of pistachios can have great positive effects your human health, provided you choose fresh seeds or salt-free brands. Remember that pistachios and other seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts and so on, have incredibly high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, which greatly surpass those of other foods.