Pistachio nuts are very popular these days. You can see them as toppings on toast, desserts, salads, pasta, and many other dishes. But did you know that humans have been eating pistachio for over 9000 years?
Yup! This yellowish-green nut has been with us since the dawn of mankind. But while we all know they are tasty, did you also know that they carry a lot of health benefits? Today, we’ll be discussing the value of pistachios in terms of health and wellness.
What Are Pistachio Nuts?
Before we tell you the health benefits they carry, you should first know what exactly pistachios are. Actually, pistachios are not nuts at all! The pistachio nuts we all know and love are all seeds of the pistachio tree. That is why some pistachios (unshelled) have hard outer shells which you need to break before eating the tasty insides. These small seeds are harvested by farmers and then sold in supermarkets shelled, unshelled, salted, and roasted.
Benefits Of Pistachio Nuts
Adding pistachio to your daily diet is highly recommended by nutritionists due to the countless health benefits it possesses:
- Packed Full With Nutrients
Pistachios contain high amounts of nutrients and minerals, which are the essential substances needed for optimal body functionality. Some of the things you can find in pistachio nuts include fibre, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, thiamine, vitamin B6, and many others.
- Low Calorie And High Protein Content
There are many different kinds of nuts out there. Among all of them, pistachios are known to have one of the lowest calorie content at just 159 calories per ounce of nuts. They are instead very high in protein, with about 20% of their total weight being protein, placing them second just behind almonds in the nuts’ protein ranking. Pistachios are also a great source of essential amino acids, which are the substances required for forming protein.
- Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants can be considered one of the most crucial substances that you will need for a long and healthy life. They are responsible for preventing cell damage and reducing your risk of developing severe illnesses, such as cancer.
Nuts, in general, are well – known to be high in antioxidants, and pistachios have the third most antioxidant content out of all nuts only behind pecans and walnuts. Zeaxanthin and Lutein, the two main antioxidants in pistachio, are vital for preventing eye problems that often come with age.
- Great For Your Digestion
Pistachios are rich in fibre, with a single serving containing over 3 grams of fibre. Fibres are essential for ensuring a healthy gut and maintaining optimal digestion. Thus why those 3 grams found in a single serving of pistachio (which already covers more than 10% of your daily intake) is so important.
- Improves Your Blood Vessel Health
The inner lining of your blood vessels, called the endothelium, is one of the most important parts of your body. They are responsible for regulating the flow of blood into your heart. Endothelial dysfunction can result in less blood entering your heart, which may lead to heart problems.
One of the key compounds you need to prevent endothelial dysfunction is Nitric Oxide. This compound relaxes the cells in the endothelium and allows for greater blood flow. Pistachios are rich in the amino acid known as L – arginine, which is the substance that will be converted into Nitric Oxide when it is digested in the body. Thus, pistachios play a key role in maintaining the health of your blood vessels.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Pistachios have a low glycemic index, which means that they don’t cause a large spike in blood sugar levels to those who consume them. In fact, studies have shown that the opposite effect occurs when you eat pistachios; your blood sugar level drops!
In fact, it has been proven that adding 2 ounces of pistachio to a carb – rich diet will reduce blood sugar level response by 20 to 30%, while type 2 diabetes patients have been observed to display a 9% lower blood sugar level after snacking on pistachio twice a day for 12 weeks. So if you’re worried about your blood sugar level or if you are suffering from diabetes, pistachio may just be the answer!