Pistachios have been part of our diet for thousands of years in various forms. But some common myths can make you think that pistachios make you fat or a source of high sodium, when in fact this food is very nutritious. Pistachios offer several health benefits, especially for the heart, intestines and waist. Relayed by MedicalNewsToday, this article will help you understand what happens to your body when you eat pistachios every day.
Pistachios are edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree that contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. This type of nut can even combat stress because of its high magnesium content, according to an article in the current women’s magazine.
10 interesting facts about pistachios
Rich in nutrients
According to information from the US Department of Agriculture, pistachios contain proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B-6 and thiamine. A serving of pistachios provides about 37% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-6, or 1.3 mg for adults. Vitamin B-6 plays a vital role in protein metabolism and cognitive development.
Low in calories
Pistachios are one of the least caloric nuts. Indeed, 30 grams of pistachios contains only 159 calories.
Rich in antioxidants
Nuts and seeds contain several antioxidant compounds, but pistachios may have higher levels of certain antioxidants including γ-tocopherol, phytosterols, xanthophyll carotenoids according to several researches. These substances have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Good for the eyes
Pistachios are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which are essential for eye health. According to the American Optometric Association, these two substances reduce the risk of developing eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
Beneficial for the intestines
According to a 2012 study, pistachio consumption could increase levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The researchers collected stool samples and found that people consuming up to 85 grams of pistachios a day had an increase in potentially useful intestinal bacteria. Pistachio, like all nuts, is rich in fiber, which improves digestion and prevents constipation.
Rich in protein
Protein makes up about 21% of the total weight of the pistachio, making it a good source of protein for the body. Pistachios also have a higher level of essential amino acids, constitutive elements of proteins, compared to other nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, pecans.
Useful for losing weight
In a 12-week weight loss program, people who consumed a portion of pistachios over a 12-week period saw their body mass index decrease by twice as much as people who ate pretzels instead of pistachios. Both groups consumed roughly the same amount of calories.
Good for the heart
Research conducted on a small sample of 28 participants focused specifically on the benefits of pistachios for heart health, reporting that two servings a day reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, it has been shown in one study that pistachio consumption could increase serum antioxidants and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Low glycemic index
For people with diabetes, one study suggests that eating pistachios as a snack is beneficial for blood sugar, blood pressure, obesity and markers of inflammation.
In another study, pistachio consumption reduced hyperglycemia when consumed with a high-carbohydrate meal, such as white bread.
Prevent the risk of colon cancer
Because of their high fiber content, pistachios are likely to prevent the risk of colon cancer. In 2017, research showed that roasting nuts did not affect their health benefits compared to colon cancer cells.
As you can see, eating pistachios in moderation can be a good way to improve your health and well-being. But beware you must stick to unsalted pistachios in their shells!