While these nuts have many health benefits the most amazing thing about Pistachio nuts is the great taste that makes them a great choice for flavorings in cakes, ice creams and a huge number of sweet dishes. These nuts are much smaller in size (in relative terms) but have a strong flavor and covered with a shell that is not that hard (again if we compare to pecan nut; for instance) and can be broken easily by hand.
Pistachios are rich in energy almost as good as they are rich in taste too. A typical 100 grams of these nuts contain slight over 555 calories, compare it to that of pecan for example, and one would say ‘it’s massive’, as it is almost 3 folds higher than that of pecans. Nonetheless, this special kind of nuts too have important nutrients, compounds, minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and healthy fats which help to support and assist body functions properly; just like almost all of the nuts contain these in form or another. If you imagine people preferring these nuts as snacks for tea time or small meals instead of eating a lot of junk food; for sure hospitals and medical clinics would be a quiet place in those imaginations.
Focusing back to the contents and benefits of these nuts, studies show that pistachio nuts contain a good amount of oleic acid and antioxidants. Thus, are very effective to decrease the LDL cholesterol, controlling the migration of it into the walls of blood vessels and to increase good HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. You can achieve all of these benefits if you eat pistachios regularly on daily basis as part of your diet. Research studies also proved that the diet, which contains dietary fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants in a rich quantity, is very helpful to prevent artery diseases, heart diseases, strokes with the support of healthy blood lipid.
It is also known that Pistachio nuts provide a rich source of substances like phytochemical which also contains carotenes, vitamin E, and other antioxidant compounds. All of these elements protect our body cells from harmful chemicals called radicals. It has also been proved by the research studies that these antioxidant activities help the body to remove toxic oxygen and free radical which then protects the body from many diseases including but not limited to cancer and other infections. Pistachios are enriched with vitamin E, which is powerful, and among the most important antioxidants, to keep the integrity of cell membranes intact and also protect our skin from possible damages of harmful oxygen free radicals.
These nuts are also found in a family of many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B-6. Researches studies have suggested that the pistachios are packed with a family of B-complex groups of vitamins which are beneficial for health and the human body. These nuts are an excellent source of providing minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Iron and copper are found in significant quantities in pistachio nuts. A typical 100 gram of these nuts equal to 144% of required copper as per daily recommended level of copper. Copper is needed in keeping metabolism rates at a good level and also for red blood cell synthesis making it an essential mineral for the human body.
Oil of pistachio nuts is also beneficial for our body and health mainly because of the nutrients it contains. It helps to protect the skin by keeping the moisture levels up and hence avoiding it from becoming dry. Traditionally, the pistachio nut oil has been used, over the years, in cooking as well as in traditional medicines for aromatherapy, massage therapy, in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
Research programs, where people were provided with a diet of pistachio for four weeks, provided results in no weight gain and also it reduced the risk levels for heart diseases. The studies also proved that daily intake of pistachios are helpful for treating cardiovascular disease and the blood lipid levels were improved after the four week period of diet plan.
Consumption of just about a hand full of pistachios in your daily diet will not only provide you enough quantity of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein as per recommended values for a healthy body but will also provide a great taste in your mouth.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.