Pistachios are green, slightly-sweet nuts that are usually about an inch long and half an inch in diameter. Aside from making a great snack, these nuts are also packed with a powerful punch for our health. By making these little green gems a part of our everyday diet, we can enjoy its brimming nutrients and vitamins that are needed by our body to decrease the risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.
At present, people consume pistachios in a variety of dishes from salads, soups, stir-fry to ice creams. Here are some of the good reasons to have a serving of this nut a day.
Contains Beneficial Antioxidants
Pistachios are excellent sources of antioxidants that can sweep up free radicals and reverse some of the cellular damages. It is loaded with beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (beneficial for the eyes), and gamma-tocopherol.
Furthermore, two of the most abundant groups of antioxidants in pistachios — polyphenols and tocopherols — may help protect against cancer and heart disease.
According to studies, those who ate one or two servings of pistachios per day had greater levels of lutein and γ-Tocopherol, compared to participants who did not eat pistachios.
The antioxidants present in this healthy nut are very accessible in the stomach. It means that they are more likely to be absorbed during digestion.
May Help Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria
Thanks to its high amount of fiber (3 grams of fiber per serving) which aids in digestion and some are digested by the good bacteria in our gut, acting as prebiotics.
Gut bacteria ferment the fiber and then convert it into short-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to our body as they help lower our risk of developing digestive disorders, heart diseases, and even cancer.
Pistachios are a rich source of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. They help reduce the chances of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration which can all lead to blindness.
Helps Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
Due to its high fiber content, pistachios may reduce the risk of some cancers, such as colon cancer.
In a 2017 study, scientists have found that roasting the nuts did not affect their health benefits in relation to colon cancer cells.
Low In Calories Yet High In Protein
Pistachios are among the lowest-calorie nuts with only 159 calories in every 28 grams. Meanwhile, it is second only to almonds when it comes to protein content (protein content is about 20% of its weight).
According to experts, pistachios have a higher ratio of essential amino acids than any other nut. These amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
Have a Healthy Ratio of Beneficial Fatty Acids
Pistachios have a high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which actually protect the heart. This includes omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that is associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol and high levels of HDL cholesterol.
Important for Heart Health
Pistachios may protect the heart by reducing cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
The result of a 12-year study claimed that women who frequently eat nuts may enjoy modest protection from cardiovascular disease. Moreover, it also revealed a relationship between eating nuts and reduced risk of death from other causes.
Furthermore, a 2015 report says that eating nuts may lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure in people without type-2 diabetes.