Although they’re commonly treated as nuts, pistachios are botanically classified as seeds. They’ve been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. Depending on your preference, you can buy them raw, flavored, roasted, salted, shelled, or unshelled. As their popularity rises, so does scientific interest in their nutritional benefits.
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Pistachio Nutritional Value
You can either consume pistachios as snacks or incorporate them into healthy recipes. You may worry about their fat content, but most of it is healthy unsaturated fat. Pistachios have one of the lowest fat contents compared to other tree nuts.
They’re also packed with minerals and vitamins. Specific nutrients include phosphorus, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, sodium, thiamine, and beta carotene. Other than having unsaturated fats that reduce bad cholesterol, pistachios are an essential source of fiber and proteins.
They’re known to have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause sugar spikes in the body. Another benefit of pistachios is that they’re loaded with antioxidants such as carotenoids, which prevent free radicals from rising to dangerous levels. Additionally, these nuts have useful anti-inflammatory properties.
How Pistachio Helps With Weight Loss
We already know that adding pistachio to your diet helps maintain your weight or prevent weight gain. According to research from the University of California, San Diego, you can also include it in an active weight loss plan. Participants in the study lost a significant amount of weight, reduced their waist circumference, and brought their BMI under control. Including pistachios in a weight loss diet can benefit you in the following ways:
(i) Shell-on pistachios contribute to lower food consumption. The process of removing the shells slows your pace of eating, which ultimately lowers food intake compared to when you’re eating the shelled variety. The empty shells are also a visual indicator of how much you’ve eaten, which helps you watch your portions.
(ii) Eating pistachios results in lower calorie intake. Emerging studies speculate that pistachios contain a type of dietary fat that your body doesn’t easily absorb. That means the number of calories you get from a bowl could be lower than what the nutritional information claims, which is good for weight loss diets.
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(iii) They make you feel full faster and longer. Pistachios have fiber, proteins, healthy fats, and several other nutrients. Like other nuts, they make you full faster when eaten in one sitting. This situation prevents you from constantly eating unhealthy snacks that could increase your weight. Researchers also think that the process of chewing slows down food intake.
(iv) Pistachios lower your glycemic index. The benefits of such diets include lower cholesterol levels, blood sugar management, and appetite control. Other than helping control or prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease, you get to enjoy a flexible circulatory system. All of these are good for an active lifestyle that promotes weight loss.
How Pistachio Helps With BP
According to an analysis of more than twenty clinical trials conducted over 55 years, pistachios reduce high blood pressure in adults better than other nuts. This analysis was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The CDC puts the number of Americans who suffer from hypertension at 45% of the total population.
Pistachios have effective antioxidants that help reduce blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the risk of associated conditions such as heart disease and strokes. Carotenoid pigments, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and polyphenols are known to improve the elasticity of your blood vessels.
The high protein content in pistachios also has significant levels of L-arginine. This amino acid acts as a natural vasodilator, which improves blood flow. It creates an effect that results in lower blood pressure in the body. Other minerals found in pistachio that help reduce BP include magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Nuts are a crucial part of the DASH diet, which is designed to lower hypertension. Pistachios are more beneficial than other nuts because they have lower fat content. They also contain phytosterols, which reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure.
They’re the only nuts that considerably reduce both diastolic and systolic BP readings. Salted pistachios are not recommended for patients who suffer from hypertension because it might be counterproductive.
How to Add Pistachios to Your Diet
There are several creative ways of incorporating pistachios into your healthy diet. If you don’t enjoy chewing, you can crush and sprinkle them over breakfast cereals, salads, and desserts. You can also blend them with your favorite smoothie. The nuts also make good pastes and sauces that you can apply to other foods, especially if you’re gluten or dairy intolerant.
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At EZCare Clinic, we’re committed to improving your physical and mental wellbeing. Our skilled, experienced, and licensed physicians are experts at creating customized treatment plans. They include weight loss programs that help you manage hypertension and other lifestyle conditions. We also understand how good physical health contributes to mental wellness.
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