The Health Benefits of Pistachios

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of pistachios.  I don’t eat them that often, but I do like them.  I don’t think I ever had pistachios until I was in my 20’s. IMG_20140428_111759_900 They weren’t something that I was every exposed to as a child so I guess that’s why I don’t think about them when I’m at the store.

I’ve been thinking about making up my own trail mix and will be sure to add pistachios as part of the mix.

Thanks to the website Health Diaries for the information provided below.  As always it is much appreciated.  This is such a great website for learning about the benefits of foods.  Good stuff.

Now for the benefits of pistachios:

1.  Pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol after only a short period of regular consumption.  High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, they fight inflammation, protecting blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease.  Even a moderate intake of pistachios has been shown to increase levels of lutein, an antioxidant well known for protecting against oxidized LDL, reducing heart disease.

2.  Pistachios are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and often recommended for healthy and beautiful skin.  Vitamin E does an excellent job protecting the skin from UV damage, providing daily defense against premature aging and skin cancer.

3.  Eating pistachios may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.  Sixty percent of the recommended daily value of the mineral phosphorous is contained in just one cup of pistachios.  As well as breaking down proteins into amino acids, phosphorous aids glucose tolerance so pistachios are a great snack to help with the break down process.

4.  Pistachios are a great source for vitamin B6, which helps keep the immune system healthy.  The vitamin B6 found in pistachios helps the body make healthy red blood cells, and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, ensuring the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections.

5.  Another great benefit of vitamin B6 is that is essential to make hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood stream to cells, and is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen carried throughout the body.

6.  Pistachios contain two carotenoids not found in most nuts.  These carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, function as protective antioxidants, defending tissues from damage from free radicals.  They have been linked with a decrease in the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness in the United States.

As you can see there are some great benefits and reasons why you should make pistachios a part of your life.  The next time you’re at the grocery store you should pick some up.  Buy a variety of nuts and make your own nut mix.  I plan on doing that soon.  Mixing nuts together that I like instead of buying nut mixes that are already premixed.

Check out these recipes containing pistachios.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Roasted Pineapple with Honey and Pistachios

Roasted Yams with Citrus Salsa


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