The pistachio tree is a small flowering plant which originates mainly from Central Asia. The fruit of the pistachio tree contains a small oval-shaped seed; pistachio nuts, commonly sold in supermarkets and heath food stores. The trees used for commercial harvest are planted in large orchards and are most commonly cultivated in the USA and Greece. These plants can take up to 10 years to reach significant seed production and 20 years to reach the peak of their production. Find out more by reading our Top 5 Heath Benefits of Pistachio Nuts!
1. Low calorie
Pistachios are a great choice of healthy snack for people who are looking to loose some weight. The combination of low levels of saturated fat, and fewer calories in comparison to other nuts and seeds, makes pistachios a great addition to any diet. Pistachios are also high in monounsaturated fats which can be used to curb hunger cravings and act as a replacement for starch based, nutrient deficient foods. Fats help you feel fuller for much longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack or overeat.
2. High in protein
Pistachios are an extremely dense source of natural protein. They contain much more protein in comparison to other similar nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts. Every 100 grams of pistachios will supply you with a generous 20 grams of protein, which makes up 40% of your daily protein intake. This also makes pistachios a brilliant source of healthy protein for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
3. Iron absorption
The high levels of the vital mineral, copper, found within pistachios, can assist the body to absorb iron from other food sources. Copper is needed to regulate the release of iron which is used to form haemoglobin, the protein molecule which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Copper is also needed to regulate the metabolism and produce white and red blood cells.
4. Dietary fibre
Dietary fibre is incredibly important to regulate the normal function of the digestive tract and metabolism. Pistachios are full of essential dietary fibre, this is coupled with their high levels of crucial minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.
5. Rich in antioxidants
The antioxidants present in the body can prevent the development of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Pistachios are a great source of these toxin fighting compounds, which work by removing free-radicals from the body thus protecting against infection and disease.
Pistachio nuts are often found on supermarket shelves in roasted or salted form, however the healthiest way to consume them is when they are purchased fresh and unshelled. Pistachios can be used in variety of ways, as snacks on their own, in salads, in smoothies or as part of a ‘nut feast cocktail’. They are even used in traditional medicines and pistachio oil can be found in a number of aromatherapy products, massage oils and cosmetics. Got something of note to say about mighty pistachios? Tell us below or @KeepFitKingdom !