Pistachios is small, cream or beige coloured nuts that are considered to be highly rich in proteins, nutrients and vitamins. Their consumption is supposed to be accompanied by an array of health benefits, some of which we will discuss in the length of this article.
Pistachio is small in appearance and are enclosed in hard, nutty shells. Once you break open these shells, you can find the actual pistachio nuts which are light-green or light-brown, turning to black in their colour.
A common way of eating pistachios is by roasting or salting them. They are often eaten as snacks and not as important parts of any meal.
They are also used as toppings and garnishing for a variety of dishes, mostly in sweet dishes, chocolates and milkshakes. Pista milkshake is a common drink in many parts of the world, especially in India.
Pistachio are native to Western Asian countries, but it is also widely available in countries of the Mediterranean region.
In many cultures, pistachios are treated not as nuts, but as fruits mostly because of the inside kernel. It is often considered as a dried fruit while being used in garnishing.
The only problem many people face in consuming pistachios is that, like most other dried fruits they are highly expensive. Their availability is not an issue as they are easily available in most supermarkets around you.
They are available in their raw form, without being salted, or the roasted and salted variety. In recent times, to meet the rising demand for tasty food, pistachios are available in their roasted and spiced form.
In their short form, they are often referred to as ‘pistas’. They are extremely delicious in taste and some cultures also signify richness and royalty.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
1. Heart-healthy food
Many studies by contemporary researchers have shown that pistachios contribute in the maintaining of a healthy heart because of their property of reducing the levels of bad cholesterol.
Bad cholesterol is also often known as LDL cholesterol. Not only that, but it is also known to increase the HDL or good cholesterol in the heart.
It thus prevents the risk of facing heart attacks. Pistachios also contain ingredients that increase the strength of the cardiovascular nerves, thus making the heart stronger in nature.
2. Anti-inflammatory product
The next time you face inflammation in any part of your body as a result of many other disorders, it is best to consume a handful of pistachios.
Pistachios are known to control inflammatory properties in your body because of their high vitamin content.
Vitamin A and Vitamin E are present in good quantities, and this is what ensures the reduction of inflammation.
3. Cure for diabetes
Diabetes is a disorder that involves the improper functioning of the insulin-producing apparatus in the human body.
Either people can suffer from an excess of insulin production or a deficiency in the amount of insulin produced. Sugars are needed by the body in both blood and urine to aid absorption in various properties. There can be two types of diabetes.
In one type, children are born with diabetes and need to take external insulin supplementation throughout their lives. In the second type, it usually develops at the age of 40 due to the aging body.
In either case, consuming pistachios is extremely beneficial as it balances the insulin requirements of the body. The second type of diabetes can be prevented from occurring as it contains a high amount of phosphorus.
How does this happen?
The high levels of phosphorus help in breaking down proteins into amino acids. This leads to glucose tolerance in the body.
4. Increases haemoglobin in the blood
Haemoglobin is a component present in the blood. It is a metalloprotein which contains iron and helps in carrying oxygen to various parts of the body through blood.
A high amount of haemoglobin ensures proper functioning of the human body as it gets enough oxygen supply.
The specific protein that carries oxygen is called Vitamin B6 and pistachios contain a high level of this vitamin. It thus increases the oxygen quantity in blood and also helps increase the haemoglobin content.
5. Helps the nervous system
The same vitamin, Vitamin B6 is also very helpful to the proper functioning of the nervous system. The message-conveying molecules in the nervous system are the amines.
In order for the amines to develop well, they need amino acids. Amino acids require vitamin B6 for their development.
These vitamins build sheaths between one nerve fibre and the other and thus help in the quick transmission of nerve impulses in the human body.
6. Prevents Macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is a disease related to optic nerves which result in the slowing of the visual capabilities of the eyes.
It usually affects adults and leads to a dysfunctional life as they are unable to read or write properly. It leads to loss of facial recognition as well.
The major cause of this is the uncontrolled levels of free radicals in the body. Pistachios contain two major antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin which destroys these free radicals and prevents the cell from damage.
In short, they reduce the possibilities of macular degeneration.
The same vitamin B6, which has so many other benefits is also useful to improve the immune system of the human body.
It ensures proper supply of blood to various parts of the body and also helps in the proper production of blood.
8. Contributes to brain health
The vitamin B6 content also helps in activating various parts of the brain due to the good oxygen-rich blood that gets supplied. It makes the brain functioning active.
9. Healthy glands
Various internal glands of the body like spleen, thymus, etc. work better with the good supply of blood to these parts.
The high content of White Blood Corpuscles helps the body fight infections of the body.
10. Anti-ageing properties
The various vitamins in the body are useful to help in the good maintaining of skin. Especially, Vitamin E is useful for healthy skin as it is rich in anti-oxidants.
The vitamin E also integrates the various cell membranes of the mucous membranes of the skin membranes. It makes the skin appear taut and young. It also protects the skin from harmful Ultraviolet radiation and thus prevents many other skin diseases.
The oil present in pistachio seeds act as an emollient and keeps the skin moisturized.
Dry skin is a major cause of various skin conditions and must thus be prevented. The same oil is also used by many people as an ingredient for massages and health treatments in spas.
11. Prevents cancer and other infections
The same vitamin B6 is useful in preventing the body from developing various types of cancer, especially skin cancer.
Not only this, but it is also beneficial to cure various kinds of infections.
12. Smooth skin
Eating pistachios guarantees you with smooth skin as it is an excellent natural moisturizer.
The next time you go to a supermarket to buy an artificial moisturizer, remember that you can instead just consume pistachios which are organic and healthy. Always look for natural.
13. Hair benefits
Not only is pistachio famous for its very many nutrients, but it is also highly recommended for hair care.
Pistachios contain certain fatty acids that are beneficial for hair growth. They boost the growth of your hair from its roots. It is also an excellent method of strengthening your hair.
Not only this, but it also helps by providing excellent nourishment to your hair in all ways and helps you get bouncy and smooth hair. It also doubles as a hair conditioner.
One of the major factors that lead to hair loss is the deficiency of Biotin. Pistachios are rich in biotins and thus, avert extreme hair loss.
Pistachios are a good source of energy which is required by the body. A hundred grams of pistachios provide the body with about 570 calories.
Not only this, but it also provides carbohydrates, fats, protein and dietary fibres.
Some of the other vitamins and minerals that are found in pistachios are calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
15. Weight management
The best benefit of eating pistachios comes from probably its role in weight management. Though it is a rich dried fruit, pistachio is often known for its perfect amount of good fat.
They also supply the body with the right amount of calories, without the concern of putting on weight. It is also self-sufficient when it comes to weight management as it provides protein to the body which is useful in burning body fat.
Consumption of pistachios is also a way to avoid overeating because it inhibits unwanted appetite. It is thus highly recommended for people who are waiting to lose weight to include pistachios in their everyday diet.
16. Prevents dizziness, insomnia and nausea
Pistachios are known to be rich sources of iron and help to increase the haemoglobin and RBC content in your blood. Therefore it averts many other disorders like dizziness, insomnia and nausea.
So the next time you are complaining about poor health, you know what to do. Just grab a handful of pistachios and add them to your snacks.
17. Sexual stimulant
For centuries, pistachios have been used as aphrodisiacs. They are known to be useful in treating sexual disorders related to arousal and erection.
In men, it is often used to boost erectile function and increase blood flow to the genitals during sexual intercourse.
18. Improves general health
Since pistachios are a bundle of antioxidants, they help in increasing immunity and helps the body fight various infections and diseases. They also are known to inhibit microbe attacks in the body.