What Is Pistachio?
Pistachio is a delicious dried fruit which is commonly known as ‘Pista’ among people. Pistachio is grown in Western Asia and is also grown in the Mediterranean region. Pista is highly nutritious nut while pistachio grows as a fruit that have yellow colored edible kernel seed. You can enjoy the funny and tasty nuts of pistachios after removing outer shell of the fruit. Pistachio is a super healthy fruit whose edible seeds contain healthy fats and supplies essential antioxidants, fiber and protein to the body of its consumer. Pistachio is blessed with several essential nutrients that offer several health benefits to its consumer. You can eat pistachios as a fruits and nuts. Pistachio is also used as an additive in many desserts, special dishes and ice cream too.(1)
What Is The Color Of Pistachio?
Pistachios nuts do come in two different colors namely:
1. Green Pistachio:
Like their cousin cashew, pistachios too grow as a seed not as a nut. The ripe fruit of pistachio do have different colors depending on its seed variety. The green color of a pistachio is due to the presence of chlorophyll in it somehow similar to green plants and vegetables. However, those pistachios which grow in cooler climate do have some vibrant color as compare to pistachio grown under moderate temperature.(2)
2. Red Pistachio:
Pistachio also comes in red color. Such pistachios have naturally deep reddish pink color nutshells. You must be having a question “how they are red in color?” According to a study, the redness in pistachios nutshells is originated by Syrian importer, who dyes pistachios red in color to differentiate them from his competitors. Keeping a long history of food merchants aside, natural pistachios nutshells are still dyed in deep red color as such colorful attracts more customers and generates attractive income than green pistachios. However, it is difficult to find red pistachio in a market nowadays but such special items can be easily available during festivals like Christmas.(3)
Health Benefits Of Pistachios
1. Boosts Energy
Pistachio is highly nutritious and one-ounce servings of pistachio deliver 156 calories energy. One ounce serving of pistachio provides 3 grams fiber, 12 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 24% Vitamin B6 and 14% phosphorus to a person. Pistachio is a rich source of potassium, fiber, amazing antioxidants and protein that plays a vital role in boosting energy level and it also enhances oxygen carrying capacity in red blood cells. (4)
2. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Antioxidants are extremely necessary for body’s growth. It is only antioxidants that protects your body against cell damage and reduces risk of complex diseases like cancer. Pistachios contain some amazing natural antioxidants than seeds and nuts which offers many health benefits to every consumer. In a 4 week study it is found that pistachios have the highest content of antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein than walnuts and cashews which makes them an ideal option for lowering bad cholesterol. Pistachios also contain other abundant anti-oxidants such as tocopherols and polyphenols that lower risk of heart diseases and cancer.
3. Helps In Weight Loss
Pistachio is one of the most nutritious dried fruit on the planet. It has a promising effect on weight due to its richness in protein and fiber content that suppresses appetite. According to a report, people who follows weight loss program and ate around 2 ounces of pistachios per day notify twice reduction in their body mass index as compare to people who ate 2 ounces of pretzels daily.
4. Enhances Blood Circulation
Pistachios is extremely rich in Vitamin B6 and protein content that enhances oxygen carrying capacity in the blood. Vitamin B6 in pistachios raises the hemoglobin count and increases the blood circulation comfortably.
5. Boosts Immunity
Pistachios comes under the category of lowest calorie nuts than other nuts. In fact, one ounce of pistachios delivers 156 calories of energy which is very much lower than calories of other nuts like walnuts (183 calories) and pecans (193 calories). They contains higher ratio of essential amino acids, protein and other nutrients that can helps in boosting immunity depending on individual’s health. Presence of semi essential amino acids like L- arginine in pistachios increases the blood flow by dilating blood vessels. (5)
6. Protects From Diabetes
Pistachios richness in nutrients like fiber and phosphorus makes it an ideal remedy for diabetes. Phosphorus in pistachios breaks down protein into amino acids which in turn boosts the glucose tolerance level. Eating 1 cup pistachios daily after taking your meal will fulfill 60% of the daily phosphorus requirement if you’re taking diagnosis for Type-2 diabetes.
7. Boosts Glands
Vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus and fiber content present in pistachios improves function of glands like thymus, spleen. Pistachios raises the oxygen carrying capacity in the blood streams and promotes white blood cells function thereby protecting your body against infections and other viral attacks.
8. Makes Skin Healthy
Presence of Vitamin E in pistachios works as an antioxidant and promotes skin’s health . Vitamin E in pistachios boosts the smooth function of mucous membrane by integrating the cell membranes. Vitamin E also acts as a protective agent for skin and safeguards it from harmful UV rays. Eating pistachios daily in your diet will keep your skin healthy and will lower the risk of skin diseases comfortably.
9. Reduces Risk Of Cancer
Vitamin B6 in pistachios works well in increasing the blood count thereby boosting the functioning of white blood cells which mainly protect body against infections and complex diseases like cancer. Pistachios are strong enough to stop the growth of dangerous cancer causing cells and aid is blood clotting.
10. Good Anti-Ageing
Pistachios is an amazing anti-ageing agent. It contains Vitamin E in high quantity that fights the ageing process and delivers younger look to its consumer. Also oil present in pistachios is blessed with superb emollient properties that keep the skin moisturized and hydrated all the time. That’s why; pistachios oil is widely use as a main ingredient in several essential oils, aroma oil and medicinal massage oil.
11. Improves Eye-Sight
Pistachio is too good in improving eye-sight or vision power of an individual. Health professionals recommend intake of pistachios daily to resolve vision related issues.
How To Store Pistachios?
Preservation of pistachio is very necessary if you have extra pistachio in your home. Practically, it is possible to keep surplus pistachio stash both fresh and tasty. Here are 3 ways to store surplus pistachios which will definitely help you to keep them fresh for a couple of weeks or even more.
1. Keep It In Airtight Containers
Keeping extra pistachios in an airtight containers is the most effective to maintain its freshness. Storing pistachios in airtight containers protects them from absorbing moisture and going stale. Alternatively, you can also preserve them in a refrigerator or freezer to attain maximum freshness.
2. Store In Re-Sealable Bags
To keep pistachios fresh for a couple of days, you can also store them in re-sealable bags. Storage of pistachios in such bags is a good option but it can’t keep them fresh for more than 3 days maximum.
3. Pack Using Rubber Band Or Tape
This is the commonly preferred option to preserve pistachio. However, this method is applicable to keep them fresh for only a few hours only. Wrapping a rubber band around the bag containing pistachio is a traditional way of storing them. However, they lost their crispiness if they are sealed for more than 12 hours. (6)
However, stored pistachio nuts lost their crispiness when they’re placed on a baking sheet for about 6 to 9 minutes at 250 degree temperature. In such cases, it is better to cool pistachios before eating in order to enjoy its delicious taste. Also while storing them in a freezer; you should place it first in a plastic bag to avoid formation of condensation on pistachios. Generally, shells of pistachios have off- white color which attains green color after ripen only when they are stored properly.(7)
Side Effects Of Pistachios
There is no doubt about the advantage and health benefits of pista that it offers to health of its consumer. Even though, pista are highly rich in essential minerals like thiamin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, copper and manganese and mostly consumed as fruit salad and dessert but when they are consumed in roasted form, it may cause some side effects on your gastrointestinal tract, blood pressure and weight. Here are some natural facts that will clear you about side effects of pistachios to your body.
1. Weight Gain
Consuming more pistachios in your daily diet than recommended quantity results in unexpected weight gain which is really a fear factor for dieting follower. Its richness in fiber and protein content makes such nuts a convenient and satisfying snack for many people. Eating too much of anything is always bad for health and pistachios extra consumption i.e. eating 1 cups of nuts daily could cause 0.7 to 1.4 lb weight gain weekly. That is why; people following weight loss program are always advised to intake pista only after recommendation from family doctor to keep your body fit .and healthy. (8)
2. Increases Blood Pressure
Too much intake of pista also raises the blood pressure of an individual. Natural pistachios nuts have contain low quantity of sodium but when they’re eaten in roasted form, it can contribute to 121 mg of sodium per serving to its consumer body. This is really a serious topic for everyone because we usually get attracted by ultimate taste of salted pistachios nuts and eats ½ to 1 cup of salted nuts without knowing that it is increasing sodium intake by 263 to 526mg which may make your body prone to blood pressure problem. The American Heart Association recommends everyone to not eat salted pistachios nuts in excess because it may harm your heart health. However, you should give preference to natural pistachios nuts when it comes to health as ½ cup intake of natural nuts will not only keep your blood pressure in control but also it will ease your digestion.
3. Gastrointestinal Problems
Gastrointestinal problem is another side effect of pistachio nuts to some people who already have bad digestive problems. High intake of pistachios may cause complications like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and other common gastrointestinal symptoms when it react to a compound called fructans in some people body. Therefore, it is very necessary to first consult your health professionals regarding amount of pistachio which will suit your body.
How Many Pista To Eat Per Day?
As a normal person, it is difficult to judge the consumption of pista per day to fulfill nutrients requirements. Therefore, it is very essential to consult a professional dietician to how much pista per day is needed for your body development? Generally, for a woman following weight loss regime, it is advisable to eat 20-25 nuts per day as it will deliver around 500-1000 calories energy to your body and will shed 1 to 2 pounds weekly. Pistachios are the skinniest of all nuts. They make the arteries more flexible which makes it an ideal remedy for heart diseases after almonds and walnuts. However, to stay fit and energetic, it is recommended to eat 8-10 pistachios nuts everyday either directly or in form of a fruit salad to enjoy distinct flavor of Pistachio. (9)
Why Pistachios Are So Much Expensive?
Pistachios are wonderful nuts and offer several health benefits but people who’re financially poor can’t afford to include it in their daily diet plan because these nuts are highly expensive than other natural nuts. There are many reasons for its expensiveness and their growth in a few places is considered to a primary reason for its high pricing. Pistachios tree is hardy and they can survive in adverse weather condition and poor soil but for their proper growth different types of climate are demanded. During its bud dormancy; cool winter are needed while during its ripening session; hot summer with low humidity is mandatorily needed. Such condition makes their productivity limited. Pistachio plants also take a long time to mature and sometimes it may take 15 to 20 years for ripening of fruits which can also be considered as another reason for its expensiveness. (10)
Pistachios are no doubt wonderful nuts to eat. It is good for health and one should consume it daily. Keeping its side effects aside, it will boost your energy level and will keep you refresh all the time. So, go and buy it now.