What is pistachio?
Pistachio is an oilseed that belongs to the same family as other fruits, such as almonds, chestnuts and walnuts. It originates from Southeast Asia and its name refers not only to the fruit, but also to the tree, which can reach between 5 and 7 meters in height.
The characteristic green and purple coloration of pistachios is a result of the presence of lutein and anthocyanin in the food composition.
Benefits of Pistachio
It is rich in fibers
Acts on eye health
Source of important nutrients
Helps control blood glucose levels
It has a high concentration of antioxidants
Helps in weight control and promotes satiety.
It is high in fiber: Pistachio is also a very healthy food for the intestine due to its high concentration of fiber. A serving of approximately 30 grams provides 3 grams of dietary fiber, or approximately 12% of the daily recommendation.
Acts on eye health: the presence of lutein is important for vision and skin health. The retina has high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids involved in photoprotection of the eyes. And lutein can prevent UV damage to the skin.
Important Nutrient Source: Pistachio has a fatty acid profile beneficial to cardiovascular health, as well as protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K and numerous phytochemicals. Among the nuts, pistachios contain higher levels of potassium, y-tocopherol, phytosterols and carotenoids.
Helps control blood glucose levels: Adding pistachios to high glycemic index meals could decrease the post-meal glycemic response. Research shows that pistachio’s nutrient profile, including protein, healthy fats and fiber, can help with glycemic control.
It has a high concentration of antioxidants: studies suggest that pistachios help antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, glycemic control and endothelial function. When consumed in moderation, it also helps with weight control because of its effect on maintaining satiety.
It helps with weight control and promotes satiety: when pistachios are consumed, the levels of these antioxidants rise in the blood. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids (beta-carotene and lutein) help protect cells. They also help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, inflammation and its deposition in vessels causing cardiovascular disease, for example.
Recommended amount of pistachios
Each type of nut has a different mix of nutrients, so it’s best to consume a variety.
There is no recommendation for the consumption of pistachios. The suggestion would be the consumption of approximately 20 to 30 grams of nuts per day, which can be made in snacks, for example.
At the time of purchase, prefer pistachios with the skin, without signs of mold, humidity or damage caused by insects. Thus, the risk of acquiring an aflatoxin-contaminated pistachio is lessened. Aflatoxins are substances produced by fungi that contaminate food without changing the taste, and if consumed constantly over the long term, they can increase the risk of liver cancer.