The Healthy Green Nut

July 03, 2012

Adding nuts to your diet and shopping routine adds a great source of nutrition and variety. Find out the delicious benefits of pistachios.

Adding nuts to your diet and shopping routine is something Supermarket Guru has been discussing for a while; from how to shop for and store nuts, to their many health benefits - we’ve got it covered. One nut that we haven’t given a lot of attention to is the pistachio. A study conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Women’s University found that adding pistachios to your diet (varied and balanced of course) may reduce the risk of certain cancers. The presence of gamma-tocopherol in pistachios, a form of vitamin E, is thought to be responsible for the benefits.

The researchers randomized the participants to either continue on their normal diets or to eat their normal diet plus two ounces (approximately 100 kernels) of pistachios per day. After one month, the pistachio eaters had significantly higher levels of gamma-tocopherol in their blood as compared with the non pistachio eaters.

Vitamin E is made up of a variety of fat-soluble vitamins, including gamma-tocopherol, that have many functions in the body. Obtaining vitamin E through foods like pistachios rather than through supplements, ensures that your body is not only getting the various vitamin E compounds but other vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds as well. Vitamin E rich foods act as antioxidants, helping to prevent damage from free radicals, protect skin from ultraviolet light, and allow for proper cell communication.

Pistachios are not only a good source of vitamin E, but are rich in B vitamins; specifically B6 which is great for the nervous system and helps to promote the proper breakdown of sugars and starches. Pistachios also contain iron, which enhances oxygen flow throughout the body as well as aiding in proper immune function. All nuts, including pistachios contain, monounsaturated fats which benefit the heart, and have recently been shown to suppress appetite. Pistachios are also rich in fiber which we all know helps to rid the body of wastes, metabolic by-products and prevents constipation. Pistachios contain more nutritional benefits than we can name so for more information visit Pistachio Health

A couple more fun facts:
Pistachios have been enjoyed for thousands of years and were originally imported from the Middle East in the 1880s. Today, California produces over 300 million pounds of pistachios, or approximately 98 percent of the domestic crop!

For more information on the University of Texas and Texas Woman’s University study visit the American Journal of Hematology/Oncology.