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I love pistachios. As a young girl, I'd watch my dad eat the red-dyed ones by the handful and soon I joined in on the fun.
Now, as an Integrative Health and Nutrition Specialist, I often recommend these compact little nuts to my clients for the many health benefits. Here's why:
Pistachios are rich in potassium (helps regulate the body's fluid balance), phosphorus (helps build bones and teeth) and magnesium (important element in the conversion of the body's energy), and are also a good source of vitamin B6 (aids protein metabolism and absorption) and thiamine (enhances energy and promotes normal appetite).
Pistachios, which are also a very good source of protein, have a relatively low calorie value when compared to other nuts, and are cholesterol free, high in fiber and low in saturated fat.
Like most other nuts, pistachios can also cut heart disease risk. The high monounsaturated fat content may actually lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Pistachios also contain antioxidants in the form of phytochemicals. These plant nutrients have been associated with a decreased risk for developing chronic diseases, like cancer.
Try to limit your consumption to about 30 nuts (18 g) up to four times a week. To avoid adding excess weight, substitute other high fat foods with pistachios, rather than just add them on to your diet. They taste delicious sprinkled on yogurt or cereal, in cream cheese for sandwiches or crackers; and I enjoy chopping them up and adding them to bread, pancake or waffle mixes (for a healthy, high-fiber and protein secret weapon!).
Per 100 g of pistachios:
Total Fat (good fat): 46g
Protein: 21 g
Vit. B6: 1.7 mg
Potassium: 1033 mg