American Pistachios

The power of pistachios

Several studies suggest including pistachios as a part of a well-balanced diet may help support healthy cholesterol levels in individuals whose cholesterol levels are already healthy.  A diet including pistachios also may help with weight management.

Including pistachios as a part of a well-balanced diet may reduce the risk of heart diseases in five ways:

* Lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol

* Increasing antioxidants in the blood and decreasing oxidized-LDL

* Decreasing small dense LDL and increasing phytosterol levels in the blood

* Providing beneficial anti-inflammatory properties

* Reducing acute stress by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and peripheral vascular responses

Pistachios are a one-stop shop, containing three grams of fiber, six grams of protein (pistachios are a complete protein), and 11 grams of heart-healthy fat per serving—about 49 nuts (160 calories).

When consumed in moderation, pistachios may support healthy blood glucose levels in individuals with already healthy levels.

Pistachios provide key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals to help keep our immune system strong and in top form, including:

* Protein—Pistachios contain six grams of protein per a one-ounce serving, which helps bolster the immune system and prevent recurrence of infections.

* B vitamins—These vitamins help optimize the function of the immune system.  Pistachios are a good source of B6 and B1, and have lesser amounts of folate, biotin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.

* Copper—Pistachios, an excellent source of copper, help combat copper deficiencies that could lead to low numbers of white blood cells that fight against infections.

* Zinc and Selenium—A powerful antioxidant, the zinc in pistachios plays a role in the healing and recovering infections.  The selenium found in pistachios, provides an essential component of several vital metabolic pathways that supports the antioxidant defense and immune systems.

* Carotenoids and Polyphenols—Pistachios, a phytonutrient powerhouse, provides the carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene that helps protect cells from oxidative stress.  They help speed recovery by limiting inflammation/tissue damage associated with immune response.

* Gamma-tocopherol—A major form of vitamin E in foods, the gamma-tocopherol found in pistachios accelerates recovery by limiting inflammation and tissue damage associated with immune responses.

* Fiber and Prebiotic—Research shows that pistachios, an excellent source of dietary fiber, also possess prebiotic properties which support probiotic microorganisms in the digestive tract, protecting the body from infection and regulating the immune system.