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Pistachio nutrition facts
Wonderfully delicious pistachio nuts have long been cherished as the symbol of wellness and robust health since ancient times. The kernels are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients essential for the optimum health.
Pistachio is a tree nut obtained from fruits belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, of the genus: Pistacia. The plant is a medium-sized, broad, bushy, deciduous tree, believed to have originated in the mountain ranges of West-Asia and Turkey region (Anatolia). Male and female trees (dioecious) grow separately. Several cultivars exist; however, the most popular variety grown for the commercial purposes is Kerman cultivar which is one of the tastiest and best quality pistachios coming from the Kerman region of Iran.
Health benefits of Pistachios
Pistachios are delicious tree nuts recognized for their wholesome nutritional properties. Together with walnutss, almonds, and cashew, they offer good sources of protein, fats, and minerals to inhabitants living around otherwise dry and arid regions of Central, West and South Asia.
Pistachios are a rich source of energy; 100 g of kernels carry 557 calories. Additionally, they compose proper amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and antioxidants. Regular consumption of pistachios in the diet may help lowering total as well as bad LDL-cholesterol and increase good HDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is rich in dietary fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants can help reduce coronary artery disease and stroke risk by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Pista kernels are rich source of many antioxidant phytochemical substances such as carotenes, vitamin-E, and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds. Research studies suggest that these compounds may help remove toxic free-radicals from the human body, and thus, protect it from diseases, cancers, and infections.
Pistachios are excellent sources of vitamin-E; especially rich in γ-tocopherol; compose about 23 g per100 g. vitamin-E is a potent lipid-soluble antioxidant essential for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin. Also, vitamin-E works as scavengers of harmful free-oxygen radicals.
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
They are the storehouse of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 100 g nuts provide 144% of daily recommended levels of copper. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in neurotransmission, metabolism, as well as red blood cell (RBC) production.
Pistachio oil extracted from kernels is one of the healthiest cooking oils. It has a pleasant nutty aroma and possesses excellent emollient properties. It helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Besides been used in the kitchen, it is also employed as “carrier or base oil” in tradition.