Pistachio or Pistacia vera is a tree from the familyAnacardiaceae, which is native to Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Syria andAfghanistan. English speaking parts of the world discovered this small tree in1920s, and start growing them commercially in 1970s, while other countries growpistachios decades before that time.
Iran and United States produce more pistachios than anyother country of the world. The US (more specifically California) produces morethan 140.000 tons of this fruit, but Iran leads with the production of 190.000tons of pistachios per year. More than 60% of produced pistachios are exportedto Canada, Europe and Japan.
Pistachios and many other nuts are known as high energyproducts. In only 100g of pistachios there is about 580 calories (or 2390 kJ). However,these nuts also contain plenty of essential vitamins, minerals and many othernutrients. They are rich in manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium andmagnesium. All these minerals will provide healthy bones, as well as healthy heartand blood pressure.
Dietary fibers are also found in these nuts. They contain 3gof these fibers per one serving of pistachios, which is 12% of the recommendeddaily intake of dietary fibers. According to the source, this fact placespistachio in line with the oatmeal by the amount of dietary fibers.
Monosaturated fats are also ingredients of pistachios, andthere is 7g in one serving. These are good fats, but pistachios contain tracesof saturated fats as well (bad fats). Luckily, there are no cholesterol ortrance fats present.
These nuts contain vitamin B6 and E, helping the immunesystem fight against various infections. Vitamin E is also powerful antioxidant,protecting your body and cells from the damage of free radicals. With oneserving of pistachios you will take about 23g of gamma tocopherol (vitamin E),which will definitely provide you healthy skin and protect mucus membranes inyour body.
Zeaxantin and lutein are also found in pistachios. These arealso great antioxidants, and what’s even more important there is no other food containingsuch high amounts of these substances than pistachios. Before mentionedsubstances are found to help people with age related eye problems like macular degeneration.Lutein and zeaxantin can reduce this problem in elderly and prevent potential blindnessit may cause.
Is Pistachio Useful
Pistachios can be used as snacks, and as such they are knownto be very healthy. Monosaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid are able toprevent many heart problems and maintain healthy lipids in the blood. Phytosterolsfrom pistachios can control cholesterol, some other substance, known asoleylethanolamide is used as efficient appetite suppressant. Because of that itcan be used by people wanting to lose some weight.
There are more antioxidants in pistachios than in praisedgreen tea, and these are claimed to prevent many chronic diseases, infectionsand even cancer.