Pistachios, also commonly known as ‘pista’ are not nuts but seeds from the pistachio tree. Offering innumerable health benefits, they are used to garnish sweets and savouries and also to make healthy foods.
Pista are enclosed in a hard shell. The kernels are approximately half an inch in diameter and an inch long. To eat the pista, you shall have to first open the hard shell. The kernels range from yellow to shades of green.
Available as shelled, unshelled, roasted or salted, they are an excellent source of various nutrients, proteins, and antioxidants.
Nutritional facts of Pistachios
Pistachios are low in calories and are packed with antioxidants. They contain a good amount of zinc, manganese, protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin B6.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 ounce of pistachios, weighing 30 gm and around 49 kernels of unroasted nuts contain 159 calories, 5.72 gm of proteins, 12.85 gm of fats, 7.70 gm of carbohydrates, 3 gm fibre, 2.17 gm of sugars, 34 mg of magnesium, 291 mg of potassium, 139 mg of phosphorus, 0.4 mg of vitamin B6, and 0.2 mg of thiamine.
Potential Health Benefits of Pistachios…
Boosts eye health
Pistachios contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevents vision complaints such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Pistachios being rich in zinc prevents poor night vision.
The healthy fatty acids and Vitamin E present in pistachios boosts eye health and enhances vision.
Promotes healthy gut
1. The high amounts of fibre present in Pistachios help in strengthening the digestive system and prevents constipation.
2. The fats, proteins, and antioxidants contents of pista make it an excellent food for the gut.
Lowers blood sugar levels
1. Consumption of pistachio increases the levels of peptide 1, a hormone that regulates glucose levels in diabetes.
2. The fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds present in pistachios are all beneficial for control of blood sugar levels.
The bioactives and the monounsaturated fats found in pistachios have a role in combating inflammation.
Beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Pistachios contain numerous nutrients that are essential during pregnancy. Pistachios also benefit breastfeeding mothers due to their rich nutrient content.
Heart friendly, pistachios have amazing anti inflamatory properties; help improve immune system.
Other possible benefits…
Pista produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as promotes heart health, delays premature ageing, boosts the immune system, keeps the blood vessels supple, helpful for weight loss, reduces colon cancer risk, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, boosts cognitive function, and enhances sexual health.
How to use Pistachios in the Diet?
Pistachios are added to various dishes. They can be either consumed raw or in several food items. They can be incorporated in a variety of ways in your diet. Some of them are as follows…
- As a snack.
- As salad dressing.
- In granola and yogurt.
- Added to bread dough.
- As a base for sauces and dips.
- Mixed into Iranian chicken and rice dishes.
- Used as a flavor for pistachio ice cream and gelato.
- In desserts such as cakes, ice cream, pastries, and truffles.
- Used in Indian rice puddings, cookies, pilaffs, and pista barfi.
How to prepare a Moringa Oatmeal recipe using Pistachios?
In a medium saucepan, take 4 cups rolled oats, 5 cups almond milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 tsp maple syrup.
Stirring occasionally, cook the mixture over low to medium heat until some amount of the milk is absorbed and the oats have softened.
Turn the heat off and add 2-3 tsp of moringa powder, 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios, 1/3 cup of dried mulberries, ¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, and 2 tbsp of chia seeds. Stir it and serve Moringa Oatmeal.