Hearts are a universal symbol of love, and pistachios contain an array of nutrients that may contribute to heart health. In addition to good-for-you unsaturated fats, pistachios also contain phenolic compounds and carotenoids, Additionally, studies suggest that diets that include pistachios tend to be linked to lower cholesterol.¹ Pistachios are high in thiamin, which contributes to the normal function of the heart; a high source of potassium, which contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure; a source of magnesium that helps with normal muscle function; and a source of iron that helps with normal oxygen transport around the body and helps form red blood cells. They are also high in mono-unsaturated fats and unsaturated fats including oleic acid and linoleic acid. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Pistachios are a high source of copper and manganese, and a source of selenium, zinc, riboflavin and vitamin E, which are antioxidant nutrients that help protect cells from oxidative stress.
Pistachios delight the senses with their unique flavour, colour and scent. It is said that in ancient Persia, lovers used to meet under pistachio trees and listen to the cracking of nuts in the moonlight, which was a sign they’d be happy.
By-bye love handles! A typical 28g serving of pistachios contains around 160 satisfying calories. Studies suggest that people who regularly eat nuts tend to have higher quality diets.1 Additionally, including nuts as part of a calorie restricted diet may help keep dieters on track and increase their weight loss.1 Despite their energy content (for example pistachios contain 2429kJ / 586 kcal per 100g), numerous studies indicate that frequent nut consumption is not associated with weight gain or increased obesity risk.¹
A healthy sex life is vital to self-esteem, overall health, and satisfying relationships.² Emerging research suggests that men who added pistachios to their diet for three weeks improved markers of erectile function at the end of the study.³ The small study of 17 men (between the ages of 38 and 59) with erectile dysfunction for at least 12 months saw improvements in measures of erectile function and sexual satisfaction after eating 100g of pistachios daily for three weeks. More comprehensive studies need to be conducted to draw conclusive results. However, we already know that pistachios are a source of zinc, which contributes to normal fertility and reproduction, and the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood; and contain antioxidant nutrients.
1. Bullo M et al. Nutrition Attributes and Health Effects of Pistachio Nuts. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S79-93. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003250.
2. Harvard Health Publications. Sexuality at Midlife and Beyond. A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report. June 2003. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/excerpted-from-sexuality-at-midlife-and-beyond.
3. Aldemir M,Okulu E, Neselioğlu S, Erel O, Kayigil Ő. Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res.2011. 23(1):32-8.