Food – The Yummy Pistachio

Once you begin munching on pistachio nuts it is very hard to stop. They taste so good and also they are so good for you.

“While most of the positive research on nuts has not distinguished among the various types, some research has. One study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, specifically investigated pistachio nuts and concluded that eating pistachio nuts instead of other dietary fat calories improved lipid profiles and decreased coronary risk. A second study, published recently in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, indicated that the consumption of pistachio nuts decreased oxidative stress and improved both total cholesterol and HDL (“good”) cholesterol in healthy volunteers. (There was a trend toward reducing triglycerides and LDL [“bad”] cholesterol, but this didn’t reach statistical significance.) The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, reported to be one of the most specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease, fell by 21 percent in the pistachio-eating group.

“If pistachio nuts had a public-relations agent, she would have been mighty happy with the results of a recent study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. The study was the most comprehensive analysis of nut and seed varieties to date—it examined twenty-seven different products. Though pistachio nuts did not have the highest phytosterol content of all (that distinction went to sesame seeds and wheat germ), they did have the highest phytosterol content of any product generally considered a snack food (270 mg per 100 g). ‘Given the many possible mechanisms of action of phytosterols on cholesterol metabolism, it is important to have quantitative estimates of total phytosterol content,’ reported the team of researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The main phytosterol identified in all the nut and seed samples as beta-sitosterol, which is known not only for lowering cholesterol but also the supporting of prostate health.

“Unsalted pistachios have a very high potassium-to-sodium ratio, which helps normalize blood pressure and maintain water balance in the body. Pistachio nuts also contain the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, which boosts the immune system. (Best of all, the vitamin E in pistachio nuts is mostly the gamma-tocopherol form found in most supplements.) Pistachios also contain magnesium and phosphorus and trace amounts of other minerals and vitamins, as well as phytosterols. Extracts from the pistachio kernel have shown significant antiviral activity.

“And they’re so delicious.

“Note: Some pistachio growers and importers dye the nut red, which exposes the kernels to chemical dyes. You’re better off with the plain kind.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., 156, 157.


Pistachio Sesame Seed Balls
½ cup almond butter ½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup pistachios 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
6 medjool dates, pitted
Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until the pistachios are chopped finely and everything is well blended. Take out a spoonful at a time, squeeze in the palm of your hand a couple of times to make the mixture tight and compact, and then roll into a ball shape. Put in the refrigerator for approximately 15–30 minutes to firm. Makes 14–16 small balls. These balls are quick and healthy! Enjoy!