Yes pistachios are Paleo!
Pistachio is a seed within a fleshy fruit of a small pistachio tree. It is native to Central and Middle East Asia. The pistachio nut is a culinary nut with a hard, beige shell. Its seed has a mauvish skin with a light green flesh. Pistachios have nutty, sweet taste and a fruity aroma.
Like all other nuts, pistachios are high in fat and carbohydrates. Pistachios are moderately high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats. But t they are also loaded with B vitamins specifically B1 and B6. They contain minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, iron and calcium.
The kernels of pistachio are often eaten whole. It can be fresh, roasted and salted. They can also be found in shelled or unshelled forms.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Pistachios, although high in polyunsaturated fats, also have a number of health benefits:
- Together with walnuts, almonds and cashews, pistachios have a very good nutritional profile and are good sources of protein, fats and minerals
- Among all other nuts, pistachios are low in phytic acid that binds with minerals.
- Studies show that pistachio is a source of a potent prebiotic fiber that is beneficial on healthy gut flora
- Another study showed that inclusion of pistachios in a diet have can help in improving metabolic syndrome markers
- L-arginine is present in pistachios. It is responsible for making the linings of the arteries more flexible lowering the risk of developing blood clots and heart attack.
- Fiber in pistachios increases satiety which is beneficial to people who are maintaining or losing weight.
- Pistachios have good amounts of monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid that may help in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients like carotenes, vitamin E and polyphenols are present in pistachios too. They are helpful in protecting the body from harmful free radicals and may lower the risk of diseases, infections and even cancer.
- Vitamin B6 is promotes healthy and strong immune system by fighting infections and boosting immune functions. Pistachio is a good source of it.
- Pistachios do not contain sodium. This is good for people who are already suffering from hypertension.
- The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in pistachios are favorable in eye health, improving vision. These antioxidants fight the damage from free radicals and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Because pistachio is a nut and allergens are most common in nuts, people who already have allergic to nuts might limit or avoid pistachio consumption. Reaction may range from skin itching to difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
What Experts Say About Pistachios… Is It Paleo?
“Pistachios are another special package of fiber and polyphenols with potent prebiotic power. Other nuts like almonds aren’t too shabby, but pistachios beat them soundly in a head-to-head matchup, producing a biome richer in butyrate-secreting bacteria. And since they usually come in shells, overconsumption is hard if you’re worried about self-control.” – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Pistachios and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Going nuts: All the bolts
Mark’s Daily Apple. The Definitive Guide to Nuts
Mark’s Daily Apple. Nuts and Phytic Acid: Should You Be Concerned?
Chris Kresser. Another reason you shouldn’t go nuts on nuts
Paleo Leap. Are Nuts and seeds Healthy?
Paleo Porn. Are Pistachios Paleo?
Original eating. Pistachios
Tim Runs on Paleo. Oh Nuts! I’ve Been Eating Nuts
EurekAlert! Pistachio consumption may promote a beneficial gut environment
NCBI. A moderate-fat diet containing pistachios improves emerging markers of cardiometabolic syndrome in healthy adults with elevated LDL levels.
Other Names for Pistachio
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photo credit: pistachios — June 5