Do you get bored with the same old nut day in and day out? No, not your co-worker who thinks Charlie Sheen's recent rants are credible and noteworthy. The daily consumption of almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc, are, though all heart healthy, higher in fat and can become boring. It's always good to change your diet to obtain the various nutrients and benefits from different foods. Enter the pistachio......
Who would expect a small, green nut to provide much in the way of nutrition? These little encapsulated, protein-rich nuts offer fiber, a slew of vitamins and minerals, help to reduce stress, and protect the heart from disease. Some of the benefits obtained when consuming pistachios are:
• They may lower your risk of developing blood clots
• They may lower your cholesterol
• They have a high amount of antioxidants
• They might reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a condition that causes blindness
• One-ounce of pistachios equals 49 heart-healthy nuts (more nuts per serving than any other nut).
• One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana (about 300 milligrams).
• Pistachios can be served as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans.
• There is more fiber in a serving of pistachios than in a nectarine or cup of prune juice.
• A serving of pistachios contains more than 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B-6, thiamin, copper and phosphorous.
• Pistachios also contain calcium, iron, folate, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
They are great for adding crunch to a salad, or for flavor and nutrition in your cereal or ice cream. Aside from already being lower in fat, the fact that you have to remove each kernel from its shell helps slow down the rate at which you consume these treats. By they time you have had a serving, the feeling of fullness may kick-in helping reduce the chance of over-consuming in one sitting.
World Pistachio Day (Feb. 26) may be gone, but these nuts can be enjoyed year round. Try tossing pistachios in some of your favorite dishes for a great, protein packed crunch in sweet and savory dishes. A few uncommon ideas would be to add pistachios to your spaghetti or any dish with rice. Mixed in vanilla ice cream is an awesome treat and I feel better than the green dye infused pistachio "flavored" ice creams on the market. Create a colorful meal by topping salad with pistachios, crumbled goat cheese, and cranberries. It's a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal people of all ages can enjoy.
Post a comment to offer some of your ideas, I always love to try new variations.