There is nip in the air in the morning and evening indicating the advent of winter in Delhi and most northern parts of India. It is also festival time and people greet each other exchanging gifts and sweets. Instead of offering sweets, these days people are opting for dry fruits which are healthy and can have longer shelf life. Today I am particularly writing about the power of Pistachios.
Pistachios are one of the nutritious nuts that contain protein, fats and minerals and contain nutrients that are required for complete health. They contain many important B-complex group of vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, Vitamin K and vitamin A., carbohydrates, dietary fibre and minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, zinc and copper. They also contain phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and potassium. These are trace elements but pistachios contain highest amount of phosphorus as compared to other nuts. They are good source of mono unsaturated fatty acids and anti-oxidants.
- The high content of copper helps in absorption of iron into the body from food sources and help combat conditions like anaemia.
- The mono-unsaturated-fatty acids and anti-oxidants in pistachios are known to decrease the LDL levels in blood that is known as bad cholesterol and increase the HDL level that is good cholesterol. This can show lower levels of blood sugar on fasting and better artery health.
- Pistachios control diabetes by the process called glycation. The sugars form inappropriate bonds with protein and make them unusable in diabetic patients. The anti-oxidants present in Pistachios help in reducing the process of glycation and thus help in controlling diabetes.
- They contain an acid l-arginine, which makes the lining of the arteries flexible and make it less likely to develop blood clots that cause heart attack.
- Vitamin E in pistachios prevent arteries from being clogged with plaque.
- The anti-oxidants in pistachios help in reducing the risk of contracting age related macular degeneration in the elderly.
- The saturated fats help in eliminating the dryness from the skin. The fat is used as base oil and is used in traditional massage or aroma therapy.
- The copper content in pistachios helps in the higher absorption of iron into the body from the food sources. This helps combat conditions like anaemia.
- Because of their relatively high levels of anti-oxidants and plant sterols in pistachios help keep the heart in good shape. Anti-oxidants in pistachios neutralize the free radicals that form in the body after cellular metabolism that can cause conditions like cancer and heart disease.
- Vitamin B 6 in pistachios help carry oxygen in the blood. Including them in regular diet increases the oxygen quantity in the blood and thus increases the haemoglobin count. The amino acids in B6 are helpful to the nervous system. They help in proper transmission of nerve impulses by passing messages via nerve fibres from one nerve to another.
So when you enjoy the winter sun on a bright sunny afternoon or watching your favourite late evening TV show cuddle up on a sofa don’t forget to keep a bowl of pistachios nearby.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna