The Heart Health Benefits of Pistachios

The Heart Health Benefits of Pistachios

(ARA) – Pistachios are a “super food” for health and fitness-focused Americans, according to a new Penn State study that examined the effects of pistachios on multiple cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation.

A diet rich in pistachios packs a powerful nutrition punch, the study shows. Nutrition experts nationwide are now recommending pistachios as a heart-healthy snack or heart-smart ingredient to incorporate in favorite dishes.

Snacking on pistachios has proved once again to have a positive impact on improving cardiovascular health, helping decrease common CVD risk factors. CVD remains the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., with millions of Americans currently living with the disease.  

In recent years, other promising research has shown the beneficial effects of consuming pistachios as part of a daily diet. Eating pistachios may reduce your body’s response to the stresses of everyday life. Lifestyle changes, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can lessen biological reactions to stress.

“Pistachios contain many important nutrients that contribute to their positive effect on health. Every new study adds another piece to the puzzle of how eating pistachios may benefit heart health,” says Dr. Constance Geiger, nutrition expert for the Western Pistachio Association (WPA), a voluntary association representing pistachio growers throughout the nation.

In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration announced that eating most nuts, including pistachios, may help reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Since then, the U.S. pistachio industry has committed to learning more about the nutritional benefits of pistachios and their impact on other health issues affecting Americans today.

Consider the following facts about the nutritional benefits of pistachios:

* Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack.

* They are a great source of protein.

* Pistachios contain more than 10 percent of the Daily Value of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

* One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half of a large banana.

* The nuts primarily contain monounsaturated fat that has been linked with lowering cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.

* Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

For more information about the health benefits of pistachios and how to incorporate them into your diet, visit www.westernpistachio.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent