National Pistachio Day – Celebrating a Great Power Food for Seniors
This Friday, February 26th is National Pistachio Day and we’re here to celebrate! We know it sounds a little silly to have a whole day dedicated to one little nut, but the truth is, pistachios, along with other nuts, are an incredible addition to senior diets.
The Benefits of Nuts
There are many health benefits associated with the regular consumption of nuts including reducing the development of chronic diseases, promoting longevity and limiting inflammation. (US News) “Nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals that have a synergistic effect to reduce inflammation and its effects on the body,” says Ying Bao, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Join ameriCARE as we take a look at some of the surprising benefits of pistachios (and other nuts).
1 – Nuts Like Pistachios are Linked to Better Heart Health
“Large population studies show that people who regularly eat nuts, such as pistachios, have a lower risk of dying from heart disease or suffering a heart attack.” Says Dr. Mike Roussell for an article in The Fifty Plus Life. “The nuts provide 360-degree cardiovascular support in that they can promote improvements in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood vessel function.”
2 – They Improve Oxygen Intake
According to the Cleveland Clinic, pistachios have beneficial nutrients like vitamin B6, which help to promote blood flow by helping carry oxygen through the bloodstream to cells. Vitamin B6 also promotes immune and nervous system health! (Cleveland Clinic)
3 – Pistachios Make a Great Addition to a Weight-Conscious Diet
AARP explains, in their article Nuts Are Good For Us, So Why Aren’t We Eating More of Them?, that the lowest-calorie nuts are almonds at 160 calories per ounce, (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Higher calorie nuts, coming in at 200 an ounce also have lower amounts of protein and higher amounts of fat. These include macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) making pistachios a superior choice.
4 – They Are Great for Brain Health
Nuts like pistachios are rich in omega-3s. Pistachios, especially, contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a beneficial type of omega-3 fatty acid that can also be converted to DHA and EPA. (Nuts.com) DHA is especially important to brain health as it is a primary structural compound in the human brain. “DHA is the source of molecules that protect neurons, molecules that resolve inflammation and molecules that help repair free radical damage of tissues,” explains neuroscience research scientist Alfred Fonteh. “Therefore, a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids from nuts may replenish what is lost in the brain and enhance the ability of the brain to remove toxic peptides that would otherwise kill neurons,” he says. (US News)
5 – They Taste Great
At the end of the day, pistachios can have all the health benefits in the world, but if they don’t taste good, no one wants to eat them. Luckily for all of us, pistachios taste great and are great for us!