Pistachio Nuts For Healthy Heart Benefits

Snack on Wholesome Healthy Pistachios for Lowering the Cholesterol.

Pistachios are a whole food snack that has beneficial health effects; add a handful or two to your lunch box every day.

Pistachio nuts are a healthy fast food snack and researcher Sarah Gebauer says that adding pistachios to your daily diet can significantly reduce cholesterol and help prevent the narrowing of the arteries.

These nuts come from the oldest flowering nut tree and have been eaten for over 9,000 years, pistachios are one of only two nuts that are mentioned in the Bible, in Genesis 43:11. They were to be given as part of a present of rare and expensive foods. According to legend, the Queen of Sheba liked pistachios so much that she demanded the whole of the pistachio harvest to be kept for her alone!

Pistachios are also known by the name green almonds. Other names are given to the pistachio such as the “smiling nut” in Iran and the “happy nut” in China.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) says that pistachios contain more anti-oxidants than green tea. Pistachios are packed with vitamins, fibre and nutrients, and just adding a handful or two of pistachios to your daily diet can make a big difference in helping reduce the risk of heart disease, say the researchers. They do of course contain fat but almost 90% is the “good” unsaturated fat, and they are also a source of protein.

Researcher Sarah Gebauer from Pennsylvania State University in her research paper “The Cardiovascular Health Benfits of Pistachios in June 2007 said “Pistachio amounts of 1.5 ounces and 3 ounces daily– one to two handfuls- reduce risk for cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing LDL cholesterol.”

A test in which volunteers ate three varying amounts of pistachio nuts a day for one month showed a drop in their blood cholesterol by a total of 8.4 per cent. and the levels of LDL low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol fell by 11.6 per cent.

At the start of the tests the participants ate an average American diet with around 35 per cent total fat and 11 per cent saturated fat for two weeks. Then all the volunteers split into three groups and were put on a cholesterol lowering diet, low-fat diet. One group had no pistachios added, the next group had 1.5 ounces of pistachios a day and the third group had 3 ounces of pistachios a day.

As an old folk remedy pistachio nuts were thought to have been a cure for toothache and sclerosis of the liver; they might not have cured those ailments but they sure are good for us.

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