Pistachios: The Many Benefits of This Supernut and Some Recipes To Brew Up
Pistachios, it wouldn't be wrong to hail these little shelled dry fruits as supernuts. Munched onto individually as well as used in Indian cuisine as a garnish to some of the fanciest treats such as biryani or kheer among other desserts, pistachios are an age-old favourite.
Commonly called pista, these nuts are not simply a crunchy and delicious snack or garnish, but are also a powerhouse of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, healthy bacteria, anti-oxidants as well as copper and zinc!
Be it Punjabi, Mughlai or South Indian, pistachios are part of many traditional Indian recipes; but interestingly, these are not even cultivated in India, and never have been.
India has always imported its pista, majorly from Iran, where the pistachio industry dates back thousands of years, and also from the United States, where pistachio farming started in the 1930s with Persian seeds!
Fast forward to the new millennium, Iranian pista has a great demand in the Indian market, and the American variety is also carving its niche here, thanks to its fine quality with a promise of a fine, robust and healthy nut.
Health Benefits Of Pistachios
Pistachios For Protein
“It is time we become more aware about this amazing nut and make American-grown pistachios a part of our daily diet. Why? Because pistachios are a complete protein and people will be shocked to know that one serving of these nuts i.e. 49 pistachios have the same amount of protein as an egg. This is great news for vegetarians and those looking for plant-based protein sources. Pistachios also have one of the lowest calorific value of all commonly consumed nuts, making them great for daily consumption," says Luke Coutinho, Lifestyle Ambassador of American Pistachio Growers, a non-profit trade association representing over 800 grower members in the U.S.
With one serving or 49 pistachios having as much as six grams of protein, pistachios also make for a great pre and post workout snack. Loaded mostly with healthy fats i.e. mono and poly unsaturated fats, they are also good for heart health. Additionally, one serving of pistachios has only 160 calories and over 10 per cent of the daily fibre requirement. On the other hand, a serving of almonds that consists of 23 of the brown nuts has 14 grams of fat, six grams of protein and four grams of fibre per serving.
Low protein diets can lead to low immunity and recurrence of infections, and pistachios can lend the necessary in-take of daily protein, helping strengthen the immune system by maintaining a healthy immune cell count in the body.
It is these values of the pista that make it a great snack, and also a great immunity booster.
“Adding nutritious foods like pistachios to the diet can help give your body more vital vitamins and minerals to help your immune system function at its best. A healthy immune system aids in the healing process and shortens recovery time,”says Dr Mike Roussell, a nutritionist based in the USA.
"Pistachios are also a convenient snack that are great to have after a workout or whenever one needs a nutritious pick-me-up to hold over until the next meal," adds Dr Roussell.
Pistachios For Immunity
It is easy for one to miss out on the necessary daily intake of vitamins and other nutrients in the diet. Not everyone is consuming calculated portions or consulting a dietician for their weekly or monthly meals. In such cases, pistachios, the supernut, can come to one's rescue.
Pistachios contain numerous nutrients, which can support the day-to-day functioning of the immune system, keeping it steady to fight any infections.
Other than a whole lot of protein, pistachios also include a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6, vitamin B1, iron, selenium, folate, polyphenols, and carotenoids.
As per experts, adequate vitamin B6, thiamin and folic acid are vital for efficient working of the immune system, especially among the elderly. A deficiency of vitamin B deficiency can alter antibody production and thus the ability of immune cells to fight any infection.
Pistachios are also a good source of dietary fibre, and research shows that they consist of prebiotic properties that help in increasing beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut. These probiotic microorganisms in the digestive system protect the body from infections and regulate the mucosal immune system or the intestinal health.
An unhealthy gut affects the body's defense systems, making prebiotics vital for a good digestive system which equals good overall health.
These crunchy nuts also consist of carotenoids and polyphenols that are phytonutrients also known to modulate the immune response and the inflammatory process.
Also, these nuts are naturally low on sugar and salt, and can be a great add on to any diet and for people across age groups.
But why just snack on this nut, when it can be added into a delicious, warm of beverage for a hug of health and taste?
Pistachio Recipes To Brew
Starbucks, in its winter menu of 2021, introduced to its customers a nutty drink to sip and savour. Pistachio Latte that was first brewed at the Chicago Roastery “features espresso shots paired with pistachio-infused milk, warmed with a cozy hint of orange zest and finished with a sprinkle of salty-sweet pistachio topping," says the company website. The coffee giant also put on table Iced Pistachio Latte to suit preferences.
But if you're a chai person and would instead snuggle up with a pista flavoured chai, just steep some finely chopped pistachios in a pot of water, dunk in a bag of tea, and enjoy some delicate flavours. You can also choose to add milk, if you prefer; just remember to steep it well.
For summers, there is also the option to brew up a chilled glass of lassi. Just blend in some yogurt, ice, ground piatchios, honey, and you have yourself some cool green goodness.
A detox drink can also be prepared using pistachios. Just blend in a handful of these nuts with cucumber, apple, a pinch of ginger, and give yourself a kick of good health.
Shop For The Best Pistachios Online
Healthy Feast California Pistachios, Roasted and Salted Pista 1kg (250gm x 4) ₹ 1,299 ₹ 2,180 (40% off) Buy on Amazon
Rostaa Pistachio (Pista) Value Pack, 750g (Iranian) (Gluten Free, Non-GMO & Vegan) ₹ 1,070 ₹ 1,280 (16% off) Buy on Amazon
Nutraj California Roasted Pistachios (2 x 250g) ₹ 680 ₹ 998 (32% off) Buy on Amazon
Happilo Premium Californian Roasted and Salted Pistachios, 200g ₹ 291 ₹ 365 (20% off) Buy on Amazon
Healthy Feast California Pistachios, Roasted and Salted Pista 1kg (250gm x 4)₹ 1,299₹ 2,180 (40% off)
Rostaa Pistachio (Pista) Value Pack, 750g (Iranian) (Gluten Free, Non-GMO & Vegan)₹ 1,070₹ 1,280 (16% off)
Nutraj California Roasted Pistachios (2 x 250g)₹ 680₹ 998 (32% off)
Happilo Premium Californian Roasted and Salted Pistachios, 200g₹ 291₹ 365 (20% off)
Frequently Asked Questions About Pistachios
How many pistachios you should eat in a day?
A serving of pistachios consists of 49 nuts, which can be consumed in a day.
What are some alternate sources of protein for vegetarians?
Pistachios are considered a complete protein, so much so they are recommended for athletes or those indulging in extreme workouts. A serving of pistachios before a workout can lend instant energy, without making one feel heavy or bloated.
Which are some nuts that can help with weight loss?
Pistachios have a low calorific count, and can thus be consumed by those on a diet. A serving of pistachios or 49 nuts has as much fat content as a serving of almonds which equals 23 nuts.
What is the shelf life of pistachios?
Roasted pistachios can easily last for a year at an ambient temperature and in dry conditions.
What is more healthy- almonds, cashews or pistachios?
While all nuts are nutritious and healthy, you can choose your pick on the basis of your health and fitness goals. Among almonds, cashews and pistachios, almonds have the highest calorific count.
Pistachios: The Many Benefits of This Supernut and Some Recipes To Brew Up
|Product||Price in India|
|Rostaa Pistachio (Pista) Value Pack, 750g (Iranian) (Gluten Free, Non-GMO & Vegan)||₹ 1,070|
|Nutraj California Roasted Pistachios (2 x 250g)||₹ 680|
|Happilo Premium Californian Roasted and Salted Pistachios, 200g||₹ 291|
|Healthy Feast California Pistachios, Roasted and Salted Pista 1kg (250gm x 4)||₹ 1,299|
Surbhi has extensively written reports and features for print and digital mediums, and produced videos on a wide range of subjects. Business, ecology, travel, cuisine, art and culture are some beats that she has covered. Surbhi has also been a radio presenter. She likes to keep an eye on world news, and indulge in performing arts from around the globe.