Pistachios: protectors of the heart, brain and eyes
The composition of the pistachio justifies the beneficial effects on different organs and body systems. Nuts such as pistachios are a source of fats, antioxidants and healthy proteins in the framework of the Mediterranean diet.
Taking a handful of pistachios each day, preferably as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, can reduce the risk of major cardiovascular complications , such as myocardial infarction, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes, by up to 30%.
PISTACHIOS STRENGTHEN THE HEART
Regular consumption of these nuts reduces blood pressure, by facilitating the synthesis of nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator; It facilitates endothelial function and reduces arterial stiffness, as well as harmful cholesterol, LDL and the incidence of diabetes, given its low glycemic index.
It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestinal microbiota thanks to its high fiber content, which when fermented is converted into short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, with multiple beneficial effects.
IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION
On the other hand, a study from the University of Loma Linda (United States), which measured brain waves after eating walnuts and pistachios, showed that the latter generated the highest gamma wave response, essential to improve cognitive processing, retain information and learn.
In this sense, this dried fruit can be a healthy snack while promoting concentration during working hours.
PISTACHIO: A FOOD “DESIGNED” FOR THE EYES
Ramon Estruch highlights that, “compared to other nuts, pistachios have a lower amount of fat, along with a high proportion of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, vitamins E and K, phytosterols and certain carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, of great importance in the prevention of eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, which is the main cause of blindness in the elderly. “
PISTACHIO IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The study of Prevention with Mediterranean Diet, Predimed, directed by Ramon Estruch, is a multicenter trial that was launched between 2002-2003 at Carlos III University, with public funding, and which had a follow-up of five years, with the objective of verifying if the Mediterranean diet could prevent the development of severe cardiovascular diseases in people with predisposition.
A total of 7,447 people, 57% women, were randomly assigned one of these three diets: Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil; Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or a control diet to reduce fat.
Participants in the study did not have cardiovascular disease at baseline but did have type 2 diabetes mellitus and some hypertension, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol, overweight or obesity, or a family history of coronary heart disease.
After five years of follow-up, the study concluded that among people with high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts reduces the incidence of serious cardiovascular events by 30%.
PREVENTS CANCER, NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES AND DIABETES
Estruch states that “the Mediterranean diet is currently considered one of the healthiest, both by the World Health Organization and by most scientific societies.” “This healthy eating pattern is based on a high consumption of extra virgin olive oil, fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, whole grains and nuts (pistachios, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts),” he describes.
This expert also points out that recent studies have shown that following the Mediterranean Diet lengthens life and reduces the incidence of diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and different types of cancer.