According to a new study, a diet containing pistachios helps to improve heart health. This study found that pistachios considerably lowers total and LDL-cholesterol levels, in addition to triglycerides. Also, the study suggests that regular servings of the nuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Even if, previous study have also shown that natural unsalted pistachio nuts can be used as a natural health remedy to lower cholesterol. Recent research sheds more light on how they work to lower cholesterol level in the body.
Pistachios are nutrient-rich snack with more than 30 different vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients in-shell. Also, they provide more potassium and phytosterols than any other nut. They are the only nut that contains the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Also, they contain one of the highest antioxidant capacities than other nuts.
The nuts contain lot of antioxidants that protect cells from damage by harmful chemicals, which are known as ‘free radicals’. The study was conducted in 600 subjects of seven counties with 25 clinical trials. It is the most comprehensive study of its type and more authenticates the proof that nuts can help to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. The research that published in the Journal of Nutrition follows previous research by the same team. It is discovered by previous research that pistachios help to destroy bad cholesterol that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
10 men and 18 women are recruited to eat the nuts by Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, ND, of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, and colleagues. All of them are healthy and nonsmokers. Study found that eating pistachios nuts increases antioxidant levels in adults with high cholesterol. Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition said in a news release, “Our previous study showed the benefits of pistachios in lowering lipids and liproproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease. This new study shows an additional effect of pistachios, so now there are multiple health benefits of eating pistachios.”
The Pistachio nuts are also high in antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol in comparison to other nuts. All of these antioxidants help the people to prevent oxidation of LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” which migrates into the blood vessel walls and cause inflammation. Beta-carotene is the forerunner to vitamin A and Gamma-tocopherol is a form of vitamin E. Lutein is present in dark green leafy vegetables and it is important for vision properties and skin health.
A restricted feeding experiment was carried out over several weeks. The experiment discovered that higher blood levels of beta-carotene, lutein and gamma-tocopherol are produced by diets with pistachios than the diet without pistachios. The diets which rich in pistachio also produced lower oxidized concentrations of LDL cholesterol. It was noted by Kris-Etherton that “currently, studies on antioxidants do not show major benefits. However, this study suggests that a heart-healthy diet including pistachios contributes to a decrease in serum oxidized-LDL levels, in part through cholesterol lowering, and also due to an added benefit of the antioxidants in the pistachios.”
According to data which is presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, a diet that incorporates a daily dose of pistachios may help to decrease the risk of lung and other cancers. Vitamin E, a natural supplement which is found in pistachios may help to reduce the risk of lung cancer. A handful of pistachios every day in one’s diet may decrease the risk of cancer.
A form of vitamin E Gamma-tocopherol is also found in the nut and it has also been studied for its effects of preventing prostate cancer. 36 participants are observed by the researchers, providing half of the patients’ two ounces of pistachios a day, and the other half to their normal diets. It was found by scientists that those people who were on the pistachio diet had their energy levels attuned through the gamma-tocopherol, leading to positive cholesterol findings.
Ladia Hernandez, a research dietitian said, “Pistachios are one of those ‘good-for-you’ nuts, and 2 ounces per day could be incorporated into dietary strategies designed to reduce the risk of lung cancer without significant changes in body mass index.”