Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pistachios are good for Women's health

We've already established that pistachios are the perfect party snack – for adults and children both! (not to mention half your work being done already is an added boon!).

The great thing about Pistas, however, is that unlike a lot of other snacks that could benefit the family but be detrimental to us as women, Pistas are also good for us women.

I found this out from experience this Diwali. Having lost quite a lot of weight recently I was pretty worried about how I would get through Diwali. God knows that the festive season is fraught with danger for anyone controlling their diet, what with all the parties, festive food, running around, maids not turning up and all. It is easy to just grab whatever comes your way when you are starving. But I found a way around it. I had bowls of Pistas scattered all over the house and reached for them first. I even took to tucking some into my purse, to nibble on when there were no healthy options on offer. Those worked beautifully as a snack when we got caught in traffic en route to somewhere. I didn't arrive starved enough to scarf down the first thing that came my way!

They are an excellent source of dietary fiber (which means you will feel full faster). Get this, a single snack of pistachios can provide 3 grams of dietary fibre, which is about 12% of the recommended daily value and equivalent to the same amount as in a serving of oatmeal!

Pistachios are also the richest source of potassium of all the nut family. The potassium content of one ounce of pistachios is equal to that of one orange, a whopping 310 mg! (Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is essential for your good health. Sufficient intake helps protect you against heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. It helps keep your muscles strong (including the most important muscle, your heart), helps control blood pressure and regulate the water balance in your cells, keeps nerve impulses sharp, releases energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism and works to eliminate irritability, confusion and stress.

Pistachios are rich in phosphorus, which is necessary for hormone production and balance to help the body use B vitamins. Low phosphorus can also cause glucose intolerance, so eating pistachios may help reduce the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes. Pistachios also provide 135 mg of calcium per 1-cup serving, which makes it a viable source for Calcium (in comparison, cooked chawli leaves provide 138 mg and edamame or boiled green soybeans provide 131 mg). Besides these, pistachios are packed copper, phosphorus, over 30 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Add to that the fact that they are also rich in plant sterols or phytosterols which lower the absorption of dietary cholesterol from other foods and you realize that you may be able to feast without fasting!

And here's the best bit for last. Pistachios are not called the Skinny nuts in vain, an appetite suppressing compound called oleoylethanolamide was recently discovered in monounsaturated FAT and 55% of the fat in pistachios is monounsaturated fat!

Wedding season is round the corner and this year will be extra special because my little sister gets married this December! I want to be extra careful and I have this to say, from the heart... Ladies if you intend to look fabulous outfit after outfit (and ensure that your lady friends do), add pistachios into your menu! Because it is not just about looking good, it is also about us being the cornerstone of our families. Our health will mean we have healthy happy families.

Plus they're great for a midnight gossip! Cracking pistachio shells transforms from a tedious task to one of shared activity which punctuates conversation. Whether you’re the bride, the mother or sister of the bride, the hostess or the guest, the best friend or roommate, the girlfriend, expecting mother, exhausted mother, the sister, the working girl, make a little room for pistachios in your life. With its health benefits, versatility and good looks, Pistachios just have too much going for themselves to ignore! Like us!

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