The health benefits of pistachios were already known some 1700 years ago before Christ. They were considered some of the best products of the land, together with honey and almonds, according to the words of the Patriarch Jacob, who was living in Palestine. Since then, they have spread throughout the Mediterranean and recently to North America.
Pistachio Scientific Facts
- Scientific name: Pistacia vera L.
- Other names: Pistachio nut, Pistache.
- French: Pistache.
- Spanish: Pistacho.
- German: Pistazie.
- Description: The seed of the pistachio tree, a small evergreen tree of the botanical family Anacardiaceae.
- Environment: From Syria and the Near East, the pistachio was cultivated centuries before Christ. It extended throughout the Roman Empire from the first century, produced primarily in Sicily and North Africa. It arrived in America in the twentieth century and has acclimated to warmer North American states such as California, Texas, and New Mexico.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
The shape and composition of the pistachio are similar to that of the pine nut but with more proteins and fewer fats. Its carbohydrate content is also considerable. Its provitamin A and vitamin C content are relatively poor. It is rich in minerals, supplying potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
But pistachios stand out thanks to their high iron content, which equals or exceeds lentils. They comprise significant trace elements such as copper that, according to recent studies, facilitate iron absorption and assimilation. The iron/copper blend produces an anti-anemic effect far superior to any pharmaceutical preparation based solely on iron.
The pistachio’s anti-anemic effect is potentiated when they are eaten with fresh, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. It is well known that vitamin C considerably improves the absorption of iron in the intestine. Those experiencing iron deficiency anemia can profit from regular pistachio use.
How to Prepare and use Pistachio
- Toasted – Pistachios are usually eaten lightly toasted. Excess salt must be avoided.
- Pistachios are very much appreciated in preparing desserts and ice cream because of their exquisite flavor.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 135. Print. [health benefits of pistachios]