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This One Simple Food Can Improve Heart Health for Diabetics
The benefits of this one food can help you to manage your weight, improve your digestion, lower high blood pressure, and protect you from diabetes. What is this magic food? Pistachios. That’s right, pistachios. This simple, tasty nut has tons of minerals, vitamins, protein, and fats that are super healthy!
These are perhaps the oldest nuts eaten around the world. These nuts are native to Asia, especially in Iraq and Iran. There has been archaeological digs that can date pistachio use and human consumption that goes back as far as 6,000 BC. Pistachios are not being produced in many countries around the world including Australia, China, and the US. The ideal way to buy and consume pistachios is to eat them raw and unsalted, in their most natural form.
Those with Type 2 diabetes could vastly improve their bodies’ response to stress by doing nothing more than eating two servings of pistachios every day. For those adults who have diabetes, eating pistachios lowered the vascular constriction during stress. Even though nuts tend to be high in fat, these are good fats that also come with potassium, antioxidants, and fiber. Nuts, especially pistachios, should be considered an important component of a heart healthy diet. Read also about benefits of walnuts.
A recent study conducted on those with well controlled Type 2 diabetes and no other health problems were told to eat only the meals provided by the researchers for 6 weeks. One group ate a typical heart healthy diet with only 27 percent of their calories coming from fat. The other group ate the same diet but got 20 percent of its calories from 3 ounces of pistachio nuts daily.
Researchers found that the subjects who ate the pistachio diet showed less signs of stress (vascular constriction) than those on the controlled diet without pistachios. This means that after eating pistachios for two weeks, blood vessels remained more open, and relaxed, during stress tests.
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It’s good to note that pistachios contain a lower overall calorie content of only 160 calories per ounce. This is much lower than other nuts such as walnuts, cashews, or almonds, as well as dried fruit. They also contain more protein than any other nut while having the lowest amount of fat.
SEE ALSO: 21 Foods For Healthy Heart Infographic
Besides being heart healthy, pistachios offer a great deal of other health benefits including:
- Helps to control weight – Pistachios should be the first choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Pistachios are low in calories, high in protein, and low in saturated fat.
- Supports eye health – Pistachios have powerful antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, and lutein, which are super helpful in reducing the risk of developing age related eye disease (macular degeneration) as we grow older.
- Keeps skin healthy – Pistachios virtually eliminate dry skin from the inside out. It’s the saturated fat in these nuts that keep your skin soft and supple.
- Aphrodisiac compounds – The next time you want to add a little zest to your love life, eat some pistachios. Studies done in 2011 show that men who ate as little as 100 grams of pistachios daily for three weeks has as much as a 50 percent improvement in their erectile function.
- Great source of fiber – Pistachios are a terrific source of fiber, which helps improve digestion as well as elimination. Just one ounce of pistachios has 3 grams of fiber, plenty to keep things in your digestive tract moving along smoothly.
- High in antioxidants – Pistachios have some powerful antioxidants, so much so that even the shells have antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants are important for killing the free radicals that cause aging, heart disease, and cancer.
From these findings, it’s clear that eating pistachios regularly can benefit those with diabetes and just about anyone who is looking to improve their health.