Health and superfoods go hand in hand when it comes to living a better life. While nature has several superfoods to offer, some stand out for being nutrient powerhouses that beat the rest when consumed optimally. American pistachios are one of the first superfoods to come to mind for their high protein and low-calorie content.
Some of the varieties of pistachios available across the world are Kerman, Golden Hills, Akbari, Fandoghi, Antep, Sirrt, and others. The basic difference between Iranian and American pistachios is in the higher kernel to an in-shell ratio in the Iranian varieties. The American pistachio variety is mostly derivatives of the Kerman family. One of the widely sold pistachio varieties is American pistachios. This type is celebrated for packing in taste and nutrients sans the calories. It is even claimed to be a weight-loss miracle.
Over the years, Indians have also taken to growing pistachio as the benefits of American pistachios have carved out a clear market for it. Several families who migrated from India now extensively farm the nut in areas like Madera County, Planada, Tulare County, San Joaquin Valley, and others. Over 90% of US pistachios are grown in California.
Benefits of American pistachios:
Here are 11 characteristics of American pistachios that make it the king of nuts:
1. A step above walnuts
Walnuts, a kernel-based nut is known for its unique woody taste. However, when it comes to health, the walnuts have higher levels of saturated fats and sodium content in comparison to pistachios.
2. Fun snacks for children
Pistachios inherently have rich fibers, antioxidants, and vitamins that make it a perfect snack for children. They also taste sweet making it easier to feed children. When served in their shell, the act of shelling can be an engaging activity for children.
3. Fibre house
One of the unique features of American pistachios are that it is a great source of fiber. Even a small quantity consumed is enough to provide the required intake for the day.
4. Post-workout snack
Everyone deserves a snack after a workout. Narrowing down your options to healthy low calorie yet tasty snacks like pistachios serve the dual purpose of rewarding your efforts and serving something savory.
5. Weight loss superfood
American pistachios because of their low calories, non-saturated fats, high dietary fibres, and protein intake is claimed to be a weight loss superfood. They are also said to increase metabolism and induce satiety when consumed.
6. Adds to nutrient count
Pistachios are a great source of Vitamin B6 and E. They also have rich antioxidants that go a long way in keeping you healthy.
7. Heart conditions
Pistachios can prevent heart conditions from accumulating in the body in several ways like promoting blood vessel health, maintaining blood flow, and others.
8. Helps in skincare
Pistachios are rich in Vitamin E which helps in moisturizing, wound healing, and skin cancer prevention. The nuts also have biotin which strengthens hair and nail.
9. Better gut health
The fibre in pistachios moves along our digestive system where some of it may reach the good bacteria of the gut where it can act as prebiotic. These bacteria then convert the fibres into good fatty acids said to aid the healthy living.
10. Low glycemic index food
Pistachios figure lower in the glycemic index in comparison to other nuts. This means it does not cause a blood sugar spike. This in turn helps in blood sugar management.
11. Sweet nut
Pistachios are widely known for their sweetness making them perfect for flavoring of sweet dishes. However, they do not aid in blood sugar levels making them a naturally flavored sweetener.
How to consume American pistachios?
The two most common ways of consuming pistachios is by using it as a garnish or by roasting it to be eaten raw. They can easily be used as a garnish for desserts like payasam, custard, sewai (vermicelli), liquid-based sweets like rasmalai or rabri (Indian desserts made with condensed milk). The garnish can be done in either chopped or flaked form. Roasting pistachios give the nuts added flavors and is commonly consumed in this form singly or as an accompaniment to beverages.
Pistachio milkshake recipe:
1. 2 Scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream
2. One cup of whole milk
3. 2 Tbsp crushed pistachios
4. Chop roasted pistachios for garnishing
1. Blend together all the ingredients other than the chopped pistachios till a smooth creamy drink is formed.
2. Top with chopped pistachios and serve cold.
By Sharanya Munsi