BARCELONA, Spain, February 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
In the context of the World Pistachio Day, celebrated on February 26th, INC summarizes the scientific review "Nutrition attributes and health effects of pistachio nuts" which analyzed more than 100 research studies and clinical trials regarding the effects of nuts with a special focus on pistachios in human health.
Studies have shown the inclusion of pistachios in a healthy diet does not increase body weight. Fiber is important for weight management and to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as several studies have consistently demonstrated. Pistachios are rich in fiber (containing 10% by weight of insoluble form).
Many studies have provided strong evidence that nut consumption is associated with neither weight gain nor increased risk of obesity. Specially, the study of Dr. Li and her team at the Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition showed strong evidence that the intake of pistachios as a snack may lead to a higher reduction of body mass index compared with a refined carbohydrate snack.
Pistachios are a good source of L-arginine, an amino acid involved in the cardiovascular system as a key regulator of vascular tone and in numerous pathological conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Pistachios deliver a broad range of nutrients and bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease such as fiber, healthy fats, phytosterols and antioxidant compounds including polyphenols.
Also, pistachios are high in fiber and have potassium to help maintain normal blood pressure and muscle function; chromium to help maintain normal blood glucose levels, and copper to help support normal function of the immune system. Pistachios are also high in unsaturated fats. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.
Type 2 diabetes
Studies have shown the frequency of nut intake is inversely related to the risk of type 2 diabetes (or the higher the consumption of nuts the lower the risk of diabetes), mainly attributed to anti-inflammatory compounds. Pistachios have a low glycemic index which contributes to lower post-prandial blood glucose levels and maintaining satiety longer. It also may be a factor in maintaining glycemic control.
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SOURCE International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC)