Who wouldn’t want a bread spread that helps you lose weight? Given that most dieters tend to shy away from butter, this spread will surprise you, I’m sure.
Nut butters (but stay clear of SOY nut butter!) tend to be considered mostly as a treat. However, this one could actually help you to lose weight. I introduce you to organic pistachio butter! This spread is said to be so good that you’ll have to be prepared to force yourself to put the jar down and to not over indulge on it.
The good pistachio butter is made from raw organic pistachio nuts. To be certain you’re getting certified organic pistachio butter, always be sure to read the label.
What Are Pistachios
Pistachios are tree nuts said to have originated in West Asia and Turkey. The most popular variety that is used for commercially growing this nut is called Kerman, which comes from the Kerman region of Iran. The Kerman pistachio and is one of the tastiest and best quality available.
Because the pistachio tree grows better in hot, dry summers and cool winters, they are now being grown in the United States (California), Iran, Syria, Turkey and even in China. The pistachio tree grows to be about twenty feet or eight metres in height, and takes up to ten to fifteen years to mature and produce its first crop. From then one, the pistachio tree produces nuts every year for years to come.
The pistachio tree has a male (Peters) and female tree (Kerman). The female tree is the only one to grow the nuts, though the male tree is needed for pollination purposes. The female trees usually come with a single male branch grafted to the sapling in order for the tree to cross-pollinate and produce the pistachio fruit.
Pistachios themselves need cooler weather to grow. When growing, the pistachios appear to look somewhat like grapes growing in a cluster. A mature pistachio nut has a hard off-white or beige shell that splits open showing the oblong shaped, light green kernel inside. Although known as a nut, the edible portion of a pistachio is really a seed!
And before you ask, no, the seed or pistachio nuts you buy will not grow a pistachio tree. The pistachio tree can be purchased as a grafted sapling, which is usually grafted on to rootstock that is known to be disease resistant. This would save you waiting for seeds to germinate.
Are Pistachios Really Healthy?
It is said that pistachios are high on protein, dietary fiber, fats, and amino acids. They are also a rich source of potassium and relatively high on iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, manganese selenium, sodium and phosphorus.
These nuts have become well known as a great source of antioxidants … plus a one ounce serving contains only 161 calories, making pistachios a first choice for people wanting to lose weight.
It has been discovered that pistachios can even help you lower your LDL cholesterol, when eating anywhere from 1.5 to 3 ounces per day for four weeks. Keeping your heart healthy!
Pistachios contain considerable amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and even some cancers.
According to yet another study, pistachios are even considered to have aphrodisiac like properties for men by improving erectile function (ED). The reason for this could be that pistachios are high in amino acid arginine that changes into nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is a powerful compound that relaxes blood vessels, and improving blood circulation.
The Best Snack for Weight Loss
Do Pistachios Control Diabetes?
These nuts are said to help control diabetes. It is said that the sugars form inappropriate bonds with proteins known as glycation, making them totally unusable.
Raw Pistachios vs Roasted Pistachios
As for which is better, raw or roasted pistachios … according to research there has been no study done on addressing how roasting nuts may affect the nutritional value. Professor Rui Hai Liu at Cornell University stated that in his opinion, he predicts you will get health benefits from consuming either raw or roasted nuts.
However, the truth about the roasted nuts that you find in your local grocery store is that many of the packages sold as roasted nuts … well … check the list of ingredients for vegetable oil. Many of these so called packages of roasted nuts are actually fried nuts. To make matters worse, salt is usually added to these “fried” nuts.
If you truly want roasted nuts, look for packages clearly labeled as “dry-roasted nuts”. Better still, you could buy raw nuts and roast them yourself. Just be sure to add NO salt NOR oil … ever! This way, is the surest way you will have truly roasted nuts.
Pistachios are honored every February 26 which is National Pistachio Day.
Getting back to pistachio butter, you can buy this butter … or … you can make it yourself!
Never Blend Pistachios (or ANY nut) Before Doing This
With the warning in the video kept in mind, instructions for homemade pistachio butter can be found at the following sites:
Pistachio Potential Side Effects
If you are known (or even suspect) to have nut allergies then you should avoid pistachios for your own health benefits. Salted pistachios can contain major amounts of sodium making them bad for those with blood pressure issues.
Forty nine kernels or one ounce of pistachios is considered to be one serving. You need only have one serving of pistachios daily. NEVER over indulge on pistachios, as this will only cancel out all health benefits.
WARNING: Back in 2013, the FDA issued a warning regarding pistachios grown in California, but they have since removed that report which was previously accessible online.
The warning on pistachios has been updated to the following report: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/fda-investigated-multistate-outbreak-salmonella-infections-linked-wonderful-pistachio
More information on this issue can be found here.
Credit for Header: image by Andrei Stroe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons