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Scientists have identified the latest super-health food and encourage you to go nuts. Specifically, go pistachio nuts with these nutty and delicious pistachio recipes.
According to findings just published in the Journal of Nutrition, a daily diet that includes a small serving of the little green nuts can help kill bad cholesterol, prevent heart disease and greatly lower cancer risks. The findings in the Journal are from the same research team that found pistachios can greatly reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes.
Are Pistachios good for your cholesterol?
It turns out that pistachios are crammed with antioxidants and other substances that create multiple health benefits. They protect the body’s cells from damaging free radicals. They also increased the level of antioxidants that lower lipids and lipoproteins.
“Our previous study showed the benefits of pistachios in lowering lipids and lipoproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease,” said Professor Penny Kris-Etherton, of Pennsylvania State University which conducted the research. “This new study shows an additional effect of pistachios so now there are multiple health benefits of eating pistachios.”
The study followed people that ate four distinctly different diets over one month. First they ate a standard American diet, and next a normal cholesterol-lowering diet, and then added 1.5 ounces of pistachios daily, and finally ate 3 ounces of pistachios every day.
The nuts, high in beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor) and gamma-tocopheral (Vitamin E) are important in preventing oxidation and inflammation in blood vessel walls.
Eating a heart healthy diet including pistachios
“Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet including pistachios contributes to a decrease in serum oxidized-LDL levels, in part through cholesterol lowering, and also due to an added benefit of the antioxidants in the pistachios,” said Kris-Etherton.
Medical researchers are focused on antioxidants. They believe antioxidants are associated with the management or prevention of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (called LDL) that seem to cause inflammation and dangerous plaque buildup within the cellular walls of blood vessels. This oxidation causes inflammation that is the primary cause of arterial disease.
“Currently, studies on antioxidants do not show major benefits,” said Kris-Etherton. “Maybe we are not studying people long enough. Maybe there is something in the food that travels with the antioxidants. The antioxidant story is very disappointing to the scientific community.”
Researchers like Kris-Etherton are puzzled and frustrated because study after study cannot definitively link antioxidants to significant health benefits while epidemiological studies point to associated benefits. The data conflict.
“Many people feel that we have not figured out antioxidants yet,” admitted Kris-Etherton.
Enjoy some great pistachio recipes!
1. Pistachio Lush – Amanda’s Cookin’
2. Pistachio Baklava – Jo Cooks
3. Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Ball – Chelsea’s Messy Apron
4. Watergate Salad Pie – Crazy For Crust
5. Pistachio Shortbread Cookies – Five Heart Home
6. Pistachio Cherry Meltaways – The Girl Who Ate Everything
7. Chocolate Pistachio and Ginger Tart – I Am Baker
8. Lemon Pistachio Crescent Twists – Inside Bru Crew Life
9. Pistachio Salad Recipe – Tastes of Lizzy T.
10. Cranberry Pistachio Orange Cookies – Kitchen Nostalgia
11. Pistachio Salad – Lil Luna
12. Pistachio Icebox Cake – Yellow Bliss Road
13. Orange Pistachio Biscotti – Recipe Girl
14. Pistachio Fluff – Shaken Together Life
15. Dark Chocolate Chunk & Pistachio Scones (Gluten-Free) – The Kitchen McCabe