At Gesher Benot Ya’aqov archeological site in Hula Valley, Israel, pistachio nuts & nut cracking tools were unearthed and are believed to be 780,000 years old. During the reign of King Merodach-Baladan in 700 BC, it was said that the fabled Hanging Garden of Babylon includes pistachio trees. It is one of the three nuts mentioned in the Holy Bible – Genesis 43:11. In ancient Persia, owning groves of pistachios signifies prominence and wealth. The nut was later on introduced to Spain and Italy during the rule of the Roman Emperor Tiberius in the 1st century AD.
Pistachio is a seed fruit that originated in Persia. It is considered as one of the oldest flowering nut trees and has been consumed by humans for at least 9,000 years. Today, pistachio is being cultivated in many countries like China, Turkey, New Mexico and the United States.
Pistachios are actually a drupe (a fruit with a big seed in the middle) and the seed is edible. They grow in clusters like grapes. The shell is beige in color which also serves as a protection from infections and damage. When fully ripe, the shell splits halfway and exposes the green edible seed. This tree can bear fruit for up to 200 years and it is not seasonal!
This superfood is packed with essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. A great source of energy. It contains protein and dietary fiber. 90% of fats found in pistachio nuts are mono and polyunsaturated, they are the healthy type of fats.
Eating pistachio regularly can help in preventing heart diseases by reducing the bad cholesterol in the body preventing stroke or heart attack. They hold several phytochemicals like carotenes and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds that help the body in fighting toxic oxygen free radicals that can cause cancers and other lethal infections. The vitamin E it carries protect the skin’s cell membrane and the oil has a soothing and softening properties thereby keeping your skin from drying. Studies have shown that men having a daily intake of about 100grams of pistachios for three weeks improved their erectile function by 50 percent. Goodbye Viagra!
Want an interesting fact?... Pistachios is one of the only two nuts that contain Resveratrol and the thin skins that encase the nut contain most of it. So, how have you been eating your pistachios and peanuts?
Now, to be on the safe side, individuals who are allergic to nuts should not consume pistachios to avoid allergic reaction ranging from a simple skin itchiness to breathing difficulty and abdominal pain.
I think I’ll be having some pistachio ice cream… how about you?
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