On the advertising front, Superbowls are a known nutrition atrocities. We’ve written in the past about our longing for a kale commercial during the big game.
Yesterday we came as close as could be to a healthy food getting 30 seconds of glory. POM (of pomegranate juice infamy) has another line of products it sells – pistachios. And while Psy’s Gangnam style pistachio ad tasted, shall we say, a bit stale, this is the perfect opportunity for a refresher on a wonderful and oft overlooked nut.
The pistachio tree hails from western Asia – Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, and western Afghanistan. Pistachios reached Europe from Iran at least as early as the 6th century. In the US, pistachios are cultivated mostly in California and New Mexico. Global leaders in manufacturing are are Iran, the US, Turkey, Syria, and China.
Botanically speaking, the pistachio nut is the seed of the tree fruit. Experts call it a culinary nut, rather than a botanical nut. Each pistachio tree averages 120 lbs. of nuts every two years. That’s around 50,000 nuts. The nuts shell cracks just a bit once the fruit ripens.
Nutritionally, a one ounce serving of pistachios – about 45 nuts – has 150 calories. Pistachios are rich in mono-unsaturated fats (the good kind). Research on the health benefits of pistachios has shown that they may help reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower the risk of heart disease. Pistachios are also high in Thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin B6. They have over 10% of the FDA’s daily values for fiber, magnesium, copper, and phosphorous.
When buying pistachios – always opt for the unsalted version.
We love pistachios in granola mixes, as salad toppers, and straight out of the bag.
Do you eat pistachios? Do you add them to any recipes?