A pistachio can help you calm down?

How many of you believe that a nut, a pistachio to be precise, could actually help you manage stress and calm down anxiety? I didn’t believe it but the internet sure does.

Persian Pistachio

By PersianDutchNetwork (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So let’s explain why pistachios are good against stress and anxiety. When you are stressed, your heart pumps faster which strains your blood vessels. In small doses this is fine and nothing will happen, but if you suffer from chronic stress, all that strain on your blood vessels builds up and causes damage to your blood vessels and hardens the blood vessel walls. This restricts blood flow and increases blood pressure, which just makes things harder for your heart and will make you suffer in the long run.

Pistachios help improve your blood vessels and lower your blood pressure by dilating your arteries, making things easier on your heart. Here is an abstract from a study conducted by the J Am Heart Association, posted on the NCBI website. This study supports everything I just said and everything a lot of other people say on the internet about pistachios. Fair warning, the article I’ve linked to is quite short (remember it’s only an abstract/summary) and has a lot of facts and figures so be ready for that. Here’s a link to the full article in case you want to read it but be warned, its 30 pages long, so be ready for a long sit down.

Some people on the internet also say that shelling pistachios can be very therapeutic, but I’m calling B.S. on that because I eat pistachios every now and then and I DO NOT like shelling them, but that’s just me. Sometimes I get a pistachio with a really stubborn shell which refuses to open so I have to use my teeth and chew it open, and I really hate that, it stresses me out. I JUST WANT THE DAMN NUT.

In the end, from what little research I have done I can say this, pistachios don’t really help you reduce stress but they make it so that you can handle stress a lot better, which is pretty good actually.

There are of course other health benefits to eating pistachios. This article from organicfacts.net titled, “Health Benefits of Pistachios,” is just short enough for a quick read but long enough to give you the important details. To sum it up  the article talks about the nutritional value of pistachios, how they’re filled with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, dietary fiberphosphorus, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B-6, etc. and so on and how they are good for you. It then continues to list down the various health benefits of the nut:

  • Helps keep your heart healthy
  • Helps you manage your weight
  • Reduces the risk of age related macular disease
  • Helps against dry skin
  • A good source of fibre
  • The shells are rich in antioxidants
  • Can help control diabetes
  • Helps absorb Iron
  • Has some aphrodisiac properties (Ooh la la)

So if you’re stressed out, or just want to eat healthier, you should try putting some pistachios into your diet, unless of course you’re allergic, then you should avoid them.

Anyway I hope you liked this post, and I hope to see you again in the next one.

By the way, don’t use this post as an excuse to eat more pistachio ice cream. Even if it does have some pistachio in it, it mostly has artificial colourings and flavours, and its still ice cream and too much ice cream is bad, okay.

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