Did you know that one serving of Pistachio contains 49 nuts and includes the same amount of protein as found in one egg (6gms)?
Pistachios are a unique nutrient package. They are one of the world’s oldest nuts that are not just tasty but also super healthy. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and contain essential nutrients vital to individual growth and development.
Recently I attended a virtual knowledge session with Dr. Mike Roussell (Globally Renowned Nutrition Consultant, Author and Advisor), organized by American Pistachio Growers that helped me understand the power of American Pistachios and its importance in our daily diet.
Dr Roussell highlighted that as per a recent study American pistachios are considered as a source of ‘complete protein‘ as they “contain nine essential amino acids that our body needs in a form that is readily absorbable and available for body to use.”
What is Complete Protein?
Complete protein is a food source that contains an adequate proportion of each of the nine essential amino acids necessary in the human diet. (including those protein building blocks that our body does not naturally produce and need from food sources).
Recent research by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign states that US grown roasted pistachios contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for supporting growth and maintaining health for those 5 years and older, therefore they are a “complete” protein”.
Health Benefits of American Pistachios
During the session, Dr. Mike explained that American pistachios are powerful protein rich food. They are fully digestible and are complete nutrition in themselves.
Here’s how they are beneficial for us –
- They are low in calories and high in protein.
- Contain key nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, Vitamin B6, etc.
- Contain antioxidants (like EGCG, Lutein, Anthocyanins) that are vital to our health.
- They contain more leucine than any other nut which is key for muscle growth, development and repair.
- They are a source of energy and contain key minerals that need to be replaced after exercise.
- Daily snacking on pistachios reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by controlling factors like cholesterol and triglycerides.
- They also help control blood sugar as a snack and as part of a meal.
- They support healthy brain function and are particularly a great snack for pregnant women as they provide essential nutrients required for brain and eye development of the baby.
- A French study found that adding a daily snack of pistachios led to no change in body weight (eat more, weight the same).
Why We Must Include American Pistachios In Our Child’s Daily Diet
Pistachios nuts are healthy for both adults and kids alike. Infact for young kids, they are a perfect snack that can help them grow, develop and learn.
Apart from the health benefits listed above here are some more reasons why you should include pistachios in your child’s everyday diet –
- They are a perfect source of energy. Just a handful of Pistachios given to kids in the morning can keep them healthy and energetic for long.
- They are very low in sugar. So daily consumption of pistachios can help you keep a tab on your kid’s sugar consumption!
- They also include dietary fiber and help in healthy digestion. So are particularly useful for kids who donot eat enough fibre.
- Lutein present in pistachios aids in healthy eye and brain development in young kids.
- They are anytime snacks – wholesome, filling and can be given to kids anytime of the day
- Also, you can give these to kids in any form as per their taste and liking – salted, unsalted, roasted, mixed with spices, etc.
- You can even mix them with other recipes. For my kids when they were less than 1 year old, I would add ground pistachios in various dishes like porridge, yogurt and cereals.
- They are easy portable snacks that donot require refrigeration, cooking or preparation. They make for a perfect on-the-go snacks for kids.
- Most importantly, they are fun to eat. My kids, now 4 years old, enjoy cracking up pistachios on their own and eat. It’s like a game in our house as to who will crack open maximum pistachios first.
The virtual session on the #PowerOfPistachios also busted some myths related to consumption of pistachios for me. As heard from elderly members of the family, I always believed that pistachios have warm potency and so should be avoided in summers. However, during the session Dr. Roussell clarified that these are all-season nuts and can be consumed in any season. Infact in summers, they can particularly help in supplementing the electrolytes that we lose due to excessive sweating.
The insightful session made me understand the power of American pistachios, their benefits and how they can do wonders to our health if consumed daily. Especially for young kids, they are no less than super foods that can aid healthy growth and development. So if you still haven’t included American pistachios in your child’s everyday diet, you must do it now!
Disclaimer : This post is in collaboration with American Pistachios. All the views and opinions expressed here are personal. Please note, the article is meant for public awareness. It does not intend to replace medical or nutritional advice from your doctor or dietician. Please discuss any changes in your child’s diet with a registered professional.