The following article was submitted by a ClinicTrip user.
One to two handfuls of pistachio nuts a day may keep heart disease at bay. Researchers have found that they may help to lower cholesterol and keep arteries healthy. Three ounces of pistachios a day can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. The nuts are rich in nutrients that reduce hardening of the arteries, a main cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Volunteers in a U.S. study supplemented a low fat diet with pistachios. Some ate 1.5 ounces of pistachios, while others had double that amount, either as a snack or putting the nuts in cereal, muffins, and pesto sauce. A third group did not eat any pistachios.
The length of the study was one month and the cholesterol levels were analyzed. The results showed that cholesterol levels were significantly lower among the pistachio eaters. Those who ate the most nuts experienced the biggest decrease in cholesterol.
Eating three ounces of pistachios a day cut cholestrol levels by 8.4 percent with bad cholesterol (LDL) dropping by 11.6 percent.
The results showed that pistachios, when eaten with a healthy heart diet, may decrease a person’s cardiovascular disease risk profile.
Pistachios are rich with an antioxidant called lutein, usually found in green leafy vegetables and brightly coloured fruit. Lutein helps prevent cholesterol from clogging arteries. It is best to eat unsalted pistachios as too much daily salt intake can raise blood pressure.
The study was carried out by researchers at Pennsylvania State University.