The pistachio nut is the fruit of an evergreen tree which grows best in areas with short winters and not too much rain. The roots of the tree grow deep into the earth making it even more resilient to drought than the olive tree. The arid environment, the poor calcareous soil and the proximity to the sea proved favorable for the pistachio tree which thrived spectacularly in Greece. Harvesting takes place from the end of August till mid-September.
The History of the pistachio nut.
The long history of cultivated pistachio tree began in Mesopotamia where according to historians were recovered traces of the Pistachio tree as far back as 7.000 b.c. In the book of Genesis is described as one of the most valuable gifts of God to Adam who was the first to cultivate it.
In Ancient Greece Theofrastos (300 b.c.) in his work “The History of the Plants” describes pistachio without making it as a nut similar to almond but more delicious.
The first who mentions the word “Pistakia” is the poet Nikandros Kolofonios (2nd century B.C.) he wrote that “pistakia” are found in India and are protective against the sting of scorpions. The word “pistakia” derives from the Persian word “Pista” which means pistachio nut or pistachio tree. This word is the root of the name of pistachio nut in many languages: pistache (French), pistachio (English), pistashka (Russian). In Arabic is fustuk and in Greek fistiki.
What is the contribution of pistachios to our health?
Pistachios quality wise are from the best and most delicious nuts. They have been described with all fairness as a superfood. With regard to their nutritional value, we discover that even in a small quantity provide us with a plethora of beneficial substances.
We present you three reasons why to supplement pistachio nuts to your diet.
Is an ally of the heart. It has been proved that within a short period of regular consumption pistachio nuts lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol. The high content in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E fight infections, protect the blood vessels, combat inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also potassium and magnesium which exist in large quantities (Magnesium 132 mg/100g- potassium 474/100g) contribute to the good function of the heart.
They protect your eyesight. Pistachio nuts contain two carotenoids which do not exist inside most nuts. These two carotenoids which are called lutein and zeaxanthin function as antioxidants protecting the eye tissues from damage which is created by free roots. Pistachio nuts have been associated with reduced risk for developing a pale stain which is the main cause of visual impairment and acquired blindness.
They support a healthy nervous system. Our nervous system affects almost everything we do and this is one more reason to consume pistachios as they contain high quantity of vitamin B6 which is required by the body in order to create amines. The amino acids produce amines which carry the messages from the nerves to the brain. Vitamin B6 is also important as it creates myelin which is the protective surrounding of the nerve fibers, this helping the nerves to connect faster and more efficiently.