Recent years have seen a lot of attention on gut health and how it can be used to prevent a variety of mental and physical ailments. A variety of healthy foods can help build a healthy microbiome in your gut. Believe it or not, pistachios are one of these beneficial foods for gut health!
Many people are curious to know are pistachios good for gut health. Let’s try to find the answer.
What are Pistachios?
The seeds of the pistachio tree are the pistachios. They are usually slightly sweet and green. Although they are called nuts, botanically pistachios can be described as seeds.
You can choose from a variety of colors for the kernels, including yellow and green shades. They are usually approximately one inch in length and half an inch wide. You will need to break open the hard shell to get a taste.
Archaeologists believe that the pistachio tree was first discovered in western Asia. They arrived in America in the middle of the 19th century, and commercial production started in the 1970s.
All of America’s commercial production of pistachios is concentrated in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Pistachios can be purchased shelled or unsalted, roasted, or salted. You can find them in most grocery stores, and they are also available from the pistachio growers in bulk.
How big is the serving size?
You should aim for between 1 and 1 1/2 ounces per day. This is about a handful. If you prefer to count, there are roughly 49 pistachios per ounce.
How can you avoid overeating them?
Jeffers suggests that you buy the shelled varieties of oysters to prevent overeating. She says that shells will take longer to open;n because they are more challenging to eat. The shells are also a visual reminder of how much you’ve eaten. This will help you to stay on track with your portion sizes.
You don’t need to keep pistachios in your snack bag. You can easily incorporate them into your daily diet. You are using them as a garnish. This is a great way to add them to a healthy soup, stir-fry, salad, or even hummus. Many recipes use pistachios, from pesto to quick bread.
Are Pistachios Good for Gut Health
Pistachios and nuts are associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, or respiratory diseases.
A healthy Mediterranean diet includes pistachios and other nuts. According to studies, this diet is linked to the world’s lowest rates of heart disease and life expectancy. They are also an excellent source of protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans, with 6 grams per ounce.
To reap the health benefits of pistachios, you don’t need to eat a lot. Be careful! They are rich in buttery flavor and easy to indulge in.
What Makes Pistachios Great for Gut Health?
Pistachios are an excellent source of nutrient-dense nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
One ounce of pistachios contains approximately three grams of insoluble fiber. This fiber is absorbed through your digestive system, where it is then digested and converted by your gut bacteria to short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids can help reduce your risk of developing digestive disorders, heart disease, or cancer.
Pistachios Feed Your Butyrate-Producing Gut Bacteria
Butyrate, one of the short-chain fatty acids produced from the digestion of pistachio fiber, is the most important. It provides approximately 70% of the energy for colonic cells. If you don’t have enough butyrate in the gut, your colonic cell may become weaker and eventually die.
Pistachios are the nuts that have the most significant impact on the growth of butyrate-producing bacteria.
Pistachios Can Help to Relieve Constipation
Pistachios are great for your essential butyrate-producing bacteria. They also prevent constipation by allowing waste to pass easily through your intestines.
Pistachios Increase Your Levels of Good Gut Bacteria
Pistachios can be used as a prebiotic to help your good bacteria grow and outnumber the bad. Researchers found that participants who ate pistachios daily were likelier to have good gut bacteria than those who ate almonds.
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Can Pistachios Be Bad for Your Gut Health?
Some people experience nausea and bloating when they eat pistachios. Fructan, which is a type of carbohydrate, can cause this discomfort. Fructan is found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, and grains. Some manufacturers even add Fructan in their products to increase the fiber content.
Fructan intolerance is characterized by gas, bloating, and stomach pain. These symptoms may occur when you eat pistachios. You might need to consider an elimination diet.
Our Gut Microbiota is Affected by Pistachios
It is suitable for gut health to increase our intake of tree nuts. The nuts’ phytochemicals and fatty acid content are most of the benefits. Two tree nuts are particularly beneficial for our gut: almonds and pistachios. The question was whether these nuts might also have prebiotic benefits. Let’s look at the results.
How the study was put together?
Two studies were conducted with two groups, one for almonds and one for pistachios. The two groups were split into three different sub-groups. The control group ate no nuts, the second consumed 1.5 ounces daily, and the third ate 3 ounces daily.
The study lasted for 18 days, and participants followed the prescribed diet. All participants followed the same low-fiber diet during the entire examination. All participants received the same food and meals. The only difference was whether they were also given pistachios and almonds. Participants were also given enough calories to keep the same weight as before the study began.
To analyze the microbiota of each participant, scientists took fecal samples on the first and last days of the study. The researchers used three different methods to analyze the samples.
- Quantitative PCR
- Analyze gel electrophoresis
Researchers also measured the amount of Bifidobacteria found in stool and lactic acid bacteria during the analysis. These microorganisms help us to break down food faster. They are also found in our digestive tracts, and they have a positive impact on our gut.
Going Nuts For Your Gut – Pistachios As Gut Biome Food
The pistachio is a garnish on many foods and an afterthought in others. It has been a part of nutrition for many years. Even those most committed to the cause of dry fruit often leave out this shell-cracking-carefully-extracting route to good health. You may not be crazy about pistachios if you decide that these green nuts should not be part of your daily diet. It is, I can assure you.
Globally, gut health is a top priority for nutritionists. Because your gut is responsible for digestion, absorption, and elimination of toxins, it is also responsible for your immune system, brain function, and mood regulation. For example, 95% of the positive, feel-good hormone Serotonin can be found in your gut. You might also know that 70% of your immune system cells are in your gut.
Everyone has heard that foods rich in probiotics suit your gut health. But have you ever heard of prebiotics? Prebiotics and dietary fibers that promote good bacteria growth in the gut are well-known. Adding phytochemicals (antioxidants) to your diet can also have a positive impact on gut bacteria. These substances work together to provide a healthy environment that allows you to live a whole and happy life.
Numerous studies have been done to determine the effects of pistachios in the microbiome, which is the balance between good and poor bacteria in the gut. One such study saw healthy adults divided into three groups. One group was given no pistachios, and another just over 40 grams daily. The third was asked to consume 85 grams daily (147 nuts). The study found that the gut bacteria levels in the last group showed more changes after 19 days. This established a causal relationship between gut health and nuts. This is excellent news.
Pistachios are not only rich in fiber but also contain other nutrients
Take, for example:
- Did you know that pistachios are an excellent source of healthy oils?
- They are a less-known source of protein.
- Did you know they have Vitamin D6?
- Did you know they also contain potassium and copper?
You might think dry fruits are healthy, but isn’t it fattening? Let me answer that question by directing you to another study in which women in their 20s were asked to get 20% of their daily calorific requirements from pistachios. The respondents did not experience any changes in their weight or waist circumference after ten weeks. This is not a sign that pistachios are healthy food. Another interesting fact is that pistachios contain approximately 49 nuts per serving, making it the largest recommended serving size for any nut.
It is not known that Iran and the United States are the two countries with the highest yields of pistachios. The fat content is what makes the two types of pistachios so different. California pistachios have a lower amount of saturated fats (1.5 g per serving) and a higher protein level (6 g). This makes them healthier than other varieties. It also opens up another avenue for healthy snacking.
Pistachios Deliver Essential Compounds To the Gut
Prebiotic properties are apparent in pistachios. They contain non-digestible food ingredients such as dietary fiber, which stay in the stomach and feed naturally occurring bacteria. They contain phytochemicals, which have the potential to alter microbiota composition. Prebiotic foods may increase the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract.
Researchers conducted a feeding study at Maryland’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center to examine the relationship between prebiotics in pistachios and the gut. Randomly, 16 healthy people were assigned to eat a pre-planned American-style diet consisting of either 1.5 ounces, 3 ounces, or 3 ounces of almonds or pistachios daily. Each participant was given a calorie-controlled diet to ensure they did not lose weight.
Multiple stool samples were taken throughout the study to determine the composition of the bacterial community. Researchers also measured the levels of Lactic Acid Bacteria (Bifidobacteria) in the stool. These are two types of live microorganisms in the digestive tract that help break down food substances.
After controlling for age, diet factors, and other variables, researchers found that people who consumed pistachios up to 3 ounces per day (or about 147 nuts or two servings per day) had higher levels of gut bacteria after 19 days. The abstract stated that people who ate pistachios had a higher level of potentially beneficial butyrate-producing bacteria.
It has been demonstrated that butyrate is a preferred energy source in colonic epithelial cells. This makes it essential to maintain colonic health in humans. People who ate almonds instead of pistachios showed a more significant difference in their gut microbes. Researchers used modern high-throughput sequencing to determine specific DNA signatures in the gut of bacterial DNA before and after consuming nuts.
Researchers claim this is the first time this technique has been used to determine if pistachios or almonds can alter the number of bacteria in the gut.
Mai stated that fibers and incompletely digested foods (including nuts) reach the proximal colo to provide compounds necessary for maintaining a diverse microbiota. Although this research is still in its early stages, it’s promising that increasing the intake of nuts; particularly pistachios provides a novel way to alter the gut’s healthy’ microbiota. This could have potential health benefits.
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