“The Path to a Healthy Heart”
Pistachios, also known as the "skinny nut" have plenty of health benefits and are full of essential nutrients. There are about 49 pistachio nuts in 1 ounce, which contains 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Compared to other nuts, pistachios have only 3 calories each, which is half the calories of most nuts. Pistachios contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps with the prevention of constipation while soluble fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps reduce cholesterol levels. The human body breaks down protein into amino acids, which are crucial to the formation and repair of cells. Our bodies naturally produce other amino acids, but it does not produce the essential amino acids, which need to be consumed. Pistachios contain a small amount of all of the essential amino acids.
One of the leading causes of death in America is heart disease. Recent studies show that one in three women will die of heart disease. Having a healthy heart is no joke. You can care for your heart by:
- Lowering your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol
- Switching to monounsaturated fats
- Eating a variety of foods in moderate amounts.
When someone hears the word fat they might think that something they should stay away from. Keep in mind that there are many types of fat, and our bodies need fat to survive. Monounsaturated Fats have been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels while maintaining the beneficial HDL cholesterol level associated with lowering the risks of heart disease.
- Up to 20% of daily calories can come from monounsaturated fat.
- Polyunsaturated Fats have also been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, but also lower HDL* (the good) cholesterol.
- Polyunsaturated fats are found in nuts and vegetable oils, and should make up for 10% or less of daily calories.
When shopping for snack food whether it be for a gathering or just watching television, look for foods that offer nutritional benefits. California grown pistachios are a wise choice, plus they aren’t much trouble. You can take pistachios in a snack bag in your purse, in your car, or to the movies. Since pistachios are nutrient dense they appease you longer, this may defend against over eating.
- A one-ounce serving is approximately 49 nuts
- They also contain more than 10% of Daily Value for dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, Thiamine, phosphorus and copper.
- Distinguishing characteristics include large, open, naturally light tan shells.
Another way to prevent illnesses such as heart disease is exercise. When it comes to physical activity things can get complicated for some people. I’m not telling you that you have to go out and run a mile. Exercise can be done by:
- Just by taking a walk around the block
- Parking far away from the store so that you will walk further
- To keep you motivated in exercising you should choose a partner to exercise with you. This can be:
- your significant other
- your friend
- your neighbor
- your co-worker
- or even your whole family.
Start a routine. A routine may seem complicated, but after you stick to it for a while, it’s like brushing your teeth in the morning. It becomes a habit, and exercising is a great habit to have. If you decide to walk with your friend, then you should make plans to walk every day after you watch your favorite shows, or you can walk with your neighbor before or after getting the mail, you can even walk with your co-worker to and from lunch instead of driving.
Have a diet plan. When it comes time to do your grocery shopping, begin by planning out your meals. Once your meals have been planned then make a shopping list. While you’re in the store be sure to stick to your list. Focus on buying healthy, and low carbohydrate foods like pistachios, and most other nuts. The pistachio is also high in phytosterols associated with lowering cholesterol levels, and may help shield you from certain types of cancer.
A - Vitamin A helps you see in the dark and stimulates growth of all body cells and tissues.
B – Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) helps all body cells produce energy from carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B-6 helps the body produce proteins that are used to make up the cells of the body. B-6 also helps produce important body chemicals like insulin hemoglobin and antibodies to fight infections.
C – Calcium builds strong teeth and bones, helps muscles contract (including the heart) and helps sustain normal nerve function.
- Copper helps all cells to produce energy and helps make hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.
E – Vitamin E promotes healthy cells and tissues and, as an antioxidant, may play a role in preventing heart disease and cancer.
F – Folate is essential to cell formation and renewal. Folate plays an important role in preventing birth defects and may be involved in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
I – Iron is critical for the body to transport oxygen to the cells. It is an essential part of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
M – Magnesium is a component of healthy bones and an important part of over 30 enzymes that regulate many body functions such as muscle contractions.
P – Phosphorus helps generate new cells and also is important to help the body effectively use carbohydrates, protein and fat.
P- Potassium balances body fluids and electrolytes. Vital for muscle contractions and nerve impulses, potassium also improves endurance when exercising.
S – Selenium aids in cell growth and works like an antioxidant with vitamin E to protect body cells from damage that could lead to heart disease and cancer.
Z – Zinc is essential for growth. It promotes cell reproduction and tissue growth for repair and healing wounds.