One of the most appreciated nuts, pistachios (botanical name Pistacia vera) belong to the Anacardiaceae family, which also include cashew. Basically, pistachios are a type of drupe. These nuts are consumed after roasting and salting. This makes these nuts so sumptuous. All foods belonging to the Anacardiaceae family usually enclose a toxic as well as irritant chemical known as urushiol. Urushiol is known to be responsible for excruciating sores when one comes in contact with the compound. However, use of pistachio oil is safe - thanks to the modern techniques of plucking them, quality control methods as well as processing.
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Some of the countries where pistachio is grown extensively include Iran, Turkey, Syria and the United States. It is interesting to note that people started using pistachio seeds as a common food since the 6750 BC. Roman Proconsul in Syria introduced pistachio to Italy, while Flaccus Pompeius introduced this sumptuous food to Hispania. Pistachio was very common in Europe by the Lat Antiquity and, in the early 6th century, the food finds mention in the manuscript De observatione cibrorum. Available documents show that Atlantic pistachio was consumed by people in north-eastern Iraq. Moreover, it is said that in 700 BC, pistachio trees were present in the Hanging Garden of Babylon during King Merodach-Baladan’s reign. The modern day pistachio trees were cultivated in the Bronze Age. Commercial cultivation of pistachio trees started in New Mexico, California and Australia much later. It is believed that pistachio trees were introduced to ancient Greeks from Western Asia.
The organic oil extracted from pistachio nuts is known as pistachio oil. This oil has a characteristic flavour which is very potent. The color of this oil is bright green. In addition, pistachio oil contains high concentration of fatty acids, linoleic acid and vitamin E. This oil is a wonderful source of biotin (a water soluble vitamin) which is helpful in treating hair loss. It works by making the hair stronger.
The concentration of ceramide (a family of lipid molecules) in pistachio oil is roughly 32.7 per cent. In addition, this oil contains a healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids (also known as essential fatty acids). Pistachio oil is completely refines and its taste is neutral. This oil is extracted from pistachio nuts by the cold press method. In fact, pistachio nuts have been in use since prehistoric times and they are considered to be a symbol of wellness. Precisely speaking, pistachio oil is among the healthiest organic oils that have been extracted from fruit kernels. Mostly, pistachio oil is used in the form of a table oil to increase the essence of steamed vegetables.
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Similar to other organic oils, pistachio oil also contains valuable nutrients and offers us several health benefits. This oil is loaded with vitamin E and, hence, it stimulates the skin's integrity and also protects the cells in our body. In addition, the presence of high concentration of vitamin E in this oil helps to enhance the production of white blood cells (leukocytes), which help us to combat various diseases.
Vitamin E is beneficial for the health of the skin. It helps to make the skin smooth like silk. Moreover, vitamin E is also effective for curing skin-related problems such as acne and eczema. Vitamin E also helps in production and development of healthy cells in our body, thereby optimizing the body's metabolism. As far as the health of our hair is concerned, the benefits of using pistachio oil are similar to those offered by hazelnut oil. In addition, it makes the skin healthy and smooth.
Pistachio nuts as well as the organic oil extracted from them are both ideal natural remedies for dry skin. The health benefits of pistachio nuts as well as pistachio oil for our skin are attributed to their high content of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids make the skin healthier and youthful. Pistachio oil is also an excellent base or carrier oil. This is the primary reason for pistachio oil being used is some traditional aromatherapy and massage therapy routines.
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As mentioned earlier, aside from ensuring a healthy skin, vitamin E also ensures that our hair remains healthy. This vital nutrient is responsible for strong and shiny hair. As a result, our hair also remains smooth. Vitamin E also prevents hair loss, while enhancing the litheness of the hair.
Ingestion of pistachio nut oil provokes the pancreas to produce and secrete additional insulin. When the insulin enters our bloodstream, it works to control the blood sugar levels and, at the same time, improve our overall health.
Pistachio oil also aids in lowering the levels of low density lipo-protein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride. In addition, this organic oil helps to enhance the level of high density lipo-protein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol, thereby ensuring that the level of beneficial cholesterol remains high in the bloodstream.
When the levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol are high in the bloodstream, it helps to prevent the development of heart attack. At the same time, good cholesterol dilates the arterial walls, thereby ensuring free blood circulation throughout the body. It also prevents formation of plaques on the arterial walls. This also means that more oxygen is supplied to the different parts of the body. In this way, the metabolic system of the body supplies more oxygen to the heart. When the heart functions optimally, it helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases like strokes, heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
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When the blood sugar level in the body is under control, it helps to prevent development of diabetes. This is achieved by producing more insulin. Hence, ingestion of pistachio nut oil helps to prevent diabetes. At the same time, it facilitates the breaking down of ingested proteins into amino acids, which helps in improving glucose tolerance. The benefits of pistachio oil in keeping the blood sugar levels in check and preventing diabetes are similar to that of soursop leaves.
Pistachio oil contains several nutrients and vitamin B6 is major among them. This B vitamin plays a vital role in distributing oxygen to different parts of our body via the blood. At the same time, this nutrient helps in generation of new and healthy cells and maintains a healthy balance between the red blood cells (erythrocytes) and white blood cells (leukocytes). A healthy balance of the red and white blood cells in the body perks up the metabolic process, in addition to, combating various diseases.
Pistachio nut oil is also rich in vitamin C content. Aside from improving the energy levels of the body, vitamin C also strengthens the immune system. This nutrient is vital for the body to avoid developing diseases. In this way, vitamin C helps to maintain a healthy body.
The nutrients present in pistachio nut oil are beneficial in optimizing the functioning of the digestive enzymes. They enhance the digestive metabolism, thereby ensuring that the ingested foods are digested quickly and easily. The dietary fiber in pistachio nut oil helps to optimize the peristaltic activity in the intestine. Hence, consumption of this organic oil is highly beneficial for our digestive process.
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Since pistachio nut oil works to stimulate production of digestive enzymes, consumption of this organic oil has the ability to put off constipation. This oil also reduces the acid content in the stomach, thereby preventing various digestive problems such as heartburn and constipation.
Findings of a number of studies suggest that pistachio nut oil possesses aphrodisiac properties. When used in aromatherapy, this oil causes a calm and pleasant sensation. In this way, this organic oil has an influence on the sexual vigour in men as well as women. At the same time, it ensures proper blood circulation to the reproductive organs.
Pistachio nut oil also encloses rich amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E - the two major sources of antioxidants that neutralize the detrimental free radicals and, at the same time, help to optimize the body's metabolic process. At the same time, ingestion of this oil also helps to detoxify the body.
Pistachio oil contains antioxidants that facilitate avoiding premature aging by combating the free radicals. This oil also helps in preventing fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging, thereby keeping the skin youthful, especially the face. In addition, it also aids in preventing development of various early age diseases.
This oil also contains vitamin B, which plays a vital role in maintaining the health of our nervous system. Moreover, vitamin B works to stimulate the molecules present in our nerves. It also helps myelin (an insulating layer around the nerves) to optimize transmission of messages from one nerve to another or to the brain. Therefore, ingestion of pistachio nut oil can be helpful in strengthening the metabolism of our nervous system.
As we age, many people develop a disease known as macular degeneration. People affected by this disease gradually lose their eyesight. During the initial stages of the disease it becomes difficult for the elderly to read anything properly. However, taking pistachio oil helps to improve their condition, as this organic oil is loaded with vitamins. Therefore, ingestion of pistachio nut oil can help in reducing the chances of developing macular disease. In addition, pistachio oil supplies our body with vitamin E, which is essential for the health of our eyes. This vitamin is responsible for maintaining good eyesight.
Pistachio nut oil also contains enough vitamin B6. This B vitamin is beneficial because it promotes blood circulation. In addition, B6 also facilitates the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Therefore, pistachio oil is helpful in improving the functioning of the brain too.
The oil extracted from the seeds of pistachio seeds is an excellent option for people who are on diet. Since this oil contains high amounts of protein and fewer calories and saturated fats and elevated amounts of unsaturated fats, it is just ideal for those keen to shed some extra body weight and remain healthy and fit.
Recently, California-based Centre For Human Nutrition released a study report that corroborates the claims of this oil's weight loss properties. It has established that both pistachio nuts and the oil extracted from them have the ability to help in weight management.
Antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body and mind by countering the harmful free radicals. They work to inhibit the processes that cause damage to the cells in the body, in addition to combating the pathogens that are responsible for killer diseases such as cancer. Pistachio nut oil contains loads of antioxidants and, hence, ingestion of this oil offers us all the health benefits mentioned above.
The antioxidant content of pistachios is higher compared to most seeds and nuts, barring pecans and walnuts which have significantly higher concentration of antioxidants. The antioxidants mostly present in pistachios include zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants have an important role in maintaining the health of our eyes. In addition, these antioxidants protect our eyes from blue light and diseases like macular degeneration. Pistachios also contain a number of other antioxidants - polyphenols and tocopherols. These antioxidants help in reducing the risks of developing heart disease and cancer.