Celebrate the Happy Nut!

Happy National Pistachio day! These heart healthy, high fiber, tasty treats  deserve a spot in your pantry, so take the time today to experience the enjoyment that comes from cracking open the shell of a pistachio  Celebrate with our top 10 reasons to love the pistachio. 

  1. What’s in a name?  In China it is known as the happy nut.  In Iran, the smiling nut.  You can also hear it referred to as the green almond!
  2. Despite the recent move into pop culture, these nuts are not a fad.  Humans have enjoyed pistachios for 9,000 years.
  3. Peace and love, the pistachio is a child of the 70’s.  The first commercial crop of pistachios was harvested in the US in 1976.  98% of US pistachios now come from California. 
  4. Pistachio ice cream was invented in Philadelphia in the 1940’s.
  5. Not just for snacking, the pistachio pairs well with veal, pork, and poultry dishes.
  6. The secret to eating pistachios?  You can open a stubborn shell with another shell!  Use half the shell from a cracked nut as a lever by inserting it into the opening of the closed nut, and twist. Some think the stubborn nuts are the tastiest.
  7. The pistachio is quite the nutrient powerhouse! Pistachios are a heart healthy tree nut loaded with good fats.  It is also the highest in fiber of all the nuts.  High in antioxidants, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, selenium, and an excellent source of protein too!
  8. Better than a facial?  These nuts are packed with Vitamin E for great skin benefits.
  9. The little green nut is often referred to as the skinny nut, but not for its size.  It has one of the lowest calorie contents of all the nuts.  
  10. Pistachios colorful hue of green and purple indicates their high levels of antioxidants. They are good looking and good for you too!

So grab some pistachios! Perfect to throw in your bag for long days or mid class munchies!  Want to make your own snack packs?  Aim for about 30 pistachios for every 100 calories.

LeeAnn Kindness is a graduate student at Drexel University majoring in human nutrition. She plans to become a registered dietitian.

Photo Cred: Reina Nicole Hayashi


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