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Go Green: Pistachios Make A Healthy Snack 

Once an exclusive treat of the royalty, the nut helps prevent chronic degenerative diseases.

Pistachios are popular at meetings or parties, and people enjoy them as snacks.

“Their flavor is extraordinary, and they have many uses in international gastronomy,” said Elvia Prieto Mendoza, a gastronomy graduate from Le Chef College, in Boca del Río, Veracruz.

They can be used when baking cakes or cookies. Pistachio ice cream “is among the most sought-after flavors, especially in Italian ice cream parlors,” she said. People also eat pistachios, part of the cashew family, raw or roasted with or without salt.

But a big plus is health. Pistachios have important nutritional properties, too. They are great allies in preventing chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes or some types of cancer. Phytosterols, the fats in pistachios, prevent cholesterol and other “bad” fats from accumulating in the heart.

Their oil is good for skincare, as well as hair and nails.

The pistachio tree originated in the Middle East. However, now it is widespread in other parts of the world, with large crops in the United States and Europe.

Once enjoyed exclusively by the royalty, today pistachios are available for all. What people actually eat is the seed.

Pistachios help prevent vascular diseases, as well as diabetes. For a healthy option, one should eat them unsalted. (Engin Akyurt/Unsplash)

Pistachios also provide vitamins B6 and E and minerals, such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

“I usually buy large bags of pistachios in grocery stores, first because I like them and also because I learned that eating them brings many benefits to my health. … I’d rather buy this snack, which is beneficial for my body, than a bag of chips,” said Juan José Cárdenas Mendiola, a dockworker based in Veracruz, Mexico.

(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos; edited by Fern Siegel)

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