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Celebrate National Nutrition Month and St. Patrick's Day, Go Green With Pistachios - The Only Green Nut!
Date:3/10/2010

FRESNO, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- You don't have to be Irish to "Go Green" this month! March is National Nutrition Month and with St. Patrick's Day on the 17th it's the perfect time to snack on the only green nut – pistachios!

The start of spring also marks a time of renewal and a fresh start for healthy choices. Start your spring cleaning off in the right place – the pantry. Now is the perfect time to refresh and revitalize your normal snacking routine with some healthier options. According to nutrition expert Alyse Levine, MS, RD, here are some simple tips to start spring off right:

  • Swap:  Swap unhealthy chips and other salty foods for nutrient dense snacks such as pistachios
  • Switch: Switch up the grocery list for one week and try to buy all new types of produce AND staples
  • Savor:  Savor new flavors by trying at least one new recipe a week using healthy ingredients

Another easy way to vamp up your energy this spring is to take part in The Green Nut Challenge! Simply incorporate 1.5 oz of pistachios, approximately 74 nuts to reap the healthy benefits of "Going Green" the nutritious way.  Many Americans don't realize that pistachios – the only green nut:

  • Have 49 nuts per serving – more than any other snack nut!
  • May reduce your risk of  heart disease(1)-(2)-(3)
  • May result in a lower than expected blood sugar level, when eaten with some high-carbohydrate foods(4)
  • May raise levels of vitamin E and gamma tocopherol, an antioxidant in your blood – antioxidants help keep cells healthy
  • Contain over 20 different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

On top of these numerous health benefits, pistachios offer up as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%), as much fiber (2.9g, 12%) as a half cup of cooked broccoli (2.5g, 10%) and contain more than 10 percent (daily value) of minerals like B6, thiamin, copper and phosphorus.

What many people don't realize is that pistachios, while small in size, are big in health benefits and nutrients, including important antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which are harmful to the body.  They also help support our immune system and fight aging, neuronal degeneration, cancer and heart disease.  Pistachios are among the nuts higher in antioxidants such as phenolics(5).  

Visit TheGreenNut.org for more spring snacking tips and to learn more about the nutritional ways pistachios can help benefit your health. Also, find delicious recipes, ask our renowned Green Nut Ambassadors your health questions, read up on the most up-to-date nutritional information, view the new Green Nut Podcasts  and make March the month you "Go Green!"

About the Western Pistachio Association

The Green Nut ™ and TheGreenNut.org is a nutrition awareness campaign sponsored by the Western Pistachio Association (WPA). Based in Fresno, California, the WPA is a voluntary association representing pistachio growers throughout the country. Founded in 1980, it is the only voluntary organization representing U.S. pistachio growers' interests.  It is governed by an 18 member board elected from a variety of states with the shared goal of increasing national awareness about the nutritional benefits of U.S. grown pistachios.

(1) Gebauer SK, West SG, Kay CD, Alaupovic P, Bagshaw D,  Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of pistachios on cardiovascular disease risk factors and potential mechanisms of action: a dose-response study. Amer J Clin Nutr 2008;88:651–9.

(2) West SG,  Kay CD,  Gebauer SK,  Savastano DM,  Diefenbach CM,  Kris-Etherton PM. Pistachios reduce blood pressure and vascular responses to acute stress in healthy adults. FASEB J. 2007;21.

(3) Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts such as pistachios as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

(4) Kendall CWC, Josse AR, Jenkins DJA. Effect of pistachio consumed with different common carbohydrate foods on postprandial glycemia. FASEB J. 2007; 21:832.2.

(5) Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37.

SOURCE TheGreenNut.org

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SOURCE TheGreenNut.org
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