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Pistachio Fun Facts (guess what...they aren't really nuts)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken breast and Spinach / Spring Mixed Greens salad with pickled beets and hard boiled egg white, sprinkled with pistachio nuts.

Spinach, fresh, 0.66 cup - 5 cal
Green Giant Spring Mix Salad, 0.5 cup - 5 cal
Pickled beets, 0.4 cup slices - 59 cal
Egg White from hard boiled egg, 1 serving - 17 cal
Chicken Breast (cooked), no skin, 118 grams - 143 cal
Pistachio Nuts, 0.25 oz (47 kernels) - 38 cal
TOTAL: 267 calories

I think Pistachios are a terrific nut...well, non-nut. They are actually a seed (see below). They are lower in calories than many nuts and have a terrific flavor. I crushed up 11 pistachios for my salad and it only came to 38 calories. It makes a great snack in the afternoon along with fruit too. The fat in seeds and nuts help keep you full longer as well.

Pistachio Fun Facts:

-Pistachios aren’t actually nuts. It’s true! Pistachio “nuts” are actually seeds of red or yellow plum-like fruits whose flesh is removed during processing. However, everyone calls them a nut because they look like “nuts” and are in the cashew family. Other things in the cashew family include sumac, mangos, and poison ivy.

-Pistachios are power-packed with fiber and contain heart healthy monosaturated fat. At an Experimental Biology Conference in Washington, D.C., a researcher stated that a handful of pistachios may lower LDL cholesterol and provide the equivalent of antioxidants contained in fruit and leafy veggies.

-In a study at Penn State University, it was concluded that pistachio nuts may reduce the everyday effects of stress. The participants had high cholesterol and normal blood pressure. By eating 1.5 ounces of pistachio nuts daily, their systolic blood pressure dropped 4.8 millimeters; no change was experienced in resting blood pressure.

-Pistachios are biblical. They are mentioned in the Old Testament in Genesis 43:11, and are one of only two nuts mentioned in Scripture. The other nut mentioned is the almond. And, according to Moslem legend, the pistachio nut was one of the foods brought to Earth by Adam.

-Pistachios are royalty. As the legend goes, the Queen of Sheba made an official declaration that pistachios were an exclusively royal food. In fact, she even went so far as to forbid commoners from growing the nut for their own consumption. Nebuchadnezzar, the ancient king of Babylon, also had a passion for pistachios. It is said that he had pistachio trees planted in his hanging gardens. And the Mogul Emperor, Akbar the Great, hosted lavish banquets befitting his royal status. He often served chicken at these banquets, and ordered all the chickens to be fed pistachio nuts for 6 to 8 weeks in advance to give the chickens a more delicious flavor.

-Pistachios are happy. They are called “the smiling nut” in Iran and “the happy nut” in China. People in the Middle East sometimes refer to the pistachio as the "smiling pistachio." In those same countries, if you are sitting under a Pistachio tree and you hear the shells snapping open, it is a sign of good luck.

-Pistachios come in many colors. Many different countries dye pistachios to make them more eye-catching. In the U.S. pistachios were dyed red to disguise imperfections in the shells and to make the nuts stand out in vending machines. They are normally green.
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