A study by Cornell University (United States) determined that the antioxidant capacity of pistachios is higher than most foods known for their antioxidant power, such as blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, and beets.
Pistachios are one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet, which was considered the healthiest in 2022 due to its protective effects against most chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer, among other nuts.
“Compared to other nuts, peanuts have a lower fat and energy content, along with high fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, vitamins E and K, phytosterols, some carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as phenolics. compounds that explain the ability to protect against the disease,” said Dr. Ramon Estruch.
The expert said, “Regular consumption of 49 pistachios shows that it lowers blood pressure (by facilitating the synthesis of nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator); facilitates endothelial function and reduces arterial stiffness (new vascular risk factors); improves lipid (total cholesterol and especially harmful cholesterol – LDL-cholesterol) ; minimizes the incidence of diabetes (as it is a low glycemic index food)”.
“It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria of the gut flora (thanks to its high fiber content, which when fermented become short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate),” he stressed.
In addition, he stressed that “all these mechanisms determine that people who frequently consume these nuts experience an almost 20 percent reduction in overall mortality and a close to 30 percent reduction in the risk of suffering major cardiovascular complications such as myocardial infarction.” death from cerebral vascular accident or cardiovascular causes”.
In this context, the Cornell University research group has determined the phenolic profile of both raw and roasted pistachios (gentisic acid and catechin); plasmatic and cellular antioxidant capacity; and its anti-proliferative capacity on colon, liver and breast cancer tumor cells. In this case, it is about new information about the protective mechanisms of pistachios on the main chronic diseases, especially cancer.
In their study, published in the scientific journal Nutrients, the researchers wanted to better understand the possible mechanism behind the health benefits that recent studies have linked to pistachios.
In this sense, they analyzed pistachios to determine: The composition of the phytochemicals of pistachios, as these plant-based compounds can contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases and maintaining the proper functioning of the organism; antioxidant power of pistachios; and whether peanut extracts can help inhibit the growth of tumor cells (breast, liver and colon cancer cells) in a laboratory setting.
Two different methods were applied to measure the antioxidant potential of pistachios. Oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC), on the one hand; and on the other hand cellular antioxidant activity (CAA). The results showed very high levels of antioxidant activity in pistachios.
“We were thrilled to see that pistachios have such a high antioxidant capacity. When we compared the values for the high antioxidant content of other popular foods using the same methods, we found that the antioxidant activity of pistachios was higher than that of pistachios. Rui Hai Liu, Professor of Food Sciences at Cornell University, said in a statement. other foods considered antioxidants.
According to this expert, the high antioxidant activity of pistachios “may be due to specific compounds in pistachios such as vitamin E, carotenoids, phenolics, and flavonoids.” “The combination or interaction of these beneficial antioxidants, bioactive compounds, and other nutrients in pistachios is what contributes to the many health benefits observed in pistachio studies in recent years.”
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