[Photo courtesy Athena's Pix]
An easy way to build a stronger body fortress is to pay attention to what you eat.
OK, stop it.
Stop it right there.
I can hear what you’re thinking! (Seriously, I really can.)
“Do you have to take us there!? This is so boring. I’m going to eat what I want, when I want. Ugh, I’m sick of people telling me how to eat. I know what’s good for my body.”
Now stop right there. Chillax people!
I have good news.
My message is full of yummy and happy thoughts!
I am a pistachio evangelist. Pistachios remind me of little packets of energy wrapped in velvet vests with elven cloaks. They have so much good about them; they are mystical.
I can’t believe they are legal and good for us.
The nut’s green color comes from the pigment in the seed called chlorophyll. As they mature, the shells start to crack and pop. This nut lives with rhythm and rips a good beat!
Fallacy: Eating nuts will make you fat.
Fact: Eating nuts will make you fat if you eat them like they are going out of style. Eat them a 1/2-cup (measured unshelled) at a time, not the entire bag. A 1/2-cup is about two small hand-fulls.
If you buy them in the shell, the time it takes to crack each one open and pop in your mouth actually slows down the time it takes to eat them, and will make you feel less hungry sooner by giving your brain a chance to get the memo that you’re feeling satsfied.
Even the stickly FDA has approved this health claim about nuts, “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) 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.” [1.5 oz. is about 1/2-cup unshelled pistachios]
Great news. We get to eat something yummy that’s actually good for us!
My personal reason I make sure to get my daily dose of pistachios: Ms. MS.
Pistachios have the highest amount of Vitamin B6 of any nut. Vitamin B6 is that spiffy molecule that helps the body convert protein to energy as well as enhance brain function, two things I’m sorely lacking. You need B6 to help make hemoglobin, the oxygen corvette. You need B6 for a gazillion other enzymatic processes, too, like those supporting your immune system and helping maintain blood glucose.
(Yes, I did just say gazillion—on purpose.)
B6 is actually a bit more difficult to find in the natural world if you tend to avoid meats. (Beef, turkey, and tuna are all great places to get your B6 groove on.) But, animal fats and saturated fats in general have been shown to correlate to MS progression, so I try to avoid them and stick to a vegetarian diet.
Pistachios are packed with so much goodness—they’re also high in magnesium, copper, and manganese to reinforce the pillars of your fortress (i.e., your bones).
I could go on and on about all the great things pistachios and nuts groove, but I think you get the point.
Grab some pistachios the next time you have a hankering for something velvety and satisfying, or at least sprinkle some on a salad or, dare I say, onto a reasonable scoop of ice cream.
(If you don’t know me very well, I have a B.S. in nutrition and a Ph.D. in molecular biology—so I have some background about the topics I mention in my Your Body is a Fortress Series. I’m not just making this up.)