(NaturalNews) A study conducted by researchers at Penn State found that those with type 2 diabetes may be able to improve the way their body responds to stress by eating two servings of pistachios daily.(1)
After following a typical American diet for two weeks which consisted of 36 percent fat and 12 percent saturated fats, the participants were then put on one of two test diets provided by the study, both lasting four weeks and having the same amount of calories.(1) The first diet was a heart-healthy one comprised of 27 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat, and the second diet involved eating two servings daily (3 ounces) of pistachios with meals.
Upon completion of the diet phase, the type 2 diabetes participants were asked to engage in a stress test, a confusing math test, and a cold water challenge to gauge their body's response. It was found that ". . . two servings of pistachios per day lowered vascular constriction during stress and improved neural control of the heart," says Sheila G. West, professor of Biobehavioral Health and Nutritional Sciences at Penn State. She explains that nuts, while high in fat, are high in the good fats that help protect the body. Furthermore, she says they also contain antioxidants, fiber and potassium, which contributes to their heart-health promoting abilities.
How pistachios help overall health for those with type 2 diabetes
During stress tests, blood vessels were more open and relaxed. Regarding blood pressure, systolic pressure was reduced during sleep enough to reduce the heart's workload.(1)
The cold water challenge involved leaving one hand in ice-cold water for two minutes and was conducted to assess vascular restriction. They discovered that the arteries of those who followed the pistachio diet had more dilated arteries; normally in this situation, arteries constrict and therefore, increase the work load for the heart.
This dilation of arteries was also observed during a difficult math test.
West notes that "The pistachio diet reduced their bodies' responses to stress, but nuts are not a cure for the emotional distress that we feel in our daily lives."(1)
Additional health benefits of pistachios
Pistachios have been recognized for their health benefits over the years.
They also contain arginine, an amino acid that plays a role in releasing hormones, removing ammonia from the body and boosting the immune system.(2)
Ingesting them is also linked with having a lower body mass index (BMI) and has not been associated with weight gain even during daily consumption.(2) Health expert Dr. Oz is on board with their ability to help people lose weight, noting that pistachios have more protein than walnuts and that protein is essential in aiding weight loss.(3) He advocates eating them daily, recommending that people have at least one 1-ounce serving of them every day.(3)
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle