Before we uncover the link between pistachios and melatonin, let’s first talk about the importance of sleep and our fitness. Fitness encompasses our brain health, our bodily functions, and how we feel.
Did you know that our brain never really stops working? It’s cranking away reacting to what we hear, see, what we think, and how we feel. Every single one of those brain processes creates metabolic waste, which leads to cognitive decline and neurological disorders. When we sleep the brain slows down and the glymphatic system kicks in eliminating the metabolic waste. You wake with better cognitive abilities and neurological functioning. (1)
Also, getting 7-9 hours of recommended sleep allows your body to create hormones that help you to burn calories. Lack of sleep decreases your calorie-burning hormones and you store more fat. To make matters worse, lack of recommended sleep also increases your cortisol levels which makes your brain trigger the want of food. (2) In addition, lack of sleep also decreases your body’s ability to build muscle. Muscle burns fat. The lack of muscle means more fat and more likely to incur injuries.
And how will you feel? Perhaps overweight, out of shape, and not happy with how you look and feel. Read the article below to find the exercise type that suits you:
Are Pistachios Healthy?
Pistachio nuts are seeds inside a fruit that grows on a Pistachio tree. Although it is a seed with a shell, because it grows on a tree it is considered an Allergen. If you have an allergy to tree nuts, you should avoid eating pistachios.
If you do not have an allergy to tree nuts, then you should know nuts of all kinds are a good source of fat, protein, fiber, and a slew of vitamins and minerals. (3)
However, a study published in Nutrition Today specifically reports that pistachios can:
- improve the metabolism,
- provide a feeling of being full which can lead to weight loss,
- reduce blood pressure,
- have beneficial effects on diabetes control, and
- help reduce cardiovascular risks. (4)
So, they are a very good nut.
The specifics of pistachios are:
In 49 shelled kernels there are (7)
- 159 calories
- 7.7 grams carbohydrates
- 5.7 grams protein
- 12.9 grams fat
- 3 grams fiber
- 0.5 milligram vitamin B6 (25 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligram thiamine (20 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram copper (20 percent DV)
- 291 milligrams potassium (8.3 percent DV)
- 34 milligrams magnesium (8.5 percent DV)
- 1.1 milligrams iron (6.1 percent DV)
- 0.6 milligram zinc (4 percent DV)
- 14 micrograms folate (3.5 percent DV)
- 30 milligrams calcium (3 percent DV)
- 146 international units vitamin A (2.9 percent DV)
- 1.6 milligrams vitamin C (2.7 percent DV)
- 0.8 milligram vitamin E (2.7 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram niacin (2 percent DV)
There are 7 benefits of Pistachios:
- Good source of fiber, which keeps your GI tract healthy and it helps to maintain weight.
- Pistachios are lower in calories than other nuts, see above.
- More antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects, because of anthocyanins and carotenoids, which can reduce the risk of certain cancers and eye disease. Carotenoids are best absorbed with fat in a meal, but pistachios have the fat and carotenoids built-in all in one food.
- They are the most melatonin-rich nut, and melatonin aids sleeping.
- Natural preventer of overeating, their high fiber, and protein content is filling and stops you from eating too much.
- Healthy fats have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can lower bad cholesterol and reduce heart attacks and strokes. In a study of 28 adults with higher than optimal LDL, all participants who ate pistachios lowered their LDL levels.
- Have a positive effect on men’s sexual vitality.
Pistachios and Melatonin
The key to a good night’s sleep is a drug naturally found in our bodies called melatonin. Melatonin prepares the body for a healthy good night’s rest, it naturally signals the body to rest, minimizes the time it takes to fall asleep, you get more good sleep at night, it has antioxidant benefits, and it reduces jet lag. (8)
Many consider melatonin a hormone. Studies show the hormone melatonin rises in our bodies in the early evening and drops drastically when we wake. (8) Also, the natural melatonin our body produces increases right before puberty. And as we age, natural melatonin production decreases. This can lead to insomnia. So, what can we do to keep the required level of melatonin in our bodies as we age?
A natural way is to eat pistachios. This is the link between pistachios and melatonin, one ounce of pistachios has about 228,400 nanograms of melatonin. That is thousands and thousands more melatonin than other foods or nuts. More than rice, beans, and various meats; nothing compares to the pistachio nut. (8)
If you are asking can I eat pistachios any time and as many as I want? The answer is you can eat them any time, however, the best time to eat pistachios is 2-3 hours before you plan to go to sleep. This gives the pistachios time to digest and gives your body time to relax before going to sleep. You should not eat pistachios immediately before you go to sleep, or really any other food, as it may not digest completely.
Eating pistachios mid-day could bring on the need for a nap and if you are working this can present a problem. Also, taking a nap mid-day can throw your sleep pattern off and result in a restless night’s sleep. This can make the difference between waking, ready to take on the day, and feeling like going back to bed.
Eating the right number of pistachios can have significant benefits to heart health. About one ounce of 49 nuts a day is the recommended amount. This is 160-200 calories, which is a perfect size snack and full of good nutrients. Eating more than that could make you feel full all the time, and you are putting calories into your body, so you could gain weight.
With all things in life where there is an upside, there usually is a downside. The same is true for pistachios. Pistachios contain Fructan, and for some who have a sensitivity to Fructan, this can cause digestive issues. Some people have to watch their intake of fiber, and pistachios have high fiber. Some pistachios you buy are salted which can raise sodium levels. Pistachios have a high content of potassium. Some people have a tolerance issue with potassium or have kidney issues and should avoid high levels of potassium. And some people prefer roasting the pistachios to reduce any possible exposure to chemicals or fungus. (9)
Read the article below to learn how vital potassium is, it can seriously change your life:
We discussed how important sleep is to our lives and our health at the top of this article. We hope you understood the link between pistachios and melatonin clearly.
As you look for ways to control your weight, or get your body toned, or improve your mental clarity, or lower your cholesterol, improve your heart health, or reduce chances of eye disease, or improve your nightly sleep, keep in mind the benefits of pistachios and how easy it is to receive the benefits of the natural.
If you want to improve your sleep quality with a vitamin, check the article below:
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Sharon Del Pietro