During this summer period, apart from the clear waters and clean beaches, the archaelogic sites and the natural charms there is one more reason to visit Aegina: the pistachios.
I am sure you have enjoyed these delicious nuts accompanying your drink, as a snak or as an ingredient of a gourmet lunch.
But do you know that according to a recent study a diet enriched with pistachios can lead to an increase in serum antioxidants and decrease of the so called "bad" cholesterol? The research that was carried out at the University of Pensylvania and was published at the "Journal of Nutrition" in March 2010 comes as a supplement to the rising conviction of many scientists that the consumption of nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios has positive effects on the maintenance of good heart operation. However, compared to other nuts pistachios contain higher amounts of b-carotene and lutein, antioxidant substances that are also found in dark green leafy vegetables.
According to an older study published in 2008 the frequent consumption of pistachios is leading to decreased cellular inflammations which usually act troublesomely on the development of heart diseases. Another study carried out by the University of Toronto concluded that consuming pistachios with other food hinders the sudden rise of blood sugar levels after a meal thus decreasing the risk of diabetes type II.
It is important to remember that nuts and therefore pistachios have a high energy content and should therefore be consumed frequently but in small portions. Moreover, in order to enjoy their benefits pistachios should be included in an overall healthy diet and should be eaten preferably saltless.
You can find a lot of information about pistachios at the site of the Western Pistachio Association and Wikipedia.
You will also find on the internet many recipes containing pistachios. Enjoy them with your heart!
If the island of Aegina is a remote destination for you, you could get tasty roasted pistachios here.
The most famous Mediterranean dessert, baklava is now available on the internet here!
The book Nuts: Pistachio, Pecan & Pinon (Cook West) contains 50 delicious recipes to prepare exotic main dishes and flavorful desserts with pistachios, pecans and pinons.