Where And How They Grow
Pistachios have only been growing on American soil since the 1960s. Before then, they were always imported. In 1929, an American botanist took a trip to Persia to collect pistachios. It took some time to perfect the growing process, but now pistachios thrive in the dry climates of California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
The pistachio tree is unique in that it has wide-spreading branches, with the pistachios grow in clusters, much like grapes. It takes about 10 to 12 years before the tree starts producing a sizeable crop. Even more fascinating is that there are male and female trees, and only the female produces pistachios.
The male tree does its part too. It contributes a vital componentthe pollen by way of the wind, not bee pollination.
What To Eat With Ibs
Little research has been done to identify foods that might improve IBS or prevent flare-ups, but there are many types of foods that are known to be good for your digestive health and are not likely to make your symptoms worse. These include:
Poultry and fish are lower in fat than other types of animal protein, so theyre less likely to overstimulate your gut the way that fattier meats like burgers and sausage sometimes do. Types of fish that are high in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, are exceptionally good for people with IBS, who have been found to have an increase in inflammatory cells in the intestines.
Eggs are another good source of protein. If they bother you, try eating the whites only .
Yogurt can contain low levels of lactose so people with IBS can often tolerate it. In fact, some research suggests that probiotics in yogurt may help reduce IBS symptoms.
Most nuts are low in FODMAPs, including Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts. Almonds and hazelnuts are somewhat higher in FODMAPs, so its recommended that people with IBS eat 10 or fewer of these nuts at a time. Exceptions are cashews and pistachios, which are high in FODMAPs.
Seeds like flaxseed and chia seeds are low in FODMAPs and may help with constipation. Theyre also a good source of omega-3s. Other low-FODMAP seeds are pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Eating Pistachios Is Linked To Heart
Nuts, in general, are known for their positive heart-health benefits â pistachios included. Eating the green nuts is linked to significantly lower systolic blood pressure, according to a May 2016 study published in Nutrition Today.
What’s more, making pistachios a part of your daily diet can also have a positive effect on your blood lipid profile, so long as you avoid increasing your overall calorie intake, according to a May 2016 study published in Acta Biomedica. Researchers observed that snacking on pistachios decreased study participants’ LDL cholesterol levels while raising their HDL cholesterol levels.
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Dietary Changes Might Be Just What The Doctor Ordered
In recent years, one dietary approach designed by Australian researchers has become more widely accepted as beneficial for people with IBS the Low FODMAP diet.
A review published in January 2017 in Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 50 to 86 percent of people with IBS showed improvement in their symptoms on a low-FODMAP diet.
According to the IFFGD, FODMAPs are carbohydrates that tend to cause problems for people with IBS. Restricting them not cutting them out completely has been shown to improve IBS symptoms.
Foods that are considered high FODMAP include soft cheeses, cows milk, yogurt, vegetables such as asparagus and artichokes, fruits such as plums and apples, cashews and pistachios, and rye and wheat breads.
The Low FODMAP diet has seen a fair amount of success, Boland says. But it can be challenging to follow completely. I tell my patients that they dont need to follow it to a tee, but it can help them identify trigger foods that they didnt expect.
What Are The Nutrition Facts Of Pistachios
Pistachios are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including beta carotene, phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Compared to other nuts, they are also high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of chronic disease and improves heart health, says registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick.
You can also eat a lot of them in just one serving, which is one ounce, or 49 pistachios. Compared to other nuts, this is a lot of nuts per one-ounce serving, says registered dietitian Melissa Majumdar, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One ounce of walnuts is only 14 walnut halves.
Both raw and roasted pistachios contain a lot of fat: about 13 grams, which is 17% of the recommended daily total. But most of it is monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy type that can help lower levels of bad cholesterol. Pistachios are also a good source of protein a serving contains about 6 grams.
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How To Eat Pistachios Properly
Pistachios can be purchased in the shell, or as kernels . The de-shelled version is convenient for many different uses, but there may be some downsides to the shelled pistachios, such as ease of excessive consumption.
Some health experts recommend choosing to buy pistachios in the shell for a few reasons. The work of removing the shells for each bite will slow the eating process and may help prevent overeating. The act of removing the shells can be a form of mindful eating.
Furthermore, the discarded shells are a visual reminder of the amount consumed. A 2011 study tested this theory. Subjects consumed almost 20% fewer calories when the shells were left as a visual reminder instead of being thrown away. Once again, in-shell pistachios may contribute to more mindful eating in the correct portions.
So, if you purchase the version in the shell, here are a few tips to safely remove the shells:
Coffee And Other Drinks With Caffeine
Seth Restaino / Getty Images
It may be hard to live without your morning cup of coffee. But caffeine is known to be an IBS trigger for some people.
If you are used to having caffeine, you are likely to have some caffeine withdrawal for the first few days after you give up coffee. Even so, it may be worth trying it to see if your IBS symptoms improve.
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Improve Blood Sugar Balance
Another important health benefit of pistachios is that they lower the glycemic index in your blood, which is the amount of fat and sugar. Studies have shown that eating pistachios doesn’t cause a sharp rise in blood sugar after eating, which is what happens after carb-heavy meals. Because of this, pistachios are the perfect snack for those at risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, since they are shown to reduce blood pressure.
Along with being great for your heart and blood sugar, pistachios are known to be excellent foods for gut health. The high fiber content in pistachios improves the digestive system by preventing constipation. There are 2.9 grams of fiber in a serving of pistachios, which is about 49 nuts. Pistachios also contain prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in the gut. This has a positive effect on gut health!
Is Avocado Bad For Ibs
Avocados are super healthy and delicious and, unfortunately, they can be a nightmare for someone with IBS. According to the FODMAP diet, small amounts of avocado are okay, but any large serving sizes can be tricky. The more avocado you have, the more sorbitol youll ingest, which can contribute to IBS symptoms.
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How To Avoid Salmonella And Aflatoxin
Roasting pistachios over dry heat may help reduce contamination by Aflatoxin and Salmonella. Some pistachio varieties can tolerate high heat for 20 minutes. So heat-resistant toxins may not survive on these pistachios.
American pistachios have a lower roastability. But they are less contaminated with aflatoxin. American growers use clean cultural practices and mechanized harvesting.
Are Bananas Ok For Ibs
Foods High in Fructose It turns out some very healthy foods like apples, pears and dried fruits are naturally high in fructose, which when ingested, can trigger some of the same side effects as undigested lactose. Fruits lower in fructose, such as berries, citrus and bananas, may be a better choice for people with IBS.
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Where Are Fodmaps Found
FODMAPs are found in certain foods across almost every category, from dairy to wheat products to beans and even many fruits and vegetables. All foods high in FODMAPs fall into one or more of the following categories:
High in Fructans or Galactans: These two molecules make up the Oligosaccharides part of the FODMAP acronym. Theyre commonly found in wheat, barley, pistachios, cashews, and beans.
High in Lactose: Lactose, found in dairy products, is the most common food source of disaccharides, which are molecules made up of two sugars joined together.
Excess Fructose: Fructose, a sugar commonly found in fruit, is easily absorbed by the body when theres an equal or greater amount of glucose also present. But when a food contains an excess of fructose, such as high-fructose corn syrup, IBS sufferers may have difficulty digesting it.
High in Polyols: Sugar alcohols like malitol, xylitol, or sorbitol
Some foods, such as oats or coconut milk, are only high FODMAP in large quantities, so you may be able to enjoy small servings of many foods when limiting FODMAPs. Thats why its vital to work closely with a dietician or doctor to hone in on the foods that your body can and cannot tolerate.
The 10 Best Foods For Ibs Symptoms
You may know which foods you shouldn’t eat when you have irritable bowel syndrome . But for many people, what often gets overlooked is which foods you should eat to ease IBS symptoms.
Everyone’s body is different, and foods you are sensitive to might not bother someone else. Still, there are many foods that are likely to have a positive effect on your digestive system without making your IBS symptoms worse.
This article lists proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and other foods that are most likely to help your IBS symptoms. It also includes foods that are low in FODMAPs, meaning that they don’t easily ferment with bacteria in your colon and lead to gas, bloating, and pain.
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Risk Of Being Contaminated By Bacterium Salmonella
Pistachios are also at a higher risk of being contaminated by the bacterium salmonella.
It may cause diarrhea, high temperature, and gastrointestinal problems and may be fatal for infants, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.
Proper roasting of pistachios may kill bacterium salmonella, but improper roasting may even contaminate the uncontaminated pistachios .
My Favorite Nutty Low Fodmap Foods
PB2 or PB Fit peanut butter powdersare a massive staple in my kitchen and perfect when I am craving that peanut-y taste. Basically, this is just defatted peanut butter . Peanut butter powder can be added to moist foods like smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, or lactose-free yogurt, or reconstituted with a little water to make peanut butter. Unfortunately, the flavor and texture falls short of the real thing.
Justins Peanut Butter CupsStick to one cup of the milk chocolate variety or enjoy both cups of the dark chocolate.
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Lowers Cholesterol And Cvd Risk In Studies
Fat is bad for cholesterol, right?
Only if its coming from animal-based foods like meat, dairy, and eggs.
100% plant-based foods have zero cholesterol. Furthermore, numerous studies have found they may help lower cholesterol by other means, such as reducing absorption from other foods and through phytosterol content.
A study of healthy adults with high LDL cholesterol were found to benefit when their moderate-fat diet included this nut.
In addition to LDL lowering, studies have also found pistachios can increase cholesterol of the good type and improve other lipid profiles, such as lowering triglycerides.
Best of all, the benefits of eating pistachios for your heart appear to happen in a dose-dependent manner. Research suggests the more you consume versus the bad fats, the lower your cardiovascular disease risk.
Thats a broad category that includes heart attacks, ischemic stroke, and atherosclerosis among other deadly diseases.
The antioxidants may be helping more than just your eyes. Your fats oxidize in your body, including LDL cholesterol. In a study of high cholesterol adults, some of whom received high daily dosages of this nut, the following was observed.
We found significant decreases in serum oxidized-LDL in participants following the pistachio-enriched treatment diets relative to the control diet. This is important, because oxidized-LDL are recognized as a contributing factor for the initiation and progression of CVD.
Heartburn Triggers: Heartburn And Medications
Many different medications can trigger heartburn, or make heartburn worse. An aspirin here or there is not likely to lead to that fiery feeling. But regular use of aspirin or a popular class of painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may irritate the esophagus. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription Cox-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex. These drugs are often used to treat arthritis.
Several different types of blood pressure medicines can also cause heartburn. Many blood pressure and heart disease medicines, including calcium channel blockers and nitrates, relax the LES muscle, making it easy for your stomach acids to retreat backwards.
Several other types of medications are known to relax the LES muscle and lead to heartburn. They include:
- An asthma medicine called theophylline, taken by mouth
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Meat Poultry And Fish
Protein foods such as meats, poultry and fish are naturally free of FODMAPs. However, processed and marinated meats may contain FODMAPs due to the addition of high FODMAP ingredients such as garlic and onion.
Low FODMAP choices include plain cooked meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, while high FODMAP options include marinated meats, processed meats and meats served with gravy/sauces that may include high FODMAP ingredients.
Packed Full Of Antioxidants
Pistachios are amazing for overall health because of the essential antioxidants they contain. Pistachios have high levels of y-tocopherol, phytosterols, and xanthophyll carotenoids, all of which have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants lower the risk of cancer and other diseases by protecting the body’s cells from damage.
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How To Start An Ibs Food Journal
Another way to identify your food triggers is to keep a food journal and share it with your doctor or dietitian. Write down what you eat every day, including the amounts of each food and any symptoms you notice after each meal.
You may also be asked to record in your journal a description of the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements. Your doctor can use this information to spot relationships between your IBS symptoms and certain foods or a combination of foods.
An important question to ask your doctor: How long should I try dietary management before considering prescription medications for IBS? Dr. Kim
Low Fat Dairy Products
While lactose is generally avoided on a low FODMAP diet, many IBS sufferers can enjoy dairy without any symptoms at all. If this is the case for you, then low fat dairy is a good addition to your diet. After all, dairy contains a decent range of nutrients, including calcium.
Low fat dairy is generally preferred to higher fat options, as fatty foods can sometimes trigger IBS symptoms. Low fat dairy avoids that risk and could be better for your waistline too.
Yogurt and frozen yogurt are common recommendations, especially as these aren’t as rich as many types of cheese. If you are taking this route, pay attention to the products that you choose. Some dairy foods have high amounts of sugar, along with artificial flavors or colors.
If youre eating yogurt, look for products that contain active cultures. The bacteria in these will use some of the lactose as a food source, which leads to a lower lactose food. Yogurt also tends to be better tolerated than many other dairy foods. So, even if you cant eat other types of dairy, you may be okay with yogurt.
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Is Pistachio Low Fodmap
Pistachio is high FODMAP in normal serving sizes. Avoid foods with pistachios added. Look for low FODMAP alternative nuts such as small portions of hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts. Check Monash app for portion sizes. Possible FODMAPs: GOS, FructansFind low FODMAP food faster with the Fig app! This note on pistachio was reviewed by Fig’s dietitian team.
May Cause Tree Nut Allergic Reactions
Avoid pistachios if you have a tree nut allergy.
Individuals who are allergic to tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, and hazelnuts are likely to be allergic to pistachios.
Tree nut allergy may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, itching of mouth, throat, eyes, skin, and other areas, nasal congestion, and difficulty in breathing, etc.
In serious cases, tree nut allergy may cause anaphylaxis, a severe potentially life threatening allergic reaction.
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Eat Foods High In Soluble Fiber
Adding fiber to your diet allows for food to move quickly and easily through your digestive tract. A high fiber diet may reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Women should get 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day. Men should get 30 to 38 grams each day.
The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in foods like:
- Vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.
Adding more fiber to your diet can improve your IBS symptoms. However, adding too much fiber too quickly can cause discomfort. Increase fiber slowly and pay attention to your symptoms.