Pistachio-ology & Nut-rition
Pistachio-ology. Pistachio nuts grow in drupes of heavy grape-like clusters surrounded by a fleshy pink hull. Pistachio trees, Pistacia vera, derive their translation from the Persian word for pistachio, variations of "pesteh" in Farsi. Pistachio trees are wind-pollinated, with one male tree producing enough pollen for 25 nut-bearing female trees. Female trees begin producing their first crop at age 7 and commonly bear fruit for over 100 years. With their deep root system, pistachio trees survive and thrive in a high-desert, arid climate required to consistently produce their fruit.
Natural Farming. From start to finish, ARO Pistachios exist in their natural state under our stewardship and Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.) management at Orandi Ranch. Grown here in our orchards, cultivated, harvested, and processed on-site, our pistachios remain as closely possible to their natural state. We respect Nature's time required to organically split pistachios on our trees by the California sunshine. We never induce or expedite this process with artificial means. Nor do we introduce dyes to enhance shades, colors, or textures. Whether ARO Pistachios are roasted in-shell or raw kernels, each nut is the color we know as "pistachio green" naturally which is due to its rich amount of the phytonutrient chlorophyll. Our shells are also true to their natural shades and texture. What you see is what you get!
Seasonal Development. In late Summer pistachio trees reach peak seasonal growth and nuts are harvested. By early Winter the trees need "sleep" and become dormant until Spring. They require a minimum of 600 "chilling hours" known as the number of consecutive days when temperatures remain under 45f degrees. During Spring, trees exhibit bud break and shoots appear, and the trees progress developing leaves and beginnings of the nut hulls which become drupes, much like a peel containing the shell and nut within it.
Following this cyclical schedule, Summer returns and pistachio trees are very lush, full, and dense with leaves allowing for peak photosynthesis with the progression of longer hours of sunlight and warmer temperatures. The bright green color of the pistachio nut is developing and observed in the harvested nut. This distinctive green is due to the high chlorophyll content of extremely beneficial plant-based chemicals called phytonutrients. Phytonutrient arrays of many hues fortify immune systems, aid in prevention and lowered risk of diseases, and benefit the body's intricate systems.
Pistachios: A Super Food
One serving of pistachios = 49 individual nuts
Naturally vegan and gluten-free, each serving of pistachios provides a powerhouse of essential nutrients and phytonutrients. ARO Pistachios are additionally certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association:
- Vitamins & Minerals
- Beneficial Fats
The Pistachio Principle. What is so special about the Pistachio shell? Scientific studies show the act of opening each pistachio shell to retrieve the nut itself and the empty shells serving as a visual indicator of how many have been consumed contribute to overall satiation---the sense of "I'm full." See further information regarding these highlighted benefits of the pistachio at Live Strong.
Penn State University Research Video on Pistachios
Pistachios are tree fruits, vegan and gluten-free. ARO Pistachios are naturally large due to their Arya species variety, and industry-graded gourmet colossal. Additionally, ARO Pistachios are both Kosher and American Heart Association (AHA) Certified. We do not process any other tree nut at our facility (such as walnuts, almonds) nor the peanut legume.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt is pink in hue and mined in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in South Asia. We chose this beneficial salt over table salt and sea salt for its delicate flavor and high nutrient content of 84 minerals and trace elements. Its pink color is due to iron oxide and does not contain additives, chemicals, or dyes. Its composition includes sodium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, chloride, boron, fluoride, iodine, zinc, selenium, and copper.
Research & Studies
Research & Studies. Visit the USDA National Nutrient Database to see the complete overall Nutritional Data determined for Pistachios, for dry roasted or raw kernels, salted or unsalted. (Note: In interpreting this data, remember that ARO Pistachios are the only pistachios available exclusively seasoned with Himalayan Pink Salt, which includes the higher nutrient value and lower sodium value than in this USDA chart.)
Nuts increase longevity. Regarding longevity, the largest detailed medical study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that eating just a handful of nuts daily yields dramatic health benefits. The study notes that while it cannot definitely prove cause-and-effect, the significant findings are extremely beneficial for overall tree nut consumption and ground nut consumption. Furthermore, the 30-year study sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and a research grant from International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF) isolated variables among participants strengthening these key findings that regular nut consumption correlates to lowered risks of:
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- colon cancer
- cholesterol levels
- oxidative stress
- insulin resistance
Consistent consumption of tree nuts (pistachio nuts, almond nuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts) and ground nuts (such as peanuts) were all included in the study showing the more nut consumption on a regular basis, the greater your longevity and overall improved health! For the full study click here.
Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) & Obesity. The INC NREF study recently published in 2014 additionally gleans that tree nut consumption reduces risks of obesity and beneficial effects on MetS. For full study findings with links among tree nuts, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and obesity, see article here. Key findings of this study are:
- Regarding MetS, “While overall nut consumption was associated with lower prevalence of MetS, tree nuts specifically appear to provide beneficial effects on MetS, independent of demographic, lifestyle, and other dietary factors”
- Regarding obesity, participants with a high consumption of tree nuts in their diet were found to have significantly lower prevalence of obesity compared to those with a low consumption; furthermore, those with high levels of tree nut consumption versus ground nut consumption showed even lower risk for obesity.