ThePaleoList Answers: Are Pistachios Paleo?
Everything in moderation. OK, maybe not everything. But, nuts and seeds can be consumed but should defiantly be done so in moderation. Remember: Set your limits and snack within it. So are pistachios Paleo?
Because a lot of nuts and seeds were available to our ancestors to snack on they are looked upon as great snacks for Paleo diet enthusiasts. They also get heralded as a great snack because they are such an easy one to prepare, pack and store. However, none of this is reason enough to be indulging in nuts, such as pistachios, very frequently.
Introduction to Pistachios
First things first, if you have any digestive or autoimmune issues it is highly recommended that you ignore the line about moderation and just 100 per cent cut nuts out of your diet. In those situations another idiom reigns supreme: Better safe than sorry.
But what about those individuals with no pre-existing illness who want a quick and easy snack while they are engaged in a Paleo diet?
When we think about anti-nutrients, lectins, enzyme inhibitors and toxic proteins we are usually talking about grains and legumes … those monsters! But, some nuts can be just as bad as they use similar methods of defense. The bright side to nuts is that, unlike gluten, an individual is unlikely to endure long-term damage and autoimmunity from eating nuts and seeds.
The lectins in a lot of nuts and seeds can cause inflammation and irritation in the stomach lining an enzyme inhibitors can prevent your body from fully digesting the proteins in them. Added to this, nuts and seeds have phytic acid to help them from sprouting before the conditions for them are ideal. This phytic acid has the ability to bind to minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium which prevents them from being absorbed by your body meaning even if you eat a large amount of nuts and seeds you will not be getting the full mineral benefits you may think.
There is, however, a way to help eliminate amounts of phytic acid as well as other anti-nutrients from your nuts or seeds. Soaking your nuts or seeds overnight in salted water can achieve this. Once you soak the nuts or seeds, rinse them thoroughly, then dry them in sunlight, a dehydrator or in a low temperature oven. The nuts or seeds should be dried and eaten quickly because moisture encourages the growth of mold. Mold can be extremely toxic to your health especially if you were to ingest it regularly as a snack.
So, now that you are still snacking on nuts and seeds, but doing so in small servings and after taking good care in picking and preparing them, how do pistachios stack up?
So…Are Pistachios Paleo?
Pistachios contain a moderately high level of Polyunsaturated fatty acids with about 13 grams per 100 grams. Most of this is made up of omega-6 fat. They are also a good source of copper, thiamine, manganese and vitamin B6.
Remember, watch your snacking. Do the work to make your food better for you, and enjoy. But to answer the question “are pistachios paleo”, yes, they are.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: