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WORLD PISTACHIO DAY - A Global Chance to Celebrate the Wonderful Green Nut

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 General News J E 4
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WORLD PISTACHIO DAY A Global Chance to Celebrate the Wonderful Green Nut

NEW DELHI February 26 2010 – February 26th is World Pistachio Day so why not take a moment to reflect on the amazing history and modern day health benefits of this wonderful nut?

Did you know that pistachios contain only 3-4 calories per nut? They also offer vital nutrients including more than 30 different vitamins minerals and beneficial phytonutrients making them a great guilt free snack.

Originating from the Middle East pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees with evidence suggesting that humans were enjoying them as early as 7000 B.C. Pistachios were first planted in California in the 1930s. From this point it took nearly 10 years of careful research and breeding before the California pistachio – also known as the Kerman variety – was finally perfected. Today California produces more than 400 million pounds of pistachios each year making it a leading producer of pistachios worldwide.

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Going Nuts for Pistachios Across the Globe In China the pistachio is known as the “happy nut” because it looks like its smiling. Often given as a gift during the Chinese New Year pistachios are a symbol of health happiness and good fortune. While China leads the world in total pistachio consumption at 120 million pounds per year; Israel with 7 million snackers consuming 9 million pounds is the leader per capita for pistachio consumption.

In India pistachios are a major part of the population’s diet and are used in the popular saffron pistachio drink Kesar Pista Sharbat and dessert Pista Kulfi. Pistachios are considered a “hot food” and are believed to help keep the body warm and are typically enjoyed during the cold winter months. Conversely in Russia pistachios are enjoyed as a popular snack to accompany beer during the warm summer months.

In France where “snack” is not part of the vocabulary pistachios are served as part of the occasion known as aperitif a light beverage and snack served before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

While many eat pistachios purely for their delicious taste and satisfying crunch the pistachio is also stacked full of nutritional goodness.

Celebrate the Nutritional Benefits of California Pistachios New research continues to come to light showing the positive benefits of pistachios:

• Lung Cancer: Recently it was revealed that a diet that incorporates a daily dose of pistachios may help reduce the risk of lung and other cancers according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference held Dec. 6-9.

• A Smart Snack for Diabetics: Researchers from the University of Toronto found that when a handful of pistachios were eaten with a high glycemic index food like white bread the pistachios helped blunt the rise in blood sugar and reduced hunger-stimulating hormones. That helps control appetite and is good news for diabetics.

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• Pistachios “The Skinny Nut”: Overweight and obesity are risk factors for type II diabetes and heart disease. Nutrition experts call pistachios the “skinny nut” because they are one of the lowest calorie lowest fat and highest fiber nuts offering the most nuts per serving.

• Pistachios are “Fat Enlightened”: That’s because most of the fat in pistachios is the “good” fat that helps lower the risk of heart disease. In fact Penn State researchers found that eating one to two handfuls of pistachios a day resulted in a nine to 12 percent reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Wonderful Pistachios® Do Their Part for the Planet World Pistachio Day was established by Paramount Farms the grower and distributor of Wonderful Pistachios® who recently began their partnership with 1% for the Planet (1% FTP).

Officially launched in 2002 1% FTP is a global alliance of more than 1100 companies who pledge 1% of their annual sales directly to non-profit organizations focused on sustainability. Wonderful Pistachios joined 1% FTP under the umbrella of its parent company Roll International with two additional Roll brands. The combined revenues of its three brands will make Roll International one of the organization’s largest member companies in terms of annual donations dedicated to helping the environment.

About Wonderful® Pistachios Wonderful Pistachios from California are produced by Paramount Farms the largest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios in the world. Paramount Farms’ nuts are available in a wide range of packaged in-shell and shelled varieties. The company also supplies the private label needs of most major retailers including grocery stores club stores and mass merchandisers as well as international importers wholesalers and roasters. For more information about Wonderful Pistachios visit www.wonderfulpistachios.com. For more information about the health benefits of pistachios visit www.pistachiohealth.com the leading online source of information on the health and nutrition benefits of California pistachios developed by Paramount Farms as a resource for both consumers and health professionals.

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About One Percent for the Planet One Percent For The Planet is a global network of businesses small and large representing a diverse range of industries and personalities committed to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Members contribute 1% of sales to environmental causes ensuring the sustainability of our planet and their business. One Percent is an active customized organization that welcomes individuals entrepreneurs and corporations in their support of nonprofit organizations engaged in efforts to minimize negative environmental impact. To learn more about 1% FTP go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
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