Research Earns Pistachios 'Superfood' Status For People With Desk Jobs

Friday, March 9th, 2018 | 1791 Views

Three recent studies are giving new reasons for consumers to reach for a handful of nuts while at work and in particular, pistachios, and they could help office workers stay focussed at their desks.

Adding to an increasing volume of research around the health benefits of pistachios, one study and a national survey in the US suggest a snack of pistachios might boost brain power and concentration levels at work. For anyone reluctant to add nut calories to their daily routine, a French study showed that adding a daily pistachio snack to an existing diet is not likely to cause weight gain and t it could add important nutrients.

Pistachios may have a role in improved brain function. US-based Loma Linda University (LLU) researchers found that eating nuts on a regular basis enhances brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, learning, memory, recall and other key brain functions. While the research studied multiple nuts, pistachios produced the greatest gamma wave response, which is critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning and perception.

Electroencephalograms (EEG) were taken to measure the strength of brainwave signals. EEG wave band activity was then recorded from nine regions of the scalp associated with cerebral cortical function, the researchers explained.

“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body,” said the study’s principal investigator, Dr Lee Berk, associate dean for research at the LLU School of Allied Health Professions.

In a different study which surveyed 1,000 American office workers, it was found that pistachios helped them stay focussed until lunchtime. Participants were made to skip breakfast and instead consume a snack of 42 grams (1 ½ serving size) of pistachios between 9 am and 11 am.

Eighty percent said they usually get hungry in the mornings before lunch and think about food, often or every day. The mid-morning snack of pistachios proved to be just what they needed to power through the morning.

“Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, but even with a good breakfast and lunch, hunger pangs and stress driven hunger can be distracting, leading to unhealthy snacking habits,” said Dr Mike Roussell. “Pistachios are an ideal midmorning or mid-afternoon snack because of their unique nutrient package that not only promotes feelings of fullness and satiation but newer studies show that it can promote an optimal mental state and more focus at work.”’

Increasingly, people with desk jobs are looking for a healthier snack alternative to the usual donuts and vending machine fare. Ninety percent of the survey’s participants said they believe the snack of pistachios is healthier than their usual snack.