Consuming pistachios may help type 2 diabetic patients as the dry fruit helps in curbing vascular response to stress in daily life.
Sheila West, a professor of health and nutrition, says two servings of pistachios a day will lower the body’s response during stress and control the heart better.
West said although nuts are high in fat, they contain good fats, fiber, potassium and antioxidants and given the high risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, nuts are key to stop any heart problems.
The study conducted by West and her team found that after the pistachio diet, blood vessels were relaxed and remained open during the stress test, thus reducing the load on the heart.
The researchers said there were also improvements in heart rate variability, reflecting how well the nervous system controls heart function. The data also indicated that pistachios increased the activity of the vagus nerve, an important part of the parasympathetic nervous system that could be damaged with diabetes.
The paper, to be published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggested that longer term treatment would improve sleep blood pressure, vascular response to stress and vagal control of the heart, ultimately reducing risk of heart disease.