Eating Pistachios May Reduce Acute Stress Reaction

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Stress Management and Pistachios

Body's response to acute stress may be calmed and reduced by eating pistachios, says the Penn State study.

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"A ten-year follow-up study of young men showed that those who had larger cardiovascular responses to stress in the lab, were more likely to contract hypertension later in life," says Dr. Sheila G. West, associate professor of biobehavioral health. "Elevated reactions to stressors are partly genetic, but can be changed by diet and exercise. Lifestyle changes can make the biological reactions to stress smaller."

West and her colleagues investigated the effects of pistachios on standardized stressors on subjects who had high cholesterol, but normal blood pressure. They used a randomized, crossover controlled feeding study design and all three diets all contained the same number of calories. After a two-week run-in diet containing 35 percent fat and 11 percent saturated fats, each test diet lasted for four weeks during which time participants ate only foods supplied by the study. The researchers reported the results of this study at Experimental Biology 2007 today (April 30) in Washington, D.C.

The diets included a Step I Diet

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