Soccer star Monica Gonzalez wants you to eat more pistachios

What does Monica Gonzalez, former Mexican Women’s National Soccer team captain, love to snack on? Pistachios! The Latina athlete recently announced her partnership with Wonderful…

Mexican soccer star Monica Gonzalez has recently announced a partnership with Wonderful Pistachios and is encouraging people to adopt the pistachio as a healthy snack option. (Photo

What does Monica Gonzalez, former Mexican Women’s National Soccer team captain, love to snack on? Pistachios!

The Latina athlete recently announced her partnership with Wonderful Pistachios as she begins her tour of the United States this summer.

While visiting major cities around the country Gonzalez will be showcasing a variety of Latin dishes which incorporate pistachios in their recipes.

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“Two of my favorite things have always been soccer and salty snacks,” Gonzalez told the Latin Post.

“To me, the ‘crack’ and delicious taste of pistachios are uniquely satisfying. Having worn the green jersey as captain of the Mexican Women’s National Team, pistachios — the only green nut — are special to me, which is why I’m thrilled to be working with Wonderful Pistachios this summer.”

Gonzalez continued on to explain that she will be offering her own Latin-inspired pistachio pairings.

“These snack pairings are perfect to indulge in while rooting for your favorite team and they’ll get families everywhere ‘crackin” with ‘futbol’ fever!”

But are pistachios really healthy for you? or has Gonzalez simply signed on as a Wonderful Pistachios spokeswoman as a smart business move?

The health benefits of pistachios

When it comes to nutrition, a super athlete like Gonzalez knows her stuff.

Pistachios really are a healthy snack, and according to the American Pistachio Growers, there is a large body of research supporting the addition of pistachios to a diet to help with everything from obesity prevention to heart disease.

The Pistachio Health Institute states that pistachios are an excellent source of copper and manganese, and a good source of thiamin and phosphorus.

They’re also an excellent source of vitamin B6, offering 20 percent of the Daily Value per serving.

In addition to these nutrients, pistachios offer a number of antioxidant properties that researchers say help protect the body from cell-damaging free-radicals.

“These results are the first to show the bioactive compounds are released during digestion and are available to be taken up by the body,” said Giuseppina Mandalari, Ph.D, pistachio researcher.

“These nutrients contribute to the beneficial relationship between pistachio consumption and healthy outcomes, such as heart disease.”

Green nuts are full of antioxidants.

Pistachios are a healthy snack, championed by Monica Gonzalez. (Shutterstock)

Pistachios are diverse in the number of antioxidants and polyphenols they contain when compared to other plants, and most of these substances can be identified by the numerous pigments seen in the kernel and skin of this nut.

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Green and yellow pigments are indicative of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and chlorophyll, while anthocyanins, also found in blueberries, give pistachios their purplish red color.

The polyphenols, or catechins, are slightly yellow or white.

“Pistachios are a cholesterol-free snack that contains just 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 13 grams of fat per serving, the majority of which comes from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat,” indicates the American Pistachio Growers.

“A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals 49 nuts, which is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut. One serving has as much potassium (300 mg, 8 percent) as an orange (250 mg, 7 percent), making it a nutritious snack choice or ingredient to incorporate into daily diets.”

Pistachios are also certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food.

So, there’s no doubt you’d have to kick yourself,  if you didn’t listen to soccer star Monica Gonzalez’s advice about pistachios.