With premission from irandriedfruit.comWith premission for irandriedfruit.com

Friends and Enemies 

Stink Bug From maine.gov

Despite being a big tough eukaryote, Pistacia vera is the most fragile of the species when it comes to diseases. Many fungal diseasesm, such as Verticillium wilt, damage and kill the tree. The pistachio can also be harmed by Armillaria mellea, a parasitic oak root fungus that causes rotting of the roots. Some other enemies of the pistachio include insects such as Anapleura lentisci, several species of leaf-footed bugs and stink bugs. These insect eat the leaves of the tree which compromises the trees ability to produce food.

Although some fungi harm the Pistacia vera tree, other fungi, such as those found in the Glomus genus, form mutualistic mycorrhizal relationships with the pistachio and enhance the growth of the tree. The fungi resides within and around the plant's roots. This helps the roots of the pistachio tree absorb more nutrients, such as zinc and phosphorous, from the soil. This is done by increasing the surface area of the root which ultimately enhances the growth of the tree due to more efficient nutrient uptake.  

From ed.fnal.gov

Mycorrhizal root

Insects and many chordates benefit from the tree and use it as a food source. Many squirrels and birds use this nest as a place of residence and utilize the nut for food.

Iran is the number one harvester of the pistachio nut with over 55% of the worlds pistachio production. This indicates that the pistachio is not only a good source of food for the people of Iran but is also reveals this plant is beneficial to the economies of  countries that can produce the nut in larger quantities.

From ars.usda.gov

The pistachio nut is high in protein, low in saturated fat and contains high levels of antioxidants so it is not only tasty but the nut has proven to be healthy as well. Research from Science Daily  shows that those who were on a 1.5 oz pistachio diet had a better acute stress response then those who did not consume pistachios at all. When placed under acute stress (a math test), the group who was on the pistachio diet experiences a less  significant increase in blood pressure then the control group with a regular diet. Researchers believe that blood pressure was more controlled because the antioxidants in pistachios may help relax the blood vessels. Another health benefit to consuming pistachios is that they have been found to lower cholesterol. Most plants contain phytosterols which is a chemical that lowers level of HDL (bad) cholesterol. Lowing bad cholesterol decrease the risk factor of many disease including coronary heart disease and stroke.


Want to know more?  See how pistachios interact with one another.