Move over turkey!

Each holiday season, the turkey and its sleep-inducing L-tryptophan gets all the attention for its 'chill-out' properties, but adding a daily dose of pistachios to your diet can help battle the stressors of the season. Sound too good to be true?  According to a study conducted by nutrition researchers at Penn State University, eating two servings of pistachios a day may reduce your body's response to the stresses of everyday life. The study found that lifestyle changes, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can lessen the biological reactions to stress. Pistachios, resulted in a significant reduction of the biological effects of acute stress, and in diets supplemented with pistachios, subjects had lower blood pressure during stress. Stress is usually associated with the demands of holiday shopping, family obligations, social events and hectic travel. In fact, 76 percent of Americans claim they feel stressed out during the winter holidays, according to a new national consumer study conducted between Oct.30 - Nov. 1, 2007 by Kelton Research for the Fresno, Cal.-based Western Pistachio Association. Instead of choosing more healthy alternatives to deal with their holiday stressors, 44 percent claimed they ate too much; 34 percent turned to alcohol; 25 percent stopped answering calls; 21 percent cancelled social engagements; and 14 percent called in sick to work just to cope! So, add some pistachios to your diet. Between snacking on them and eating Thanksgiving turkey, you should be fast asleep on the sofa in no time -- stressfree.

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