9 Wonderful Benefits of Pistachios

The health benefits of pistachios include a healthy heart, weight management, protection against diabetes and hypertension, and improved digestion. The vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein found in pistachio are all good for health.

What are Pistachios?

Pistachios are one of the oldest edible nuts and are commonly used all over the world. They are native to Asia, particularly in Iran and Iraq. Archaeological evidence dates the association of pistachios and man as early as 6,000 BC. They were cultivated in Iran, Iraq, and Syria and were introduced to the Romans only in 100 AD. Today, apart from Iran, Iraq, and Syria, pistachios are being produced in many countries such as the United States, Australia, Turkey, and China, among others.

Pistachio nuts belong to the Anacardiaceae family from the genus Pistacia. A pistachio tree takes about 10 to 12 years to produce the first crop. They are drupe, where the fruit has a large seed in the center. This seed is edible. The nuts of pistachio are not seasonal and are available all year long. They can be bought from almost any grocery store.

Pistachios are available today in various forms such as shelled, unshelled, sweetened or salted. The shell of the nut protects it from physical damage and various infections. On the other hand, salted and sweetened pistachios may not be a good choice because of their high sodium and sugar content. The ideal way is to buy unshelled nuts, as they are in their natural form. They must be stored in airtight containers in cool and dry places so that they can last for many months without going bad. pistachios

Pistachios are one of the few nuts that contain most of the nutrients required by humans to maintain their overall health.

Pistachio Nutrition Facts

Pistachios contain nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and amino acids, fats, and dietary fiber. They are rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, sodium, and selenium. They also provide you with essential vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and betaine.

According to Thomas and Gebhardt (2006), pistachios contain a lower calorie content of only 160 calories per one ounce in comparison to other nuts and dried fruits such as cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts.

Pistachios contain a higher amount of protein in comparison with other nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. The amount of protein found in pistachio is 6 grams per 1 ounce, which is the highest in comparison to other nuts.

The fat content in pistachios is also the lowest as compared to the other nuts. Statistics collected by Thomas and Gebhardt (2006) show that the fat content is 13 grams per 1 ounce.

They are also a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and antioxidants. Taking them on a regular basis helps in decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), which is known as bad cholesterol and increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), commonly known as good cholesterol.

All of these nutrients make pistachios best suited for a good health.

Health Benefits of Pistachios

Health benefits of pistachio include:

Healthy Heart

One of the biggest health benefits of pistachios is that they are heart-friendly nuts. Research suggests that regular pistachio consumption can decrease the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. The antioxidants, phytosterols, and unsaturated fatty acids (both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids) are great for promoting a healthy heart.

Weight Management

Pistachios are also the first choice of people who are dieting. Evidence suggests that pistachios, with their lower calories, high protein, low saturated fat, and high unsaturated fats, are a perfect contender for ideal weight management.

Prevent Macular Disease or AMD

Pistachios contain carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help in reducing the risk of contracting an age-related macular disease in the elderly, according to the research conducted by Chen CYO and Blumberg JB from Tufts University, Boston, USA. They can be included, along with vegetables, for an increased supply of lutein and zeaxanthin.pistachioinfo

Skin Care

Pistachios also help in eliminating dryness from the skin. The saturated fat plays a major role in this aspect. The fat also acts as a good carrier or base oil as it is used as an ingredient in traditional therapies like aromatherapy and traditional massage therapy.

Dietary Fiber

One of the other health benefits of pistachios is that it is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps in the smooth digestion of food. A serving of about 1 ounce or 30 grams of pistachios contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber, more than enough to get your digestive tracts working at optimum capacity.

Aphrodisiac Properties

According to research conducted by Aldemir et al (2011), pistachios greatly influence sexual vitality in men. Studies have shown that those men who had a daily intake of about 100 grams of these nuts for three weeks improved their erectile function by around 50 percent. This was confirmed by ultrasound scans of blood flow in the penis.

Antioxidant Properties

Even the shells of pistachios are found to contain a considerable amount of antioxidants. Researchers from Tarbiat Modarres University, in Tehran, Iran were able to successfully identify and extract these antioxidants to be added to other foods. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that form in the body after cellular metabolism and can cause conditions like cancer and heart disease.

Defense Against Diabetes

One of the final health benefits of pistachios is that they function in controlling diabetes. In people suffering from diabetes, the sugars form inappropriate bonds with proteins and make them unusable. This process is known as glycation. The antioxidants present in them help in reducing the process of glycation and thus can help in controlling diabetes.

Absorption of Iron

Pistachios have a high copper content, which helps in the higher absorption of iron into the body from food sources. This can help combat conditions like anemia.

What do you think? |
12 comments in this article's discussion
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Wouldn't it be nice if our government subsidized the growing of healthy foods instead of big dairy and "GMO" big agriculture. The really sad thing is that these healthy foods are often out of the reach of our poor and working class families. We continue to see the "fattening" of America due to processed foods ... sugar in everything ... the glut of HFCS and fake and misleading adds on TV encouraging people to eat fast food and drink soda. It is high time that the current subsidy policies to big agriculture be changed. Change the subsidies so that they are only remitted if healthy foods are grown ... no GMO's or anti biotic laced beef, poultry etc. It is just such a shame that something so good for you ... is out of reach for so many families budgets.

Lucinda Lawton Parrish

I have always loved Pistachios and more so since they are so good for me~!

Pistachios every week probably 3 to 4 times a week about 1 Cup. I love them!


timely information

I discovered that pisctacios may also diminish diarrhea - I have it often with Crohns disease. With Crohns disease I am mindful to chew it very well so it doesn't irritate my intestines. Note though that I've not had a problem digesting pistachios. I elaborated on that for those with chones. ... the central point of my comment is that I noticed that I have good formed stools after eating pistachios

William Gustilo

Diabetes runs in our family. I am the eldest in our brood and three of my siblings are already suffering from diabetes. My consumption of pistachios, avocado oil and green leafy vegetables has helped maintained my blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

Hello William, Its great to know that pistachios has been beneficial in maintaining blood glucose and triglyceride levels

Very helpful post. Thanks

I love pistachios and now I have more of a reason they are healty for me thank goodness

I had pistachios yesterday. I woke up feeling so amazing that I looked up benefits of pistachios. Now I know why. Thank you, great info!

very useful info on Pistachios.

Fatima EL Amrani

Thank you for this article really very helpful. I think it's good for the heart patient since it contains no sodium.