100 calories of pistachios

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Pistachios nut kernels amount and nutrition facts conversion

Nutritional information table for
raw pistachios kernels

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 20g pistachios kernels
5 Servings per 100 g
0.9 Servings per 1/8 cup (30ml – 17.1g) *
Energy per 20g serving :
Calories / Kilocalories 121.4 Cal / kcal Kilojoules 508kJ
Nutrients : Per 1/8 cup (30ml) Per 100g
Energy 434.6 kJ
(103.9 Cal)
2540 kJ
(607.1 Cal)
Protein 3.4g 19.7g
Fat Total 8.7g 50.8g
– saturated 1.0g 5.6g
– trans fat 0g 0g
– polyunsaturated fat 2.3g 13.7g
– Omega 3 fatty acids 44 mg 256 mg
– Omega 6 fatty acids 2265 mg 13250 mg
– monounsaturated fat 4.1g 23.8g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.6g 15.1g
Sugars 1.0g 5.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.7g 10.1g
Sodium, Na 1.2 mg 7 mg
Potassium, K 175.4 mg 1025 mg
Magnesium, Mg 20.7 mg 121 mg
Ingredients: raw pistachios kernels, no shell
Storage instructions: Store in a cool, dry place
Average expiry time: 1 year from production date
* 1/8 US Legal Nutrition Labeling Cup equals 30ml

Apart what’s in the raw pistachios kernels nutrition facts table, use the pistachios kernels calorie counter to calculate dietary and nutritional information for any amount of pistachios kernels. E.g. convert value from 1/4 of a cup amount, or 50g, 1 fl-oz servings, 100g, even US legal nutrition labeling cup (240ml/cup). Convert from any portion or measure. The tool also makes conversions of fats into energy units, from any amount of fat contained in pistachios kernels. Details about pistachios kernels are handy as healthy eating tips, for maintaining healthy diet therefore a personal healthcare plus wellbeing.

This converter deals with pistachios kernels (nuts, raw, shell removed). They are an important culinary nut worldwide, especially so in diet of many mainly midle eastern countries. Pistachio has been a very important crop in the west locations of Asia as well, such as in cooler region parts of Iran, where it also was first cultivated.

The pistachios kernels online web tool makes smooth unit to unit conversions. From any new specific weight scales versus liquid measures. From weight in pounds ( lb ), ounces ( oz ), kilograms ( kg – kilo ), dekagrams ( dkg – dag – deca – deka ), grams ( g ), 100 grams ( 100 g ) portion, pints ( pt ) into an equivalent amount size. Or convert volume measures of pistachios kernels from a value in liters ( l ), deciliters ( dl – dcl ), milliliters ( ml ), fluid ounces ( fl-oz ), gallons ( gal ), quarts ( qt ), pint US ( pt ) liquid and dry, table spoons ( tbsp – tblsp – tbs ), tea spoons ( tsp – teasp ) of pistachios kernels and convert also from measuring cups into either American US or Metric kitchen units. Enjoy this useful pistachios kernels converter for cooking, baking and the nutrition data as health tips for wellness.

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These naturally verdant nuts have a buttery taste that makes them irresistible for snacking; they also add flavor, crunch and touch of sophistication to sweet treats and savory dishes alike.

Imported pistachios took America by storm in the 1880s, when the exotic nuts were a popular choice in vending machines and “a dozen for a nickel” was the famous slogan. The nuts were soon grown here, too, and they’ve been a snacking sensation ever since. Our raw pistachios are shelled and ready to eat, making them exceptionally convenient for on-the-go snacking (no pesky shells to deal with).

Pistachios are also exceedingly healthy, sharing a similar high protein, fiver, and unsaturated fat profile as many other nuts, but with two bonus points: Turns out pistachios have a lot in common with spinach and other leafy greens, which all have disease-fighting antioxidants to thank for their green pigment. Plus pistachios are uniquely touted as a natural stress reducer, making them an especially good choice for a workday snack-or anytime you want to brighten your day.

9 Health Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachio nuts are not only tasty and fun to eat but also super healthy.

These edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

What’s more, they contain several essential nutrients and can aid weight loss and heart and gut health.

Interestingly, people have been eating pistachios since 7000 BC. Nowadays, they’re very popular in many dishes, including ice cream and desserts (1).

Here are 9 evidence-based health benefits of pistachios.

1. Loaded with nutrients

Pistachios are very nutritious, with a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of about 49 pistachios containing the following (2):

Notably, pistachios are one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods around.

Vitamin B6 is important for several bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells.

Pistachios are also rich in potassium, with one ounce containing more potassium than half of a large banana (3).

Summary Pistachios are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They also boast several other important nutrients, including vitamin B6 and potassium.

2. High in antioxidants

Antioxidants are vital to your health.

They prevent cell damage and play a key role in reducing the risk of disease, such as cancer.

Pistachios contain more antioxidants than most other nuts and seeds. In fact, only walnuts and pecans contain more (4).

In one 4-week study, participants who ate either one or two servings of pistachios per day had greater levels of lutein and γ-Tocopherol, compared with participants who did not eat pistachios (5).

Among nuts, pistachios have the highest content of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are very important antioxidants for eye health (6, 7).

They protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light and age-related macular degeneration, a condition in which your central vision is impaired or lost (8, 9).

Furthermore, two of the most abundant groups of antioxidants in pistachios — polyphenols and tocopherols — may help protect against cancer and heart disease (6, 10).

Interestingly, the antioxidants in pistachios are very accessible in the stomach. Therefore, they are more likely to be absorbed during digestion (11).

Summary Pistachios are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts around. They’re high in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which promote eye health.

3. Low in calories yet high in protein

While eating nuts has many health benefits, they’re typically high in calories.

Fortunately, pistachios are among the lowest-calorie nuts.

One ounce (28 grams) of pistachios contains 159 calories, compared with 185 calories in walnuts and 193 calories in pecans (2, 12, 13).

With protein comprising about 20% of their weight, pistachios are second only to almonds when it comes to protein content (6).

They also have a higher ratio of essential amino acids ⁠— the building blocks of protein ⁠— than any other nut (10).

These amino acids are considered essential because your body cannot make them, so you must obtain them from your diet.

Meanwhile, other amino acids are considered semi-essential, meaning that they can be essential under certain circumstances, depending on the health of the individual.

One of these semi-essential amino acids is L-arginine, which accounts for 2% of the amino acids in pistachios. It’s converted into nitric oxide in your body, which is a compound that causes your blood vessels to dilate, aiding blood flow (6).

Summary Pistachios contain fewer calories and more protein than most other nuts. Also, their essential amino acid content is higher than any other nut.

4. May aid weight loss

Despite being an energy-dense food, nuts are one of the most weight-loss-friendly foods.

While few studies have looked at the effects of pistachios on weight, those that exist are promising.

Pistachios are rich in fiber and protein, both of which increase feelings of fullness and help you eat less (14, 15).

In one 12-week weight loss program, those who ate 1.9 ounces (53 grams) of pistachios per day as an afternoon snack had twice the reduction in body mass index, compared with those who ate 2 ounces (56 grams) of pretzels per day (16).

Moreover, another 24-week study in individuals with excess weight showed that those who consumed 20% of calories from pistachios lost 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) more from their waistlines than those who did not eat pistachios (17).

One factor possibly contributing to pistachios’ weight loss properties is that their fat content might not be fully absorbed (18).

In fact, studies have demonstrated the malabsorption of fats from nuts. This is because part of their fat content is stuck within their cell walls, preventing it from being digested in the gut (6, 19).

What’s more, shelled pistachios are good for mindful eating, as shelling the nuts takes time and slows the rate of eating. The leftover shells also give you a visual clue of how many nuts you have eaten (20).

One study showed that individuals who ate in-shell pistachios consumed 41% fewer calories than individuals who ate shelled pistachios (21).

Summary Eating pistachio nuts may aid weight loss. In-shell pistachios are especially beneficial, as they promote mindful eating.

5. Promote healthy gut bacteria

Pistachios are high in fiber, with one serving containing 3 grams (2).

Fiber moves through your digestive system mostly undigested, and some types of fiber are digested by the good bacteria in your gut, acting as prebiotics.

Gut bacteria then ferment the fiber and convert it into short-chain fatty acids, which may have several health benefits, including a reduced risk of developing digestive disorders, cancer, and heart disease (22, 23).

Butyrate is perhaps the most beneficial of these short-chain fatty acids.

Eating pistachios has been shown to increase the number of butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut to a greater extent than eating almonds (24).

Summary Pistachios are high in fiber, which is good for your gut bacteria. Eating pistachios may increase the number of bacteria that produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate.

6. May lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Pistachios may reduce your risk of heart disease in various ways.

In addition to being high in antioxidants, pistachios may lower blood cholesterol and improve blood pressure, thus lowering your risk of heart disease (6, 10).

In fact, several studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of pistachios (25, 26, 27).

Many studies on pistachios and blood lipids are conducted by replacing part of the calories in a diet with pistachios. Up to 67% of these studies have shown reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases in HDL (good) cholesterol (28).

Meanwhile, none of these studies observed that eating pistachios harmed the blood lipid profile (28).

One 4-week study in people with high LDL cholesterol had participants consume 10% of their daily calories from pistachios.

The study showed that the diet lowered LDL cholesterol by 9%. What’s more, a diet consisting of 20% of calories from pistachios lowered LDL cholesterol by 12% (25).

In another study, 32 young men followed a Mediterranean diet for 4 weeks. Then, pistachios were added to that diet in place of its monounsaturated fat content, totaling about 20% of their daily calorie intake.

After 4 weeks on the diet, they experienced a 23% reduction in LDL cholesterol, 21% reduction in total cholesterol, and 14% reduction in triglycerides (26).

Moreover, pistachios seem to lower blood pressure more than other nuts.

A review of 21 studies found that eating pistachios reduced the upper limit of blood pressure by 1.82 mm/Hg and the lower limit by 0.8 mm/Hg (29).

Summary Studies show that eating pistachios may help lower blood cholesterol. It may also lower blood pressure more than other nuts.

7. May promote blood vessel health

The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels.

It’s important that it works properly, as endothelial dysfunction is a risk factor for heart disease (30).

Vasodilation is the widening or dilating of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by reduced vasodilation, which decreases blood flow.

Nitric oxide is a compound that plays an important role in vasodilation. It causes blood vessels to dilate by signaling the smooth cells in the endothelium to relax (30).

Pistachios are a great source of the amino acid L-arginine, which is converted into nitric oxide in the body. Therefore, these tiny nuts may play an important role in promoting blood vessel health.

One study in 42 patients who consumed 1.5 ounces (40 grams) of pistachios a day for 3 months showed improvements in markers of endothelial function and vascular stiffness (31).

Another 4-week study had 32 healthy young men consume a diet consisting of 20% of calories from pistachios. It found that endothelium-dependent vasodilation improved by 30%, compared with when they followed a Mediterranean diet (26).

Proper blood flow is important for many bodily functions, including erectile function.

In one study, men with erectile dysfunction experienced a 50% improvement in parameters of erectile function after eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachios a day for 3 weeks (27).

That said, a 100-gram serving of pistachios is quite large, containing about 557 calories.

Summary Pistachio nuts may play an important role in promoting blood vessel health. That’s because they are rich in L-arginine, which, when converted into nitric oxide, helps dilate your blood vessels.

8. May help lower blood sugar

Despite having a higher carb content than most nuts, pistachios have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause large blood sugar spikes.

Perhaps not surprisingly, studies have shown that eating pistachios can help promote healthy blood sugar levels.

One study showed that when 2 ounces (56 grams) of pistachios were added to a carb-rich diet, healthy individuals’ blood sugar response after a meal was reduced by 20–30% (6, 32).

In another 12-week study, individuals with type 2 diabetes showed a 9% reduction in fasting blood sugar after eating 0.9 ounces (25 grams) of pistachios as a snack twice per day (33).

In addition to being rich in fiber and healthy fats, pistachio nuts are rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which are beneficial for blood sugar control (6, 33).

Therefore, simply adding pistachios to your diet may help manage your blood sugar levels in the long term.

Summary Pistachios have a low glycemic index, which might promote lower blood sugar levels.

9. Delicious and fun to eat

Pistachios can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

These include as a snack, salad garnish, or pizza topping, or even in baking, adding a beautiful green or purple color to various desserts and dishes.

Some delicious and green-colored desserts include pistachio gelato or cheesecake.

Plus, like other nuts, they can be used to make pesto or nut butter.

You can even try sprinkling them over your favorite oven-baked fish, adding them to your morning granola, or making your own dessert crust.

Lastly, pistachios can be enjoyed on their own as a convenient, tasty, and healthy snack.

Summary Besides being a great snack, pistachios can be used in baking and cooking, adding a green or purple color to various dishes.

The bottom line

Pistachios are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and various nutrients, including vitamin B6 and thiamine.

Their health effects may include weight loss benefits, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and improved gut, eye, and blood vessel health.

What’s more, they’re delicious, versatile, and fun to eat. For most people, including pistachios in their diet is a great way to improve overall health.

5 Surprising Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachios are prized for their unique, slightly sweet flavor as well as for their intriguing viridescent hues. Pistachios are one of the world’s oldest nuts, being grown in the Middle East for thousands of years. They are even mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, which indicates their rich history as a prized food source (American Pistachios, 2014).

Like all nuts, pistachios are rich in beneficial nutrients. However, pistachios have some unique properties that set them apart. Their versatility means that you can eat pistachios alone as a snack, on top of a salad, mixed with dried fruits in trail mix, in baked goods, or as a crunchy coating for fish or meat. In addition to these distinctive traits, consider the following nutritional benefits of pistachios as an added perk to their particularly pleasant palate.

Pistachio Snacks & More

Pistachios are a Rich Protein Source

Most nuts contain large amounts of protein relative to their size, and pistachios are no exception. A 1-ounce serving of these nuts (approximately 49 pistachio kernels) contains 6 grams of protein (Self Nutrition Data, n.d.). Your body breaks this protein down into its constituent amino acids, which can be used to repair tissues or to create new molecules. Plus, eating protein-rich foods helps you feel satiated, reducing your cravings for unhealthy foods later on. This makes pistachios the perfect mid-afternoon snack.

They Have a Healthy Ratio of Beneficial Fatty Acids

Pistachios are a high-fat food, but that is not a bad thing. Per serving, pistachios contain 13 total grams of fat (Self Nutrition Data, n.d.). However, only 2 grams of fat are saturated fats, the unhealthy fats that are associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease (American Heart Association, 2016). The rest of the fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which actually protect the heart.

This includes omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that has been associated with lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and higher levels of “good” cholesterol (Penn State News, 2010). Pistachios contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a beneficial type of omega-3 fatty acid that can also be converted to DHA and EPA, the two other forms of omega-3s that are only found in animal sources. Thus, vegetarians and vegans may eat pistachios as a source of the omega-3 fatty acids their bodies need.

Pistachios Contain Beneficial Antioxidants

As our cells grow older, they accumulate oxidative damage. This can be related to the presence of free radicals, which can cause considerable damage to cells. A class of molecules called antioxidants can sweep up these free radicals and reverse some of the cellular damage.

Pistachios are an excellent source of antioxidants, including lutein, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol (Penn State News, 2010). Beta-carotene serves as a precursor to vitamin A, while gamma-tocopherol is used as a precursor to vitamin E. Both vitamin A and vitamin E themselves have very high antioxidant activity, making pistachios a great way to reap some of the oxidative damage-fighting effects of these vitamins. In a randomized study of the effects of pistachios, researchers found that incorporating these nuts into the diet was associated with lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol (Penn State News, 2010), possibly because of the antioxidants present in pistachios.

Pistachios are a Source of the Mineral Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an element that is essential for our proper physiological functioning. Not only does phosphorus make a structural component of all cells, but it also regulates a variety of physiological reactions (Calvo, 2014). Getting enough phosphorus ensures that your cells can continue to produce energy and also strengthens the bones. A 1-ounce serving of pistachios contains 137 mg of phosphorus, 14% of the Daily Value (DV) for the nutrient (Self Nutrition Data, n.d.).

Pistachios Contain Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has myriad health benefits. Failure to get enough vitamin B6 has been associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and cognitive dysfunction (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015). Thus, getting vitamin B6 through your diet may improve your cardiovascular health and keep your brain sharp. Women need 1.5 mg of vitamin B6 per day, while men need 2 mg per day. A 1-ounce serving of pistachios contains 0.4 mg of vitamin B6, helping you reach your daily recommended intake of this beneficial vitamin.

Recipes with Pistachios

The following recipes utilize these fatty nuts for their full flavor and nutritive value. Try these simple dishes with your next purchase of the palatable pieces and grab a bag today!

Moringa Oatmeal Recipe

A superb way to start your day, this hot cereal blends an assortment of healthsome ingredients to kickstart your morning with the potent nutritive value of moringa powder, oats, and pistachios.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, almond milk, agave or maple syrup, vanilla extract, moringa powder, pistachios, dried mulberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

These delectable bars offer a soft snack that you’ll savor as your new preferred midday collation. The bars are easy to make and offer enduring energy and a satiating blend of protein and fiber.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, dried tart cherries, pistachios, flaxseed meal, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, agave syrup. unsweetened applesauce, melted cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 – 10 servings

Chocolate Goji Berry Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

Another energy bar on the sweeter side of things, these goji berry bars pack the added benefits of the antioxidants contained in the superfood goji berries. These bars are perfect for an energizing snack when your sweet tooth beckons.
Ingredients: Pitted dates, almond butter, quinoa puffs, goji berries, raw pistachios, coconut oil, dark chocolate chips.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 8 bars

Matcha Green Tea Muffins Recipe {gluten-free}

Green tea offers myriad benefits that can be enjoyed in many forms, and muffins are no exception. These exceptional confections are served with a topping of chocolate and chopped pistachios that is simply superb!
Ingredients: Almond flour, coconut flour, gluten-free rolled oats, egg, olive oil, vanilla extract, almond milk, unrefined sugar, matcha green tea powder, baking powder, baking soda, dark chocolate chips, coconut oil, pistachios.
Total Time: 1 hour | Yield: 10 muffins

No-Bake Pistachio Cookies Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

Perhaps you’re searching for a sweet where the palate of pistachio is the star of the show with its rich flavor shining above other tastes. These sandwich cookies are then the perfect treat, pairing their rich flavor with the naturally sweet coconut filling.
Ingredients: Pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, moringa powder, water, vanilla extract, cashews, almond butter, vanilla, coconut oil.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 16 cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies Recipe {gluten-free}

Another cookie that emphasizes the unique flavor of pistachio, these cookies pair the nut with the tart taste of cranberries. The result is a mouthwatering confection that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Ingredients: Almond flour, brown rice flour, egg, sugar, coconut oil, dried cranberries, pistachios, baking soda, vanilla extract.
Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 12-14 cookies

Pistachio Snacks and Products

We offer an abundance of pistachios and pistachio snacks that you’re sure to love. You can find a full list of our pistachio products here, but you can also find a small sample of our favorite pistachio products below.

Honey Pistachio Energy Squares

$6.99

Searching for a supply of energy to get you through the workday or to power you through an enduring workout? These squares include a blend of wholesome ingredients selected to provide the perfect boost.

Chocolate Covered Pistachio Turkish Delight

A unique treat that takes an innovative twist on a classic treat, these turkish delights offer a distinctive blend of chocolate and pistachio that will tickle your taste buds and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Pistachio Nut Paste

$11.99

Searching for a way to create gourmet desserts that feature the superb savor of pistachios with a light and fluffy feel? This paste is the perfect way to adorn your desserts with a palatable garnish or to fill them with the pleasant relish of pistachios.

Roasted Pistachios (Salted, No Shell)

$19.99/lb

These roasted pistachios offer the classic taste of the kernels without the hassle of wrestling with the often impenetrable external hulls that encase them. Fill a small bowl with these delectable nuts and enjoy a savory snack between meals.

Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Pistachios

$12.99

Not typically a fan of nuts? Trying to opt for a healthier alternative to heavily seasoned chips and snack foods? Start eating smart with these sweet and spicy chipotle pistachios for a full rich flavor that encourages healthier eating habits.

Pistachio Flour

$24.99/lb

Do our aforementioned recipes for pistachio cookies entice you? Create any manner of plates with a pistachio palate using this pristine pistachio flour. The powder is perfect for producing pistachio macarons and countless other confections.

Do Pistachios Help or Hurt Weight Loss?

TUESDAY, April 3, 2012 — To go nuts for nuts, or not to go nuts for nuts? This is the question many dieters are faced with, as nut consumption seems rife with contradictions.

On the one hand, nuts are high in fat and calories and have a reputation for causing weight gain. Just a half cup of shelled pistachios with no salt added has 170 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. At only four calories each, pistachios are a relatively low-calorie snack. Meanwhile, denser nuts such as walnuts can pack more than 350 calories and 30 grams of fat per half-cup.

On the other hand, experts are quick to point out that the fat in nuts is healthy monounsaturated fat, which is an essential component of a healthy diet. Monounsaturated fat can elevate healthy cholesterol levels, improve skin and hair health, and more, and that same half-cup of pistachios also has 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, which helps increase feelings of satiety in dieters. Dieters also prize pistachios’ slow-to-eat shelling process — shelling individual nuts as you eat is thought to help with portion control.

Now a new study published in Nutrition Journal has found that all of this back and forth about nuts, specifically pistachios, might be moot. Researchers in Beijing who studied the diets of adults with metabolic syndrome found that pistachios neither lead to weight gain nor loss over a 12-week period.

In the study, 90 participants were split into three groups: The first group consumed the recommended daily serving of 42 grams of pistachios per day, the second group consumed a higher serving of 70 grams per day, and the three group ate no pistachios. All participants received dietary counseling in line with the guidelines of the American Heart Association. Twelve weeks later, none of the groups reported significant changes in weight or body mass index. But the groups who ate pistachios did see other benefits. Both groups of nut-eaters had lower blood glucose levels and lower triglycerides, prompting researchers to conclude that pistachios won’t necessarily promote weight changes, but may improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome, such as blood pressure, insulin, and triglycerides, when part of a healthy diet.

The best way to eat pistachios is raw, in the shell, with no salt. Stick to the recommended half-cup serving for a smart snack that’s full of potassium, cancer-fighting vitamin E, and vitamin B6, which can lift your mood, strengthen your immune system, and more.

For more fitness, diet, and weight loss news, follow @weightloss on Twitter from the editors of @EverydayHealth.

Pistachios can pack a powerful punch for health. That’s because these little green gems are a great source of nutrition, and are brimming with vitamins and nutrients.

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Making nuts such as pistachios a part of your everyday eating is associated with decreased risk of death from cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

Pistachios and other nuts are a mainstay of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies link this diet to some of the highest life expectancy and lowest heart disease rates in the world.

You don’t have to eat a lot of pistachios to reap the benefits. But beware! Their buttery, rich flavor makes them easy to over-indulge in. The right serving size to aim for is one to one-and-a-half ounces a day. That’s about a handful. There’s about 49 pistachios to the ounce.

Pistachios can make a great snack, as long as you don’t pig out on them. One trick to avoid eating too many is to buy them in the shells. They’ll take a little longer to eat because you’ll have to pry open the shells.

The shells also are a great visual reminder of how many you’ve eaten. This can help to keep you on track with portion size.

One easy way to incorporate pistachios into your daily diet is to use them as a garnish. Use them to top off a healthy stir-fry, soup or salad.

Need more persuasion about pistachios? Here are three reasons why pistachios can boost your health:

  1. They have nutrients such as vitamin B6, which promotes blood flow by helping to carry oxygen through the bloodstream to cells. Vitamin B6 also promotes immune and nervous system health.
  2. They have plant-based compounds that act as antioxidants, including vitamin E, polyphenols and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Two of these antioxidants, not found in other nuts, have been linked to a decrease in the risk of developing macular degeneration.
  3. They support healthy cholesterol levels. Pistachios have 13 grams of fat per serving, the majority of which (11.5 grams) comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Studies have shown that adding pistachios to a healthy diet may help to lower levels of oxidized-LDL (bad) cholesterol This is because of the nut’s high level of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol.

By: Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD

Pistachios and heart health

“A handful of pistachio nuts a day could protect your heart”, reported the Daily Express . It said that a study has shown that the nuts bring down levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Pistachios contain lutein, an antioxidant found in fruit and leafy green veg, and according to a nutritionist, are less are less calorific than peanuts, “as you have to take the shell off”. Nutritionists warn that eating too many pistachios may lead to excess weight, which is not good for the heart.

This was a reliable but small study in 28 people. It demonstrated over a 10% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol in those who consumed up to 126 grams of salted pistachio nuts a day, which was about 20% of their total energy intake. The participants’ diets were strictly controlled, and their fat and salt intake in the rest of their diet was adjusted so that it did not exceed recommended levels. It remains to be seen if trials in which the participants eat pistachios but control their own diets, result in reductions in heart disease or stroke. Anyone considering increasing their pistachio intake should take into account the nut’s high fat and often high salt levels, which could cancel out any beneficial effects.

Where did the story come from?

Dr Sarah K. Gebauer and colleagues from Integrative Biosciences and the departments of Nutritional Sciences and Biobehavioral Health departments at the Pennsylvania State University in the US carried out the research. The study was supported by the California Pistachio Commission, the Lester and Audrey Peters Hogan Scholarship Fund, and the Pennsylvania State University. The study was published in the (peer-reviewed) medical journal: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

What kind of scientific study was this?

In this randomised crossover trial, the researchers evaluated the effects of two doses of pistachios, added to a lower-fat diet, on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including lipids, lipoproteins, apolipoproteins, and plasma fatty acids.

In total, 28 people completed the study (10 men and 18 women). For the first two weeks, all participants had a run-in period to establish the effects of eating a typical “American” diet. After this, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment diets for four weeks, two of which included different doses of pistachios and one control diet without pistachios. Two-week breaks separated the diet periods, after which the participants were switched to one of the other diets (crossed over) until they had tried all three diets. Study personnel who measured outcome variables were unaware of (blinded to) the diet assignments.

Participants were selected to take part in the study if they had elevated cholesterol (LDL “bad” cholesterol of 2.86 mmol/L or more). They also had to have low/normal triglyceride “fats” in their blood, blood pressure less than160/90 mm Hg, a body mass index between 21 and 35 (that is they could be overweight but not obese), and fasting blood glucose less than 6.93 mmol/L. All participants were otherwise in good health and non-smokers. People were excluded from the study if they were unable to comply with the study protocol or were taking blood pressure or cholesterol/lipid-lowering medication or substances such as psyllium, fish oil, soy lecithin and phytoestrogens. Some other vegetarian and weight loss diets, a range of diseases and pregnancy or a desire to become pregnant were also reasons for exclusion from the study.

The diets were controlled so that the total energy was held constant throughout the three feeding periods. An average intake of 2,500 calories per day was required to maintain weight. The first two-week period was designed as a typical “American” diet and contained full-fat cheese and dairy products, with more oil and butter than the control diet. The control diet contained low-fat or non-fat versions of these foods and less oil and butter. All diets were rich in fruit, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains, consistent with current food-based dietary recommendations. The two pistachio diets were designed so that either 10% or 20% of total energy intake came from the nuts.

The two diets either had one or two doses of nuts a day, with doses ranging from 32 to 63 g/day and from 63 to 126 g/day, respectively. All meals and snacks were prepared at the study centre. The pistachio diets were higher in protein and unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrate than the control diet. The control and pistachio diets were matched for saturated fats and cholesterol. The pistachio diets also had less salt than the control diet as pistachios (roasted and salted) were eaten as a snack rather. In the control groups, saltier snacks such as pretzels and crisps were eaten.

Blood samples were taken on two consecutive days at the end of each diet period, and a range of chemical and nutrient components were tested. The researchers were particularly interested in the effects of pistachios (when added to) a lower-fat diet, on measurements of lipids and lipoproteins, apolipoprotein, and plasma fatty acids. These are all sub-groups of the fats circulating in the blood.

To look at how pistachios could potentially have an effect, the researchers also measured cholesteryl ester transfer protein and indices of plasma stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) activity. SCD is the rate-limiting enzyme that catalyses the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated fatty acids and therefore plays an important role in lipoprotein metabolism.

The differences were analysed statistically in a way that tested the effects of diet, the order that the participants’ diets were randomly selected, and the interactive effects on each outcome variable on each other. Where possible the researchers took into account the fact that repeated measurements from each subject were not independent of each other.

What were the results of the study?

Compared to the control diet, the diet with two pistachio servings a day significantly decreased total cholesterol by 8%, LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) by 11.6% and plasma stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) activity by 1%. There was a dose-response effect suggesting that higher doses of nuts produced a bigger response. The main results were given for the ratio of overall cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol). For this, lower ratios are healthier, and the one serving per day reduced this ratio by 1%, and the two serving per day diet reduced it by 8%.

What interpretations did the researchers draw from these results?

The researchers say, “the inclusion of pistachios in a healthy diet beneficially affects CVD risk factors in a dose-dependent manner, which may reflect effects on stearoyl-CoA desaturase.”

What does the NHS Knowledge Service make of this study?

This is a reliable study on “controlled diet”, which evaluated the effect of nut consumption on a variety of blood test results from a small number of people. This type of study is an important first step in assessing how diet can affect outcomes that patients might notice, such as heart disease or stroke. It is also important in measuring an intervention’s maximum possible effect in a controlled environment, so that the results can be evaluated and compared to “real life” studies, where volunteers are advised but not forced to eat a certain quantity of nuts.

By clarifying the mechanisms behind the lipid and lipoprotein lowering effect of pistachios, the researchers have helped to explain why these nuts might be beneficial. However, it is still not clear which component of the nut is having this effect and more research will be needed to test this. It is important to keep in mind that pistachios are also often heavily salted and that this study carefully removed salt from the rest of the diet to counterbalance this. It is important not to eat too much salt, and anybody regularly eating nuts would need to take this into account to avoid negating any beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors by increasing blood pressure.

Analysis by Bazian
Edited by NHS Website

Links to the science

Gebauer SK, West SG, Kay CD, et al.

Effects of pistachios on cardiovascular disease risk factors and potential mechanisms of action: a dose-response study.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008; 88: 651-659

Further readingMukuddem-Petersen J, Oosthuizen W, Jerling J C.

A systematic review of the effects of nuts on blood lipid profiles in humans.

Journal of Nutrition 2005; 135: 2082-2089

12 Benefits Of Pistachio Nuts You Should Know Today Ravi Teja Tadimalla Hyderabd040-395603080 November 27, 2018

Technically fruits, pistachios are seeds of the pistachio tree and contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. In fact, people have been eating pistachios for over 9000 years. And there’s a reason for that. Read this post, and you will know what we are talking about.

Table Of Contents

  • How Are Pistachios Good For You?
  • What Are The Benefits Of Pistachios?
  • What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Pistachios?

How Are Pistachios Good For You?

Simple. They are loaded with nutrients. A 28-gram serving of pistachios contains good amounts of fiber, protein, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and manganese. They have a rich and nutty taste, and they contain other important nutrients too (which we will look at in a while).

The antioxidants in pistachios are some of the highest amongst nuts. All of these benefit human health in various ways – which is what we will see now.

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What Are The Benefits Of Pistachios?

1. Pistachios Improve Heart Health

Research has shown that pistachios can contribute to heart-healthy fat, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases. Pistachios can also lower bad cholesterol, and this cuts the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 12% (1).

Pistachios also change how your blood pressure responds to stress – and in a good way. They lower the levels of lipoproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease (2). They also dilate your blood vessels (thanks to the amino acid, L-arginine), and this enhances blood flow and lowers blood pressure.

2. Aid Diabetes Treatment

Glucose and insulin levels were found to be lower post pistachio consumption, as per studies. The nuts also increase the levels of peptide 1, a hormone that regulates glucose levels in diabetics (3).

An Iranian study also states that dietary intake of pistachio nuts can have positive effects on glycemic control, blood pressure, inflammation, and even obesity in diabetes patients (4).

Did You Know?

Pistachio is known as the Smiling Nut in Iran and Happy Nut in China.

3. Enhance Gut Health

The fiber in pistachios does the trick here. It aids digestion and prevents constipation. The fiber in the nuts is also digested by the food bacteria in your stomach and hence acts as a prebiotic.

The gut bacteria ferment this fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids, which have several benefits. They prevent colon cancer and improve digestive health overall. Butyrate is one such beneficial short-chain fatty acid, and its consumption increases the number of good bacteria in the gut (5).

4. Pistachios Combat Inflammation

As per the Arthritis Foundation, nuts like pistachios are rich in monounsaturated fat and protein – while the monounsaturated fat fights inflammation, protein builds strength (6).

Studies have concluded that the potent anti-inflammatory properties of pistachios can be put to great therapeutic use (7).

5. Pistachios Aid Weight Loss

The fiber in pistachios can keep you full for long periods – this keeps you from binging and contributes to healthy weight loss. Another nutrient with similar qualities is protein – it also keeps you satiated and reduces hunger pangs.

Studies have demonstrated how consuming pistachios can keep inches off your waist over time. Pistachios have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well. They can be consumed as a healthy snack to lose weight, without having to worry about their fat content (those are healthy fats, anyway!) (8).

6. Improve Vision Health

Pistachios have the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin amongst all nuts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the human retina, and taking enough of these antioxidants prevents vision issues like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (9).

Some reports suggest that the healthy fatty acids in pistachios can also contribute to eye health – though we need more research on this.

Another important mineral in pistachios is zinc, which is a vital nutrient for the eyes.

7. Are Power Foods For Your Brain

Pistachios, like most nuts, are amazing sources of vitamin E. The nutrient was found to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

Research has also shown that pistachios can stimulate brain frequencies more than other nuts. This is critical for enhancing cognitive performance, learning, information retention, and rapid eye movement during sleep (10).

Pistachio nut oil, just like the nut, can fight brain inflammation and even preserve the essential fatty acids in the brain. More interestingly, pistachios might have a role to play in protecting against disruptions in cognitive function due to anticancer drugs (11).

8. Boost Immunity

The zinc in pistachios is known to boost the immune system. This is also true with the vitamin B6 the nuts contain (12).

Pistachios are the original prehistoric snacks. In fact, they are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible.

9. Enhance Sexual Health

Anecdotal evidence suggests that pistachios boost fertility. However, we need more research before we can conclude.

Studies show that pistachios can act as an aphrodisiac. Eating a handful of the nuts every day for three weeks was found to improve sex drive in men (13).

And the nuts’ arginine, phytosterol, and antioxidant content have also shown to treat erectile dysfunction.

10. Can Increase Estrogen Levels

Amongst nuts, pistachios have the highest amount of phytoestrogens. They can increase estrogen levels, which contribute to a regulated menstrual cycle and secondary sex characteristics.

11. Might Be Beneficial During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Pistachios offer a healthy dose of several nutrients that are important during pregnancy. They can benefit breastfeeding mothers especially because of their ease of preparation. Busy nursing mothers can simply snack on pistachios as they are. It saves time and offers valuable nutrients.

12. Fight Premature Aging

The vitamin E in pistachios protects your skin from UV damage and delays the signs of premature aging. The copper in the nuts aids the production of elastin, which prevents the formation of wrinkles and treats sagging skin. And the vitamin B6 boosts the overall skin and hair health.

In a study, mice treated with vitamin E showed fewer signs of UV induced skin damage (14). As pistachios are good sources of vitamin E, they should help preserve skin health.

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That’s about the benefits of pistachios. Now, we get to the nutrients these nuts contain.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Pistachios?

PRINCIPLE NUTRIENT VALUE PERCENTAGE OF RDA
Energy 557 Kcal 29%
Carbohydrates 27.97 g 21.5%
Protein 20.60 g 37%
Total Fat 44.44 g 148%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 10.3g 27%
VITAMINS
Folates 51 µg 13%
Niacin 1.3 mg 8%
Pantothenic acid 0.520 mg 10%
Pyridoxine 1.7 mg 131%
Riboflavin 0.160 mg 12%
Thiamin 0.870 mg 72.5%
Vitamin A 553 IU 18%
Vitamin C 5 mg 8%
Vitamin E-? 22.60 mg 150%
ELECTROLYTES
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 1025 mg 22%
MINERALS
Calcium 107 mg 11%
Copper 1.3 mg 144%
Iron 4.15 mg 52%
Magnesium 121 mg 30%
Manganese 1.2 mg 52%
Phosphorus 376 mg 54%
Selenium 7 µg 13%
Zinc 2.20 mg 20%
PHYTO-NUTRIENTS
Carotene-ß 332 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 1160 µg

Conclusion

We hope you now understand why pistachios have been consumed for over 9000 years. Because they are totally terrific. Include them in your diet – you can make them a part of your evening snack.

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And tell us how this post has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to eat pistachios?

You can crack open the shell and eat the nut. Or you can also first suck the salty exterior of the shell before opening it up.

How long do pistachios last?

If you are storing them only for a few days, you can place the nuts in resealable bags and store them in the kitchen. For longer periods, place the nuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Why are pistachios so expensive?

The pistachio trees have two requirements to grow – cool winters, and long hot summers with low humidity. These limit the areas they can be grown in, making them quite expensive.

How to tell if pistachios are bad?

Bad pistachios usually taste horribly sour.

How many pistachios should I have per day?

You can have 1.5 ounces to 3 ounces per day, which translates to one to two handfuls. About 30 pistachios contain 100 calories.

What are the side effects of pistachios?

Consuming too many pistachios can lead to weight gain. And though they are naturally low in sodium, the roasted ones can have high amounts of salt – and eating too many of those can elevate the blood pressure levels.

Also, if you react to a compound called fructans, pistachios can cause gastrointestinal troubles. Though not dangerous, fructans can cause constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence.

Are pistachio shells poisonous?

Though not poisonous, the shells are too hard to eat. They can damage your gums and even cause digestive issues.

1. “Pistachio nuts may improve heart health”. ScienceDaily.
2. “Pistachio nuts may lower cholesterol”. WebMD.
3. “Ah, nuts! Pistachios may lower diabetes risk…”. American Diabetes Association.
4. “Effects of pistachio nut consumption…”. US National Library of Medicine.
5. “Effects of almond and pistachio…”. US National Library of Medicine.
6. “Anti-inflammatory diet”. Arthritis Foundation.
7. “The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant…”. US National Library of Medicine.
8. “Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides…”. US National Library of Medicine.
9. “Distribution of lutein and zeaxanthin…”. ScienceDirect.
10. “Consuming nuts strengthens brainwave function…”. ScienceDaily.
11. “Pistachio supplementation attenuates…”. US National Library of Medicine.
12. “3 reasons why pistachios can boost your health”. Cleveland Clinic.
13. “Eating pistachio nuts can boost…”. Mirror.
14. “Effects of topical and oral vitamin E”. US National Library of Medicine.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the field for well over 4 years now. His work involves extensive research on how one can maintain better health through natural foods and organic supplements. Ravi has written over 250 articles and is also a published author. Reading and theater are his other interests.

Are Pistachios Healthy? Here’s What Experts Say

You can find the shelled green nuts everywhere, from airport kiosks to health food stores. But are pistachios as healthy as they’re cracked up to be? Here’s what the experts say.

What are the nutrition facts of pistachios?

Pistachios are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including beta carotene, phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Compared to other nuts, they are also high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of chronic disease and improves heart health, says registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick.

You can also eat a lot of them in just one serving, which is one ounce, or 49 pistachios. “Compared to other nuts, this is a lot of nuts per one-ounce serving,” says registered dietitian Melissa Majumdar, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “One ounce of walnuts is only 14 walnut halves.”

Both raw and roasted pistachios contain a lot of fat: about 13 grams, which is 17% of the recommended daily total. But most of it is monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy type that can help lower levels of bad cholesterol. Pistachios are also a good source of protein; a serving contains about 6 grams.

What are the health benefits of pistachios?

You really can’t go wrong with nuts. “All nuts are healthy because they are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat,” says Kirkpatrick. “Studies on these components alone would suggest that nuts and seeds of all varieties can improve health.”

But pistachios, more than other nuts, may also help reduce blood pressure, says Majumdar. That’s due to their monounsaturated fatty acids, their phytosterols (plant compounds in the nut that can help lower cholesterol) and their high fiber, she says. “They also contain lutein, beta-carotene, and tocopherols, which can reduce systemic inflammation.” Other research finds that pistachios may act as a prebiotic, or food for your gut bacteria.

What’s the healthiest way to eat pistachios?

As with all crunchy, salty snacks, pistachios can be hard to resist. Eating them from the shell can help you keep portions in check. “Having to take off the shell takes time and effort and slows down the eating process, which can help with mindfulness and weight,” says Kirkpatrick. Companies including Wonderful Pistachios also sell single-serving packets. Compared to other on-the-go snacks like candy or chips, portable pistachios provide a balance of protein, healthy fat and some fiber for a more nutritious snack.

Beyond simply snacking on them, pistachios can be a fun and colorful way to add flavor to food, says Majumdar. “Try them in pesto, to bread fish or to add a pop to salad and some balance to a trail mix.”

And since unsaturated fats—like those found in pistachios—can go rancid over time if left at room temperature, its best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

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When you want something healthy, crunchy, and easy to nosh on-the-go, nuts of all kinds—almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews—are an easy go-to. And, given that nuts are good sources of fat, fiber, and protein—along with a slew of different vitamins and minerals—you can feel pretty darn good about your choice.

Not to mention, research suggests that eating nuts can help protect you from cardiovascular issues like heart disease and high blood pressure, along with type 2 diabetes. They may even help you maintain a healthy weight.

Some nuts have more of a health halo than others, though. Almonds, in particular, pretty much dominate the nut aisle these days. (And the dairy aisle, thanks to all the almond-based milk and yogurt alternatives out there these days.) Peanuts—which are technically legumes, BTW—meanwhile, get the side-eye from many healthy eaters.

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What about often-forgotten pistachios, though?

Though they might not be as trendy as almond-everything, pistachios are actually really darn good for you. “Pistachios have a lot going for them health-wise,” says Kim Larson, RD, nutrition and health coach at Seattle’s Total Health. Not to mention, they’re just straight-up delicious.

Before you pass over bright green pistachios the next time you’re in the bulk aisle, keep the following impressive health benefits in mind.

R_ka Csulak / EyeEmGetty Images

Let’s talk about pistachios’ nutrition information.

When you want to stock up on pistachios, you’ve typically got two different options: shelled or unshelled.

Here’s the nutrition info for an ounce of shelled pistachios (about 49 kernels), per the USDA Nutrition Database:

  • Calories: 159
  • Fat: 12.8 grams
  • Protein: 5.72 grams
  • Carbs: 7.7 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugars: 2 grams

And the nutrition info for an ounce of pistachios still in their shells, per the USDA Nutrition Database:

  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Sugars: 1 gram

According to dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sonya Angelone, RD, pistachios are a good source of fiber, protein, the minerals magnesium and copper, vitamin E, folate, and natural cholesterol-lowering compounds called plant sterols. “They’re also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats,” she adds.

Yep, pistachios offer some pretty legit health benefits.

Pull up a chair, take a seat, and prepare to be floored. Pistachios are seriously good for you. Here are six noteworthy benefits.

1. They’re a solid source of fiber.

Fiber is important for a slew of different aspects of your health, like keeping your GI tract working properly and helping you maintain a healthy weight. And, oh hey—pistachios provide plenty of it. Since fiber enhances satiety, pistachios can ultimately help with weight control, if eaten in the appropriate amounts, Larson says.

2. Pistachios are lower in calories than most nuts.

Since many nuts contain serious calories, this is kind of a BFD. While pistachios contain 159 calories per ounce on paper, recent research by the Agricultural Research Service suggests they might actually contain five percent fewer calories that we thought.

3. They’re packed with antioxidants.

“Because of their unique purple and green color, pistachios may have more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects than other nuts,” says Angelone.

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Those colors are caused by nutrients lutein (which is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A) and anthocyanin. “Most other nuts lack anthocyanin,” says dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of nutrition website Appetite for Health.

4. Pistachios may help you sleep better.

Surprising fun fact about pistachios: They contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. In fact, according to Angelone, they are the most melatonin-rich nut in the game. “Eating a handful of pistachios is like taking a melatonin supplement,” she says. Apparently some people even snack on pistachios to help with jet lag.

5. They aren’t as easy to overeat as other nuts.

Compared to other nuts, pistachios have a nice balance of protein and fat, which can help fill you up and keep you satiated, Upton says. Plus, eating them in-shell also helps prevent overeating. “I like that they come in the shell, which helps slow you down,” Larson says. Basically, with all the time you spend cracking pistachio shells to get to the nuts, you’ give yourself a beat to feel full before you’ve gone too far.

6. Pistachios’ healthy fats support long-term health.

Thanks to their healthy fats (mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), eating pistachios can do your health a solid in the long run. Experts believe these fats can help lower your LDL (a.k.a. bad) cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke in the process. They also and help develop and maintain your cells. Plus, polyunsaturated fats also contain essential fatty acids that your body needs for brain function. “Eating them may help slow age-related cognitive decline,” suggests Larson.

JulyProkopivGetty Images

I’m sold. So what’s the healthiest way to enjoy pistachios?

There are so many different ways to get your pistachio fix. For starters, you can always just sit down with a handful.

If you want to get a little more creative, though, Upton recommends crushing up a bunch of pistachios and using them as a crust for meat instead of traditional breading. They also make a great addition to pretty much any healthy cookie recipe you’d usually add nuts to.

Pistachios are also a great way to make homemade trail mix and muesli feel fancy, Larson says. Plus, they add a nice crunch (and protein!) to vegetarian dishes and salads.

Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

Pistachios are one of the world’s oldest nuts — having been grown in the Middle East for thousands of years.

They are, without a doubt, one of the most versatile nuts around.

People use them in salads, baked goods, trail mixes, desserts or as a snack by themselves.

Since they’ve been cultivated for so long, they must be good for us, right?

You’d think so.

However, in recent times, we can easily observe a lot of unhealthy people regularly eating them as snacks.

In bars, for example, you’ll often find them readily available next to all the chips and alcohol.

When you’re out shopping, you may find them in the aisle next to the chips and popcorn.

This has many people wondering:

Are pistachios good for you?

The Short Answer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Let’s not beat around the bush here.

The quick answer to the question is:

Yes.

Like pretty much all nuts, pistachios provide our bodies with valuable macro- and micro nutrients.

Thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper — the list goes on.

Pistachio nuts are a nutrient-dense food that fits perfectly with a healthy lifestyle.

We’ll cover the details of pistachio nutrition and health benefits later on in this post.

Will Pistachios Make You Fat?

Besides their great nutrition, pistachios are also quite dense in calories (like most nuts).

1 ounce (28 g) of the nuts contain 160 calories.

This means that, if you chomp on whole bags of them every single day, you may end up gaining a little bit of weight.

Still, you’d have to be pretty much obsessed with eating them, considering how filling they are.

We’ve already touched upon this in our post about almonds.

Contrary to popular belief, consuming moderate amounts of nuts on a regular basis is not associated with weight gain.

In fact, the opposite has been found to be true.

Why Some People Get Confused

Alright, so pistachios aren’t really a fattening food, and it contains a whole bunch of beneficial nutrients.

So why do some people think they’re unhealthy?

Point 1 – The Fat And Calorie Content

The first point of confusion is the fat content, like we just mentioned.

People see the high calorie count from the fat, and immediately get thoughts of weight gain.

However, this fear likely comes from previous experience with processed foods.

Processed foods (like potato chips) tend to have a lot of calories like pistachios, but with little-to-no satiating factors.

Eating 300 calories of pistachio nuts is simply not comparable to 300 calories of more commonplace snacks like chips.

The protein, fiber and healthy fats of the nuts will fill you up much faster — significantly reducing your chance of overeating.

Point 2 – The Condiments

The second source of confusion comes from what may or may not be put on pistachios.

As you may have noticed, a good deal of manufacturers dip their nuts in lots of oil and salt.

This is done in order to boost their “snackability” and appeal to a broader market.

Unfortunately, this can offset some of the health-bringing benefits of pistachios.

While we need some salt in our diets, it’s way too easy to go overboard with food that’s purposefully salted.

Also, the added oils boost the fat content even more, but without an increased feeling of fullness.

Depending on how much oil is added, this can potentially ruin the natural balance of calories and fullness that the nuts give.

In turn, this could make it much easier to overeat and gain weight — leading to a perception that pistachios are a fattening food.

If you want to eat pistachios as a health food, stick with the unoiled, unsalted kind.

As you’ll see by reading through the following list, they can give you plenty of powerful health benefits.

6 Health Benefits Of Pistachios

1. High In Protein

While most nuts are high in fat, they’re usually a good source of protein as well.

Pistachios are no exception.

Per 100 grams, you’ll get a respectable 21.3 grams of protein.

If you’re looking to build muscle, getting enough protein is important.

Pistachios should probably not be your main source.

However, they can certainly help you reach your overall macronutrient needs.

The high protein content of the nuts also helps with satiation.

As we touched upon earlier, combined with the fiber and fat content, this makes binging very unlikely.

2. Promotes Healthy Skin

Pistachio nuts can contribute to healthier skin in a number of different ways.

First off, they’re very high in antioxidants.

Many of these have been shown to be easily absorbable by the human body.

Antioxidants help defend against free radicals.

These are unstable atoms that can damage our cells and cause disease and accelerated aging.

One of the first places you’ll see signs of aging is usually your skin.

Thankfully, eating foods high in antioxidants can help offset much of this damage.

In turn, this lets your skin to stay healthy and attractive for longer.

The monounsaturated fat in pistachios also contribute to a healthier exterior.

It does this by promoting skin elasticity and defending against sun damage (1, 2)

3. Lower Blood Sugar

Like most other whole plant foods, pistachio nuts do not spike your blood sugar, even though they contain quite a bit of carbs.

In fact, research suggests the opposite.

A study from 2014 showed that eating 2 ounces (56 grams) of pistachios twice a day had a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.

More specifically, healthy people who ate a high-carb diet experienced a 20-30% reduced blood sugar response after meals.

Another study found that pistachios could help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their condition.

After eating a handful (25 grams) of the nuts twice every day for 3 months, the participants saw a 9% reduction in their fasting blood glucose levels.

4. Helps Maintain Normal Brain Function

Pistachio nuts are a good source of thiamin (aka vitamin B1).

100 grams of the nuts will provide you with 0.8 mg — 56% of the daily recommended amount.

Since the mid-1900’s, thiamin deficiencies have been linked to impaired cognition and dementia.

This is because the vitamin is a co-factor for several important enzymes that are needed for your brain to use glucose effectively.

When you don’t get enough of it, your neurons may start degenerating — eventually leading to brain damage.

Let’s just say I’m sold on getting enough thiamin!

Besides thiamin, pistachios are also one of the best food sources of vitamin b6.

In 100 grams, you’ll get a whopping 1.3 mg — which covers around 64% of the RDV.

B6 is vital for proper brain development and function.

It helps your body produce the hormones melatonin and serotonin, which regulates your sleep cycle and mood respectively.

5. Strengthens Your Teeth And Bones

Less known about pistachios (and most other nuts) is the fact that they’re an amazing source of phosphorus.

Per 100 grams, you’ll get 485 mg of the essential mineral — about half of the RDV.

Phosphorus works together with calcium to create and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Getting enough of the mineral is especially important for the elderly, since it can help defend against fractures.

Sadly, many people overlook phosphorus when it comes to bone health.

Instead, they decide to take huge doses of calcium supplements.

If overdone, this can actually have the opposite effect, as the two minerals need to be balanced in order to maintain proper bone health.

The safest way to achieve this balance is to eat a variety of nutritious whole foods containing both minerals.

While pistachios are higher in phosphorus, they also contain 110 mg of calcium per 100 grams (11% of RDV).

6. Can Reduce Insulin Resistance

More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes these days.

The leading cause is insulin resistance.

Basically, your liver and muscle cells fail to absorb sugar from your bloodstream — spiking your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.

One of the main ingredients to reducing insulin resistance is magnesium (1, 2,).

Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough from the food they eat.

In 2005-2006, it was discovered that 48% of the US population got less than the recommended amount.

Thankfully, this can easily be fixed by eating the right things, such as pistachios.

100 grams of the nuts will provide you with 120 mg of the essential mineral (about 30% of RDV).

All Good!

And that’s that!

As you can see, pistachios are good for you!

Just don’t drench them in oil and salt, and you’ll be fine.

With their delicious, delicate taste and slew of health benefits, there’s no reason to exclude them from your life.

Whether you eat them with your salads, baked goods or on their own, you can do so with a clear conscience.

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