Pistachios are a type of tree nut with numerous health benefits. Pistachios are an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, and fiber.
Here are 10 science-backed benefits of eating pistachio nuts.
According to science, pistachios are:
1. Rich in nutrients
Pistachios contain many important nutrients.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 ounce or approximately 49 kernels of unroasted nuts
Protein: 5.72 grams (g)
Fat: 12.85 g
Carbohydrates: 7.70 g
Fiber: 3.00 g
Sugars: 2.17 g
Magnesium: 34 milligrams (mg)
Potassium: 291 mg
Phosphorus: 139 mg
Vitamin B-6: 0.482 mg
Thiamin: 0.247 mg
Vitamin B-6 plays a vital role in the body, particularly in relation to protein metabolism and cognitive development.
2. Low in calories
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie nuts, which means people can enjoy the health benefits of nuts while more easily staying within their daily calorie limits.
3. Packed with antioxidants
Nuts and seeds contain several antioxidant compounds, but pistachios may have higher levels of some antioxidants than other nuts.
- xanthophyll carotenoids
These substances have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
In one small
4. Good for eye health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are essential for eye health. Pistachios are a
AMD and cataracts are the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
Eating a healthful diet, including pistachios, is a promising way to help prevent these eye diseases from developing.
5. Beneficial for gut health
All nuts are rich in fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive system by moving food through the gut and preventing constipation.
A type of fiber called prebiotics may also feed the good bacteria in the gut. Feeding the good bacteria helps them multiply and "crowd out" harmful bacteria.
According to a small, 2012 study, eating pistachios may increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In the study, volunteers ate a standard diet with either 0 ounces, 1.5 ounces, or 3 ounces of pistachios or almonds.
Researchers collected stool samples and found that people who ate up to 3 ounces of pistachios daily showed an increase in potentially helpful gut bacteria, much more so than those who ate almonds.
6. High in protein for vegans and vegetarians
Pistachios contribute to a person's daily protein needs, at almost 6 g of protein per 1 ounce serving.
Protein accounts for approximately
Pistachios also boast a
7. Helpful for weight loss
Regularly eating nuts helps to
In a 2012
Having to shell pistachios before eating them may also aid weight loss.
8. Important for heart health
Women who frequently eat nuts may enjoy modest protection from cardiovascular disease, according to a 12-year
The study also showed a small link between regularly eating nuts and reduced risk of death from other causes.
Pistachios, in particular, may protect the heart by reducing cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
9. Good for blood sugar balance
Pistachios have a
10. Reduce colon cancer risk
Pistachios may reduce the risk of some cancers, such as colon cancer, due to their high fiber content.
Scientists demonstrated this in
Some people may avoid eating pistachios because of various common myths including:
Myth 1: Pistachios make you fat
People may avoid pistachios and other nuts because they believe they contribute to weight gain.
When eaten as part of a healthful and calorie-controlled diet, research suggests that pistachios may actually aid weight loss.
Myth 2: Pistachios are high in sodium
Consuming salted pistachio nuts can increase daily sodium intake, sometimes beyond the recommended level. Choosing unsalted pistachio nuts is a low-sodium alternative.
Myth 3: Snacking on pistachios ruins your appetite
Pistachios are a great option for people who wish to eat more healthfully, as long as they eat them as part of a balanced diet. To avoid filling up on nuts before meals, stick to 1 ounce or one-half of an ounce daily and do not eat them too close to mealtimes.
Pistachios are a very nutritious food. They offer several health benefits, especially for the heart, gut, and waistline.
Regularly eating pistachios may be a good way to improve health and wellbeing. But people should stick to plain, unsalted pistachio nuts in their shells and avoid eating more than one ounce a day.
Pistachios are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online.