Pistachios: Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, and Effects


Pistachios are a healthy diet and a superfood. Pistachios are full of nutrition and can help with weight loss, keeping your gut healthy, managing blood sugar levels, and taking care of your heart health. They’re also versatile and can be used in lots of different recipes. Pistachios nuts taste good and are enjoyable to eat, but they’re also really good for your health and fitness. They have healthy fats and give you protein, fiber and antioxidants. In fact, these seeds from the pistachios ‘Vera’ tree are packed with nutrients and can help with weight loss, and keeping your heart and gut healthy. It’s interesting to know that people have been eating pistachios for a very long time, about 300,000 years ago. Nowadays, they’re used in many dishes like ice cream and desserts. Here are 9 health benefits of pistachios that are supported by evidence. For more research you can also visit Medical News Today.

Full of Nutrients:

Pistachios are packed with nutrients. 1 ounce (oz) or 28 grams (g) serving of about 49 pistachios contains:

  • Calories: 159
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein 6 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Potassium: 6% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 11% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 28% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 21% of the DV
  • Copper: 41% of the DV
  • Manganese:  15% of the DV

Pistachios are notably high in vitamin B6, which is important for various bodily functions like regulating blood sugar and forming hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Additionally, pistachios are rich in potassium. Just 1 oz contains more potassium than half of a large banana.

Packed with Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are important for your health and fitness because they protect your cells from damage and can lower risk or certain diseases like cancer. They are a great source of antioxidants, containing more than many other types of nuts and seeds. They’re especially rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for keeping your eyes healthy. These antioxidants can help shield your eyes from damage caused by blue light and a condition called age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss. In a study from 2010, people who ate one or two servings of pistachios per day for 4 weeks had higher levels of two antioxidants, lutein and vitamin E, compared to those who didn’t eat pistachios. Plus, pistachios contain polyphenols and tocopherols, which are two groups of antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease.

Low in Calories Yet High in Protein:

Although nuts offer many health benefits, they are usually high in calories. However, they are one of the lowest- calories nuts. For every ounce (28 grams) of pistachios, they are 159 calories, whereas walnuts have 185 calories and pecans have 196 calories. Pistachios are also second only to almonds in protein-rich foods, with protein making up about 14% of their calorie content. Additionally, pistachios are packed with essential amino acids, which are amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own and must be obtained through your diet.

Could Help with Weight Loss:

Although nuts are high in calories, they can actually be helpful for weight loss. This is because pistachios are packed with fiber and protein, both of which make you feel full and satisfied so you end up eating less. While there haven’t been many studies specifically focusing on them and weight loss, the ones that do exist show promising results. For example, one review of 11 studies found that eating pistachios regularly might be linked to a lower body mass index, which estimates body fat. However, it didn’t show a significant change in body weight or belly fat. Another study that lasted 24 weeks and involved people who were overweight found that those who ate pistachios as 20% of their daily calories lost more inches from their waistline compared to those who didn’t eat pistachios. One reason pistachios might help with weight loss in that not all of the fat in them gets absorbed by our body. Some of the fat gets trapped in the cell walls of the nuts, so your body can’t digest it all. Also eating pistachios that are still in their shells can help with mindful eating because cracking open the shells takes time and slows down how quickly you eat. Plus, seeing the leftover shells can give you a visual reminder of how many nuts you’ve eaten. In fact, s study from 2011 found that people who ate pistachios still in their shells ate 41% fewer calories than those who ate shelled pistachios.

Support a Healthy Balance of Gut Bacteria:

They are rich in fiber, with one serving containing 3 grams. Fiber passes through your digestive system mostly undigested, and some types of fiber are food for the good bacteria in your gut, which are called prebiotics. These bacteria break down the fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids, which can have many health benefits, like lowering the risk of digestive issues, cancer, and heart disease. One of the most beneficial short-chain fatty acids is called butyrate. In a study from 2014, eating them was found to increase the number of bacteria in the gut that produce butyrate more than eating almonds did.

Could Reduce Cholesterol and Blood Pressure:

They can help reduce your risk of heart disease in several ways. Apart of being rich in antioxidants, pistachios may lower blood pressure cholesterol and improve blood pressure, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Several studies have shown that they have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. When part of the calories in the diet are replaced with pistachios, up to 67% of these studies have demonstrated reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, along with increases in LDL (good) cholesterol. None of these studies found any negative effects on blood cholesterol levels. For example, one study found that consuming 10% of daily calories from pistachios for 4 weeks lowered LDL cholesterol by 9%. Another study showed that an essential diet consisting of 20% of calories from pistachios reduced LDL cholesterol by 12%. Additionally, pistachios may also help lower blood pressure more effectively than other nuts. A review of 21 studies found that eating pistachios led to a reduction in systolic blood pressure by 1.82 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a decrease in diastolic blood pressure by 0.8 mmHg.

Might Support Healthy Blood Vessels:

The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels, and it’s important for proper blood vessel function. When the endothelium doesn’t work well, it can increase the risk of heart disease. Vasodilation is when blood vessels widen or dilate. Endothelium dysfunction, which is when the endothelium doesn’t work properly, is characterized by reduced vasodilation. This can lead to decreased blood flow and higher blood pressure. Nitric oxide is a compound that helps blood vessels dilate. It signals the smooth cells in the endothelium to relax, causing blood vessels to widen. Pistachios, like most nuts, contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which the body turns into nitric oxide. This means that pistachios might be helpful in promoting healthy blood vessels. One study found that eating 1.5 ounces (40 grams) of pistachios per day for 3 months improved markers of endothelium function and vascular stiffness in 42 people. Another study had 32 men follow a diet where 20% of their calories came from pistachios for 4 weeks. It showed a 30% improvement in endothelium dependent vasodilation compared to when they followed a Mediterranean diet. Good blood flow is important for many bodily functions, including erectile function. One study found that regularly eating nuts, including pistachios, was linked to improvements in sexual desire and orgasmic function in men.

May Help Reducing Blood Sugar Levels:

Even though they have more carbs compared to most nuts, they have a low glycemic index which means they don’t cause big spikes in blood sugar levels. Studies have found that eating pistachios can actually help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. For example, a review of six studies found that it could significantly lower fasting blood sugar and improve insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or metabolic syndrome. In another study from 2014, people with type 2 diabetes saw a 9% reduction in fasting blood sugar after eating 0.9 ounces (25 grams) of pistachios twice a day as a snack for 12 weeks. Apart from being high in fiber and healthy fats, they also contain antioxidants, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds all of which are good for controlling blood sugar levels. So including pistachios in your diet could help you manage your blood sugar levels better over time.

Does Pistachios cause Constipation:

They are a good source of fiber, which can actually help prevent constipation by promoting regular bowel movements. However, if consumed in excessive amounts, pistachios or any other high-fiber food might cause digestive discomfort in some individuals. It’s important to consume them in moderation and drink plenty of water to help prevent constipation. If you have concerns about how it or other foods affect your digestive system, it’s best to consult with your doctor.

Tasty and Enjoyable Snack:

They can be enjoyed in many ways. You can snack on them, use them as a topping for salads or pizzas, or include them in baking to add a lovely green or purple color to desserts and dishes. Some delicious green desserts made with pistachios include pistachios gelato or cheesecake. Like other nuts, they can also be used to make pesto or peanut butter. You can try sprinkling them over oven-baked fish, adding them to your morning granola, or using them to make your own dessert crust. And of course, you can simply enjoy pistachios on their own as a convenient, tasty and healthy snack.

Other Effects of Pistachios:

They are a great pre-workout snack because they release energy slowly and contain protein, which can help muscles recover after exercise. They’re also rich in vitamins E and antioxidants, which may offer some protection against certain types of cancers. They also contain resveratrol, which has shown potential in treating Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. However, research on this is still in the early stages, and there’s no evidence to suggest that eating pistachios can prevent or treat these conditions.


Why are pistachios so expensive?

Pistachios are costly because they’re in high demand and need mostly human labor to ensure a harvest without damage, as stated by the American Pistachios Growers.

Are pistachios a luxury?

Pistachios have been a luxury since ancient Roman times. Challenges like difficult growing conditions, slow growth, sanctions on Iran (the main producer of pistachios) and market supply and demand have all contributed to maintaining its status as a luxury item.

What are the most expensive nuts in the world?

Macadamia nuts, known as the world’s most expensive nuts, offer various health benefits. Renowned Nutritionist Kavita Devgan explains how macadamia nuts can improve vitality and support a balanced lifestyle.

Which country has the most pistachios?

The United States, Iran and Turkey are the top producers of pistachios nuts, accounting for 97% of the world’s production. The United States is the leading producer and exporter followed by Iran and Turkey.

What is the English of pista?

Pistachios or pistachios nuts are small, green, edible nuts.

What is the most consumed nut in the world?

Peanuts, also known as the groundnuts, are a legume crop grown extensively in tropical and subtropical regions. They are the most consumed nut worldwide.

What is the king of all nuts?

Peanuts are considered the “king of all nuts” due to their numerous health benefits and great value, as noted by Food Navigator. They are a rich source or plant-based protein, containing more protein than any other nut. Each one-ounce serving of peanuts provides eight grams of protein.

Who is the oldest nut?

Walnuts have a long history dating back thousands of years, making them the oldest tree food known to humans, with origins tracing back to 7000 B.C. The Romans referred to walnuts as Juglans regia, or “Jupiter’s royal acorn”. Early records suggest that English walnuts originated from ancient Persia, where they were considered a delicacy reserved for royalty.

Why are they called pistachios?

The word “pistachios” has its roots in late Middle English, derived from the Old French word “pistace”. This term was replaced in the 16th century by variations from Italian, specifically pistachios, which ultimately came from Latin “pistacium” and Greek (pistachio). The Middle Persian word “pistake” also contributed to the etymology of “pistachios”.

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