Commonly considered as nuts, however, you would be mistaken as pistachios are seeds. They are green and relatively sweet as compared to other nuts and seeds. If you are wondering, are pistachios healthy? Consider that pistachios are a great source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. They are great for the gut and cardiovascular health. With zero cholesterol, pistachios are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.
An ounce of pistachios has approximately 160 calories
|Vitamins and Minerals (in RDI percentage)|
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Here is a list of some amazing health benefits of pistachios:
1. Powerhouse of Nutrients
Known as a super nut, pistachio is one of the most vitamin B6 rich food products. Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in bodily functions such as increasing hemoglobin and regulating blood sugar levels.
It is so high in potassium that it contains 50% of potassium of a large banana and almost the same amount of fiber as a cup of broccoli(1).
Pistachios are recommended to be consumed by people who have low sodium levels. Low sodium levels could be due to excess or less fluid in your body. Low blood sodium levels can lead to temporary confusion, fatigue, and lethargy.
Unsaturated fatty acids
Pistachios are loaded with healthy fats that prevent high cholesterol and help maintain a healthy weight. These omega-3 rich nuts prevent heart disease and reduce blood pressure.
Rich in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, the green organic pigment also improves eye health. Carotenoids help prevent age-related eye muscle degeneration and damage caused by blue light.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
The role of antioxidants is pivotal to our well being. Apart from walnuts and pecans, pistachios contain the next highest level of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can prevent and even in some cases reverse cell damage. Antioxidants prevent the development of free radicals in the body. A diet rich in antioxidants can even prevent cancer by inhibiting cell multiplication.
Polyphenols and tocopherols are the antioxidant types that are present in abundance in pistachios. The antioxidants in pistachios are easily digested by the stomach and are most useful in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
The high potassium and antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties that aid in pain relief.
3. High protein fat-free munchies
Though nuts, in general, are usually high in calories, these low calorie and high protein nuts make wonderful snack time companions.
With a calorific value of 160 calories per ounce of pistachios, these fat-free snacks contain high levels of amino acids which help build protein in the body. The human body does not make amino acids making it crucial for you to consume them through your food.
Sufficient protein levels in the body aid in muscle regeneration, muscle repair, good quality hair, and strong shiny nails. The protein in pistachios is 20% its weight, which also improves skin texture, quality, and elasticity reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Optimum consumption of protein also reduces food cravings and makes you feel fuller for a longer duration. It helps in boosting metabolism and quicken the fat burning process in your body keeping your weight under check.
Studies show that shelled pistachios aid in mindful eating. The shells take time to consumer pistachios and visual aid of the number of pistachios consumed helps in reducing their intake(2).
Pistachios also contain a type of semi-essential amino acid that is required by your body to help improve blood flow and thereby, reduce blood pressure. Apart from better blood flow which is crucial for bodily function, there are significant pistachio benefits for men- prevention of erectile dysfunction and better sexual health which is a direct result of blood flow to the penis during sexual arousal.
4. Promotes Gut Health
A serving of pistachios contains 3 grams of fiber. Fiber increases bulk in the stool prevents constipation and improves gut health. The fiber in pistachios acts as a prebiotic which when fermented by gut bacteria can also prevent digestive diseases. Eating pistachios for better gut health is considered more significant as compared to eating the same quantity of almonds(3).
5. Reduces Blood Sugar
Consumption of pistachios ensures there are no blood sugar spikes after consuming a meal. This helps the body maintain and regulate a healthy blood sugar level. With a low glycemic index, adding pistachios to your diet will help lower blood sugar levels in the long term.
How to Use It?
- Pistachios can be consumed directly as nuts. You can much on them as a snack.
- Pistachios are a common dressing in puddings, smoothies, and salads. The sweet and salty nutty flavor adds a great taste and texture to your meal.
The high sodium content may also not work in favor of those suffering from nausea or bloating. Do not consume pistachios if you are on blood thinners. Also, stay away from pistachios if you have nut allergies.
Truly a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants, pistachios have unarguably some of the most important vitamins and minerals. Add these super nuts to your diet and bid adieu to health problems.
[ Read: Benefits of Pili Nuts ]
1. Is there any issue in eating too many pistachios?
Yes, it is not suggested to consume more than the recommended serving of pistachios as it may lead to weight gain and poor heart health. It is best to have a healthy and well-balanced diet.