Have you ever had pistachio ice cream or eaten out of a bag of salted pistachios? Pistachios are tasty treats, but they’re also surprisingly good for you. Pistachios are an excellent source of good fat, fiber, antioxidants, nutrients, and protein. Their health benefits are numerous, and you’ve probably been passing them up all these years in lieu of more well-known health nuts like almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.
Pistachios are actually one of the most ancient edible nuts on the planet, and they’re incorporated into meals all over the world. They are native to the cradle of civilization, and Asia. Skilled anthropologists have dated man’s consumption of pistachios to 6,000 BC. Pistachios are available in numerous forms today, including unshelled, shelled, salted, or sweetened. They also have fewer calories than other popular nuts.
They have higher protein than cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews. The fat content is also the lowest compared to the other nuts. The bottom line is that if you haven’t been eating pistachios, you need to start doing it right now. Grab some the next time you’re at the grocery store.
1. They’re low in Calories and High in Protein
Pistachios are very low in calories, but they’re high in protein. This makes them ideal for people who are nutrition-minded and health-conscious. In fact, when you’re picking up a bagful of pistachios at the grocery store, keep in mind that you’re getting the healthiest nuts on the market. They’re more ancient and healthier than almost all modern nuts.
Protein makes up 20% of the weight of pistachios, and they’re second in protein content only to almonds. They also have a higher concentration of amino acids than any other nut, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Bodybuilders should pick up pistachios in lieu of other nuts if they have to make a choice.
2. Pistachios are Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting your cells and preventing disease.
In fact, they have more antioxidants than almost all nuts, except for pecans and walnuts. Plus, pistachios have the highest zeaxanthin and lutein content of any nut, and both of these antioxidants are very important for eye health.
Pistachios are also rich in tocopherols and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that are protective against heart disease and cancer. Research has proven that the antioxidants in pistachios are very bioavailable, meaning that they’re more likely to be absorbed and utilized during the digestive process.
3. Pistachios Might Help You Lose Weight
Pistachios are chock full of fiber and protein, which are important for keeping you full and satisfied. In other words, they help you feel full and not want to eat as much food.
One study showed that people who got 20% of their calories lost more weight than a control group who did not eat any pistachios. In fact, nuts and seeds, in general, are good for people who are trying to lose weight.
They are a healthy, energy-dense snack, and studies have shown that the fat content in nuts might not be absorbed very well.
If you’re just starting on a diet and are looking for healthy snacks, start with nuts.
4. They Can Help Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Pistachios can bring down your risk of heart disease in several ways. They can lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, and there have been several studies proving that pistachios have cholesterol-lowering abilities. Pistachios seem to lower blood pressure more than other types of nuts.
If you’re on a heart-healthy diet and are looking for healthy snacks, look no further than nuts and seeds. Pistachios are one of the healthiest nuts you can consume, so grab a bagful every time you’re at the grocery store. You can also combine pistachios with other nuts and seeds to make your own trail mix.
That’s a good alternative to the unhealthy snacks you’ve probably been eating.
5. Pistachios are Rich in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has a number of health benefits. Having too little B6 has been associated with certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Getting more B6 into your diet can improve your cognitive function and lower your risk of heart disease.
You can get almost all the B6 you need for an entire day with just a small one-ounce serving. Pistachios taste great, too. Just know that you’re getting a lot of valuable nutrients when you chomp into those pistachios.
They’re a healthy, tasty snack that is packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
6. Pistachios Can Help You Manage Your Weight
It’s not hard to eat too many pistachios at one sitting, and you’ve got to watch yourself even though they’re in low calories. However, opting for pistachios in their shells seems to help with weight control.
According to a study, those who had to open shells to eat the pistachios ate less than those who were fed them de-shelled. They ate about 40% fewer calories overall. All those shells accumulating seemed to be a kind of psychological or evolutionary hint to stop eating.
It also takes more effort and time to open those shells. Most people are lazy and would rather just eat them de-shelled.
7. Pistachios Are Helpful For People With Diabetes
Pistachios could be helpful for people who have diabetes.
According to a study, people suffering from diabetes who ate about an ounce of pistachios every day for three months had better glucose levels. They also helped with several other key health markers. They lowered body mass index, blood pressure, and a marker for inflammation called C-reactive protein.
It just makes sense that eating a healthier diet with well-rounded, nutritional powerhouse foods like pistachios would make you healthier in several key ways.
Incorporate pistachios and other healthy nuts into your diet as snack foods to curb your appetite for junk foods and make you healthier overall.
8. Pistachios Are Good For Your Heart
Pistachios have the lowest fat content of all nuts. Most of that fat is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Only a small amount is saturated fat.
There is a lot of research that says pistachios are good for your heart. They lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Pistachio nuts also lower your blood pressure, which has a good effect on cardiovascular health.
One study found that pistachios showed the most potential to reduce blood pressure out of all the tree nuts. If you have to choose a nut at the grocery store, then pick pistachios.
They’re arguably the healthiest of all nuts.
9. Pistachios Are Big-time Nutritional Powerhouses
Pistachios have 6 grams of plant-based protein in one ounce. You can make crushed pistachio coatings on your meat and fish to add to their protein content. They also have 3 grams of fiber, which helps with digestion and makes you feel fuller, which is great for weight control.
Pistachios also have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, like B-complex vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E, vitamin K, and potassium. If you want to eat a nut that’s got more nutrition than almost any other nut, go for Brazil nuts.
They’re extremely healthful, and they’ll help you build muscle and lose weight.
10. Pistachios Are Anti-inflammatory
If you worry about inflammation, then look no further than pistachios, because they are helpful in dealing with it. Pistachios are high in vitamins A, K, and E, and they have additional anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Most natural whole foods and plant foods have anti-inflammatory properties and switching to a whole foods-based, a raw diet can really help if you’re suffering from inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases.
Once you start to incorporate a variety of whole foods into your diet, you’ll find that you feel better, have more energy, and suffer from fewer aches and pains.