Pistachios are a type of nut that has many health benefits. Pistachios are an excellent source of protein, antioxidants and fiber. Humans have been eating pistachios for thousands of years. People consume them today in a variety of dishes, from salads to ice cream.
Here are 10 Proven Benefits of Eating Pistachios
According to science, pistachios are:
1. Rich in nutrients
Pistachios contain many essential nutrients.
One cup, or about 49 unroasted, unsalted pistachio kernels, contains:
Protein: 5.7 grams (g)
Magnesium: 34.3 milligrams (mg)
Phosphorus: 139 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.5mg
A serving of pistachios provides about 37% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6, or 1.3 mg for adults. Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in the body, especially with regard to protein metabolism and cognitive development.
2. Low in calories
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie tree nuts, which means people can reap the health benefits of tree nuts while staying more easily within their daily calorie limits. For example a cup of 10-12 almonds, contains 204 calories, while a cup of pecans provides 196 calories. In contrast, the same amount of pistachios only contains 159 calories. That said, nuts are generally higher in calories than other foods.
3. Packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that play an essential role in health. They reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases by preventing the body’s cells from being damaged. Nuts and seeds contain several antioxidant compounds, but pistachios may have higher levels of certain antioxidants than other nuts.
Pistachios have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions, as they include:
4. Good for eye health
Pistachios are a rich source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. Indeed, lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of developing chronic eye conditions, such as cataracts. They may also help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD and cataracts are among the leading causes of blindness. A healthy diet, including pistachios, is a promising way to help prevent the development of these eye diseases.
5. Beneficial for Gut Health
All nuts are high in fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system by moving food through the intestine and preventing constipation. A type of fiber called a prebiotic can also feed the good bacteria in the gut. Feeding good bacteria helps them multiply and “crowd out” harmful bacteria. Consuming pistachios, and to a lesser extent almonds, can increase levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
6. High in Protein for Vegans and Vegetarians
Pistachios contribute to a person’s daily protein needs, with nearly 6g of protein per serving. Protein makes up about 21% of the nut’s total weight, making it a good source for vegetarians and vegans, among others. Pistachios also have a higher ratio of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, than other nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Because pistachios are low in calories and high in fiber and protein, they may be beneficial for people who want to manage their weight. A 2020 study found that a daily serving of 40 grams of pistachios helped reduce body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in men and women with obesity, compared to a control group. who didn’t eat an extra serving of pistachios every day.
8. Important for Heart Health
A 2016 review shows that eating pistachios provides several cardiovascular benefits. Pistachios can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. The fact that they are rich in antioxidants may also help protect against heart disease. A 2015 analysis of 21 studies reports that nut consumption can significantly reduce blood pressure in people without type 2 diabetes. Pistachios had the most significant effect of any nut tested on lowering blood pressure. systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
9. Good for Blood Sugar Balance
Pistachios have a low glycemic index, so they don’t cause a big spike in blood sugar after eating them. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which can help control blood sugar. Research supports that eating pistachios may help reduce the risks associated with diabetes. Indeed, a 2017 study finds that a Mediterranean diet, high in supplemental olive oil and pistachios, helps reduce gestational diabetes, while a 2020 meta-analysis suggests pistachios may lead to a significant reduction. fasting blood glucose.
10. Reduce the risk of colon cancer
Pistachios may reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colon cancer, due to their high fiber content. Roasting nuts does not affect their benefits on colon cancer cells.
Are pistachios good for weight loss?
A 2020 study suggests they are. Researchers found that a group of overweight or obese people who ate a serving of pistachios each day had lower body mass index and waist circumference than people who did not eat pistachios. They also found that the group that ate pistachios changed their food choices in healthy ways, increasing dietary fiber and decreasing their intake of foods high in sugar and fat.
However, it is important to note that the researchers believe that these results are due to the fact that the consumption of pistachios led to an increase in dietary fiber intake and a decrease in the consumption of sweets.
Are pistachios fattening?
Although pistachios are high in fat and calories, the fats they contain are monounsaturated fats. This type of fat can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and lower the risk of stroke. The majority of fats in a person’s diet should be monounsaturated fats to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. Eating pistachios in moderation should not affect weight.
One way to moderate pistachio consumption is to buy shelled pistachios. This can help slow down eating, letting the person know when they are full and reducing the risk of overeating.
Do pistachios cause constipation?
Pistachios are a high fiber food source, which means they help relieve constipation rather than cause it. However, people with nut intolerances or allergies may experience digestive issues, such as diarrhea, gas, bloating or stomach cramps. People who suspect they have a nut intolerance should consult a healthcare professional before introducing tree nuts to their diet.
Pistachios release energy slowly, making them an ideal snack before a workout. The proteins they contain can also help muscles recover after exercise. Pistachios are also high in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help provide some protection against certain forms of cancer. They also contain resveratrol, which has shown promise in treating people with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
However, the development of this type of treatment is still in its infancy, and there is no evidence that eating pistachios can help reduce the risk of these diseases or treat their symptoms.
Things to remember about pistachios and their benefits
Pistachios are a very nutritious food. They offer several health benefits, including for the heart, gut, and waistline. Regular consumption of pistachios can help improve health and well-being. But one should stick to plain, unsalted pistachios in their shells, and avoid eating more than one serving a day.
ssaf-Balut, C., et al. (2017). A Mediterranean diet with additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): A randomized controlled trial: The St. Carlos GDM prevention study.
Esmaeili Nadimi, A., et al. (2019). Physicochemical properties and health benefits of pistachio nuts.
Glei, M., et al. (2017). Chemopreventive potential of raw and roasted pistachios regarding colon carcinogenesis.
Hernandez-Alonso, P., et al. (2016). Pistachios for health. What do we know about this multifaceted nut?