10 Health Benefits of Pistachios You Need to Know About
Pistachios are versatile and nutritious nuts that dietitians have adopted as a valuable addition to diets. They are full of healthy nutrients, including fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and have a creamy, sweet, and lightly crunchy taste that makes them a delicious addition to lots of meals and snacks.
This article explains the top ten benefits of pistachio nuts and why you should integrate them into your everyday meals.
What are Pistachios?
Pistachios belong to the nut family; they are green, slightly sweet nuts encased in hard shells. The tree is part of the Anacardiaceae family and is native to Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Greece. Additionally, it began to be cultivated in the United States after the Second World War, primarily in California, New Mexico, and Arizona.
They are available shelled, unshelled, salted, or roasted. Due to the numerous benefits of pistachio nuts, they're commonly consumed as snacks and integrated into various food recipes.
Pistachio Nutritional Profile
This nut is rich in nutritional benefits; for example, a ½ cup of unsalted, unshelled pistachios has 18 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of fat, and 13 grams of protein. These nutritional benefits, however, can't be fully attained except through moderate consumption of no more than 30 seeds per day.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Being a seed with a lot of nutrition from all types, here a 10 pistachio benefits you should know about.
1. Highly Nutritious
As it contains calories, carbs, copper, fiber, fat, protein, phosphorus, thiamine, vitamin B6, and manganese, pistachio kernels are among the most nutritious nuts. Therefore, it is recommended to include a small portion of them in your diet and other nutritious foods.
2. Promotes Heart Health
Due to its ability to balance LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, provide antioxidants, and regulate blood sugar, promoting heart health is a significant benefit of pistachios.
They can also reduce your risk profile for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic inflammation. However, given that this nut is calorie-dense, moderation in consumption is advised to avoid having the opposite effect.
3. Boosts Antioxidants
Pistachios are rich in antioxidants, which play a crucial role in reducing the risks of heart disease, dementia, and cancer. Additionally, pistachios contain lutein and zeaxanthin, essential antioxidants that promote eye health.
4. High in Protein Yet Low in Calories
Meeting the body's protein needs without overconsumption and excessive calorie intake is a challenging equation to balance. However, incorporating pistachios into your diet makes it easier to attain the necessary protein intake without accumulating excess calories. This nut is among the few snacks that accomplish this objective.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
Consuming a balanced amount of pistachios can increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and reduce LDL cholesterol; this is due to the nut's high level of monounsaturated fats, which affect cholesterol levels positively and contribute to lowering blood pressure as well as lowering the risk of heart disease.
6. Improves Skin Health
Pistachios are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrition; therefore, they directly impact skin health by improving tone, smoothing the skin, and nourishing it from within. They also contain anti-inflammatory components that minimize bacterial growth, preventing acne and blackhead breakouts.
7. Regulates Blood Sugar
Pistachios can effectively regulate blood sugar levels thanks to their low glycemic index and richness in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Moreover, they are diabetes-friendly and do not cause sudden sugar spikes.
8. Improves Digestive Health
Among the most important pistachio benefits is their digestive health boost; this is due to the beneficial bacteria they promote and the necessary components present in them, such as manganese, vitamin B6, thiamin, and copper. Pistachios are often recommended to help treat digestive problems, including stomach upset and digestive tract inflammation.
9. Promotes Eye Health
A moderate amount of pistachios is recommended for elderly people due to their eye benefits. This nut is rich in carotenoids, which are great for treating cataracts, a condition that causes lens clouding. Additionally, the antioxidants in pistachios reduce free radicals and consequently reduce macular degeneration. An antioxidant in pistachios, zeaxanthin, protects eye muscles and reduces sun damage.
10. Helps in Weight Management
Pistachios have become an integral part of many dietitians' weight loss plans. It has been previously highlighted that one of the best reasons why pistachios are good for you is because they're high in protein and low in calories. They promote a sense of fullness and provide nutrition without leading to weight gain. Additionally, being fiber-rich, pistachios boost metabolism and aid in easy digestion.
Are Pistachios Good for You?
Getting all the aforementioned benefits from various delectable nuts is a great deal. Pistachios are beneficial for anyone who relishes their flavor; the advantages of pistachio nuts, however, are more pronounced and tangible if you're dealing with diabetes, managing your weight, balancing your blood pressure, etc.
Incorporating Pistachios into Your Diet
After mentioning the ten health benefits of pistachios, integrating them into your diet is highly recommended. However, knowing how to balance the amount is crucial, as too much of this nut can cause allergic reactions, promote weight gain, increase the risk of kidney stones, and others. Here are some recommended ways to get the best health benefits of pistachios in a healthy, balanced manner.
Pistachios for Breakfast
- Add them on top of Greek yogurt, cereals, or oatmeal
- Mix them with muffins, fruit salad, or granola
- Blend them into smoothies, nut butter, and baking mix-ins
Pistachios for Lunch
- Add them to pasta dishes, soups, and Middle Eastern platters
- Mix them with vegetables, salad, sandwiches, and rice bowls
- Blend them with pistachio hummus and sprinkle them on grain bowls
Pistachios as a Snack
- Roasted, salted pistachios for the minimum calories
- Pistachio ice cream for a healthy, special dessert
- Pistachio arugula pesto, a mouthwatering sauce beside chips or sandwiches
The bottom line
As it offers a balanced combination of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and more, pistachios must, in one way or another, be integrated into your diet for all meals. However, like all other nuts, pistachios can contribute to calorie density, gastrointestinal discomfort, increased toxin exposure, and more. So, it's essential to consult a dietitian to determine the appropriate amount and get the best of pistachio benefits.