comes from the Greek word pistachio meaning “the green nut,” pistachios are a beloved nut that has been around for centuries. But the popular snack nut is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from Pesto at cookies. Here’s everything you need to know about the nutritious nut, including pistachio benefits and side effects.
What are pistachios?
Pistachios are nuts that grow in clusters on tall trees. They start with yellow and reddish fruits that ripen to green and purple. “Most pistachios in the United States are grown in the naturally rich soils of California’s San Joaquin Valley, where warm days and cool nights create the perfect setting for growing heart-healthy pistachios,” says Maggie Moon. , MS, RD, nutrition communication manager for Good housekeeping Approved by nutritionists Wonderful pistachios.
The popular nut is available with or without shells and comes in raw or roasted varieties. Plus, they’re packed with nutritional benefits. “Pistachios are also one of the highest protein snacks.”
Other impressive health benefits of pistachio include:
1. Pistachios are a good source of several vitamins and minerals.
Moon says a serving of pistachios contains over 30 different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. “Nearly 90% of the fat in pistachios is also the healthier unsaturated type.” A one ounce servingi.e. about 49 pistachios, brings:
- 159 calories
- 13 grams of total fat
- 2 grams of saturated fat
- 8g carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of protein
Plus, pistachios are also cholesterol-free, and Moon claims that one serving provides more than 10% of the Daily Value for copper, vitamin B6, thiamin (B1), manganese, and phosphorus.
2. Pistachios are a complete plant-based protein.
“Pistachios are an excellent choice of vegetable proteins compared to meat because they are naturally cholesterol-free and add fiber to your day,” says Moon. She notes that since pistachios provide adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids, this makes them a complete protein source.
“The protein in pistachios is of better quality than other popular snack nuts, with a protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of 94 out of 100 for dry-roasted pistachios. It’s a solid A right there,” adds Moon.
3. Pistachios may improve blood sugar control.
“Pistachios can be included in a healthy diet for eating well with diabetes,” says Moon. The American Diabetes Association even calls nuts “diabetes superfoodbecause their healthy fat profile and fiber count can help with hunger and blood sugar control.
A study published in Diabetic treatments found that consuming pistachios in particular may have hypoglycemic and hypoglycemic effects in people with prediabetes. Rresearch on type 2 diabetics found that eating pistachios also had favorable effects on blood sugar control.
4. Pistachios can fight inflammation.
Pistachios contain a unique composition of powerful antioxidant compounds, including tocopherols, phylloquinone, carotenoids, chlorophyll and flavonoids. Research shows that polyphenols and flavonoids are widely present in all parts of the pistachio and also have anti-inflammatory properties. “The green and reddish-purple colors of pistachios come from antioxidants,” says Moon.
5. Pistachios may support heart health.
Since about 90% of the fats in pistachios are unsaturated, Moon says they make a very heart-healthy snack. “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces a day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of disease heart.”
Additionally, nuts are also a good source of fiber. Our experts advise opting for unsalted or lightly salted varieties to ensure they remain a heart-healthy choice.
6. Pistachios can promote mindful eating.
“Breaking open pistachio shells can slow you down during snack time,” Moon shares. “Empty shells can be a visual cue that helps nibblers eat mindfully. She adds that inshell pistachios can help you “go wrong” because leftover shells can be a visual cue for portion sizes, potentially helping to reduce consumption. “We call it the pistachio principle.
7. Pistachios can help with weight management
Recent search found that regular consumption of pistachios was associated with increased dietary fiber intake, decreased consumption of sweets and weight loss. Plus, a one-ounce serving offers a generous 49 pistachios for less than 200 calories.
Can we eat pistachios daily?
“Not only can you eat pistachios every day, there are good reasons to,” Moon says. “Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. As a complete protein, pistachios can help you meet your protein needs.”
She adds that it’s especially important for vegans and vegetarians, but it’s also great for anyone just looking to add more plant-based protein to their day.
Are there any side effects or risks to eating pistachios?
People who have chewing and/or swallowing problems may need to avoid pistachios and nuts in general. Those who have a nut allergy or a pistachio allergy, so follow the advice of their healthcare team. But for most people, pistachios should be safe to eat and beneficial enough to eat regularly. If you have a peanut allergy, it is important to verify that the brand you have chosen is not processed in a facility that contains peanuts.
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