- A one stop shop: A healthy snacks should be a nutrient rich food that contains fiber, protein and healthy fat. Pistachios fit that bill. A serving of 49 nuts contains 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 11 grams of heart-healthy fat.
- A better love life: A small study of 17 men (between the ages of 38 and 59) with erectile dysfunction saw improvements in measures of erectile function and sexual satisfaction after eating 3.5 ounces of pistachios daily for three weeks.(1)
- Weight management: A one-ounce serving of pistachios contains just 160 calories. Despite the high energy and fat content of nuts, numerous studies indicate that nut consumption is not associated with weight gain or increased obesity risk.(2)
- High protein: Pistachios contain a higher amount of protein compared to other nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. Pistachios contain 6g of protein per ounce, the highest protein ounce for ounce compared to other nuts. They are also considered a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.
- Cholesterol benefits: Pistachios are a very good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid. Eating pistachios on a regular basis has shown to be effective in decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps to increase the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Eye health: Pistachios contain carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help in reducing the risk of contracting age-related macular disease in the elderly.(3)
- Diabetes defense: In diabetics, sugars form inappropriate bonds with proteins and make them unusable, a process is known as glycation. The antioxidants in pistachios help in reducing the process of glycation and can help to control diabetes.
- Free radical scavenging: Pistachios are a rich source of anti-oxidant phyto-chemical substances: carotenes, vitamin E, and polyphenolic antioxidants. Research suggests that these compounds may help remove toxic free-radicals from the body, protecting it from diseases, cancers, and infections.
- Trace minerals galore: Pistachios are high in copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Just 100 g nuts provide 144% of daily-recommended levels of copper, an essential trace mineral that is required in neuro-transmission, metabolism, and red blood cell production.
(1) Aldemir M,Okulu E, Neselioğlu S, Erel O, Kayigil Ő. Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res.2011. 23(1):32-8.
(2) Bullo M et al. Nutrition Attributes and Health Effects of Pistachio Nuts. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S79-93. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003250.
(3) Weikel, KA, Chiu CJ, and Taylor, A. Nutritional Modulation of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Mol. Aspects Medicine. 2012 Aug; 33(4): 318-75.