pistachios health benefits

Health Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. They can also help balance LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure levels.

Pistachios are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids) and vitamin B6. They are also high in potassium. A single ounce of pistachios provides almost half the daily recommended amount of potassium.

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Pistachios are a rich source of antioxidants, including flavonoids, vitamin E and B vitamins. They are also a good source of protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats.

Research suggests that consuming pistachios can help reduce systemic chronic inflammation, which is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to the presence of a number of bioactive compounds found in these nuts, such as catechins, flavanols and isoflavones (genistein-7-O-glucoside, eriodictyol and daidzein).

Additionally, pistachios contain vitamin B6, which helps support healthy thyroid function. Finally, studies show that pistachios are more effective at lowering systolic blood pressure than other nuts. (1, 2)

2. Rich in Fiber

Pistachios, like other nuts, are high in dietary fiber. They also have a low glycemic index and are an excellent source of protein. A 2022 study found that pistachios can help reduce BMI in overweight individuals. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Pistachios are also a rich source of many vitamins and minerals. For instance, a one-ounce serving provides the daily recommended amount of copper, vitamin B6, thiamin (B1) and manganese. Additionally, a nutrient in pistachios called phytosterols may aid in cholesterol and blood lipid regulation. They are low in sodium and contain a good source of potassium. Pistachios can be stored in the pantry or refrigerator and last up to a year when kept dry.

3. Rich in Protein

Pistachios are a plant-based source of protein, which helps support muscle growth and hormone balance. They also contain a variety of phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health.

The high dietary fiber content in pistachios also helps promote digestive health by feeding the good bacteria in the gut. This can reduce the risk of digestive disorders and heart disease.

Adding pistachios to your diet is an easy way to meet your daily protein needs. Just be sure to choose in-shell pistachios, which can help promote mindful eating by forcing you to take your time to open and enjoy each one. In addition, a recent study found that people who eat in-shell pistachios consume 41% fewer calories than those who eat shelled pistachios.

4. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Pistachios contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The fatty acids also help promote healthy skin and hair.

A handful of pistachios is a low-calorie snack. Studies suggest that nuts like pistachios can promote weight loss when part of a balanced diet.

Studies indicate that pistachios may improve glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes. They have been shown to significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) levels.

Pistachios provide trace amounts of plant-based omega-3 ALA and no marine-sourced EPA or DHA fatty acids, so be sure to include regular servings of other high-in-omega-3 foods like fatty fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and oils to meet your omega-3 recommendations.

5. Rich in Minerals

Pistachios are a rich source of minerals such as copper, potassium and phytosterols. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are important for eye health. These nutrients reduce the risk of developing chronic eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, which are common causes of blindness in the United States.

Pistachios also contain a healthy dose of protein, fiber, fats, antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin A. According to a 2022 scientific review, both raw and roasted pistachios are high in disease-busting antioxidant compounds.

To get the most health benefits out of pistachios, it’s best to eat them in moderation. A one ounce serving contains 49 shelled nuts, which is plenty for most people.

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