I LOVE pistachios! They’re not only delicious, but actually fun to eat and provide nutrients and benefits you may never had known!
These edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
They can even aid in weight loss!
Here are researched-supported health benefits of pistachios.
LOADED WITH NUTRIENTS
A 28 gram serving of about 49 pistachios containing the following:
Carbs: 8 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Fat: 13 grams (90% are unsaturated fats)
Potassium: 6% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Phosphorus: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 28% of the RDI
Thiamine: 21% of the RDI
Copper: 41% of the RDI
Manganese: 15% of the RDI
As you can see, pistachios are one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods around! (source)
What does Vitamin B6 help do?
Vitamin B6 helps blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells.
PROMOTES HEALTHY GUT BACTERIA
Pistachios are a good source of healthy fiber.
Fiber moves through your digestive system mostly undigested, and some types of fiber are digested by the good bacteria in your gut, acting as prebiotics.
Gut bacteria then ferment the fiber and convert it into short-chain fatty acids. Butyrate is perhaps the most beneficial of these short-chain fatty acids.
How does this relate to pistachios specifically?
THIS STUDY showed that eating pistachios has been shown to increase the number of butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut to a greater extent than eating almonds.
LOW IN CALORIES + WEIGHT LOSS AID
Pistachios are among the lowest-calorie nuts out there! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am not pro-low calories diets, however, I am also pro weight management that is right for YOU! So just because a food is low in calories, doesn’t make it bad. My point? I am not promoting a low calorie diet, but moreso, pointing out a low calorie nut. And if it can help someone achieve a healthy weight, I am all for it because our goal here is to be HEALTHY (and that looks different for each person)
In THIS 12 week weight loss program, those who ate 1.9 ounces (53 grams) of pistachios per day as an afternoon snack had twice the reduction in body mass index, compared with those who ate 2 ounces (56 grams) of pretzels per day.
Another 24-week study in those with excess weight resulted in those who consumed 20% of calories from pistachios lost 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) more from their waistlines than those who did not eat pistachios.
THIS study showed that individuals who ate in-shell pistachios consumed 41% fewer calories than individuals who ate shelled pistachios. The leftover shells also give you a visual clue of how many nuts you have eaten.
HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants play a key role in reducing the risk of several diseases.
In THIS 4-week study, participants who ate either one or two servings of pistachios per day had greater levels of lutein and γ-Tocopherol, compared with participants who did not eat pistachios.
Among nuts, pistachios have the highest content of lutein and zeaxanthin (important antioxidants for eye health) (source)
Blue Light Damage
Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light and age-related macular degeneration (source)