How Are Pistachios Good For You?
Simple. They are loaded with nutrients. A 28-gram serving of pistachios contains good amounts of fiber, protein, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and manganese. They have a rich and nutty taste, and they contain other important nutrients too (which we will look at in a while).
What Are The Benefits Of Pistachios?
1. Pistachios Improve Heart Health
Research has shown that pistachios can contribute to heart-healthy fat, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases. Pistachios can also lower bad cholesterol, and this cuts the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 12% (1).
Pistachios also change how your blood pressure responds to stress – and in a good way. They lower the levels of lipoproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease , They also dilate your blood vessels (thanks to the amino acid, L-arginine), and this enhances blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
2. Aid Diabetes Treatment
Glucose and insulin levels were found to be lower post pistachio consumption, as per studies. The nuts also increase the levels of peptide 1, a hormone that regulates glucose levels in diabetics
An Iranian study also states that dietary intake of pistachio nuts can have positive effects on glycemic control, blood pressure, inflammation, and even obesity in diabetes patients
Did You Know?
Pistachio is known as the Smiling Nut in Iran and Happy Nut in China
3. Enhance Gut Health
The fiber in pistachios does the trick here. It aids digestion and prevents constipation. The fiber in the nuts is also digested by the food bacteria in your stomach and hence acts as a prebiotic.
The gut bacteria ferment this fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids, which have several benefits. They prevent colon cancer and improve digestive health overall. Butyrate is one such beneficial short-chain fatty acid, and its consumption increases the number of good bacteria in the gut (5).
4. Pistachios Combat Inflammation
As per the Arthritis Foundation, nuts like pistachios are rich in monounsaturated fat and protein – while the monounsaturated fat fights inflammation, protein builds strength (6).
Studies have concluded that the potent anti-inflammatory properties of pistachios can be put to great therapeutic use (7).
5. Pistachios Aid Weight Loss
The fiber in pistachios can keep you full for long periods – this keeps you from binging and contributes to healthy weight loss. Another nutrient with similar qualities is protein – it also keeps you satiated and reduces hunger pangs.
Studies have demonstrated how consuming pistachios can keep inches off your waist over time. Pistachios have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well. They can be consumed as a healthy snack to lose weight, without having to worry about their fat content (those are healthy fats, anyway!)
6. Improve Vision Health
Pistachios have the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin amongst all nuts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the human retina, and taking enough of these antioxidants prevents vision issues like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts
Some reports suggest that the healthy fatty acids in pistachios can also contribute to eye health – though we need more research on this.
Another important mineral in pistachios is zinc, which is a vital nutrient for the eyes.
7. Are Power Foods For Your Brain
Pistachios, like most nuts, are amazing sources of vitamin E. The nutrient was found to prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Research has also shown that pistachios can stimulate brain frequencies more than other nuts. This is critical for enhancing cognitive performance, learning, information retention, and rapid eye movement during sleep (10).
Pistachio nut oil, just like the nut, can fight brain inflammation and even preserve the essential fatty acids in the brain. More interestingly, pistachios might have a role to play in protecting against disruptions in cognitive function due to anticancer drugs
8. Boost Immunity
The zinc in pistachios is known to boost the immune system. This is also true with the vitamin B6 the nuts contain
Did You Know?
Pistachios are the original prehistoric snacks. In fact, they are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible.
9. Enhance Sexual Health
Anecdotal evidence suggests that pistachios boost fertility. However, we need more research before we can conclude.
Studies show that pistachios can act as an aphrodisiac. Eating a handful of the nuts every day for three weeks was found to improve sex drive in men
And the nuts’ arginine, phytosterol, and antioxidant content have also shown to treat erectile dysfunction.
10. Can Increase Estrogen Levels
Amongst nuts, pistachios have the highest amount of phytoestrogens. They can increase estrogen levels, which contribute to a regulated menstrual cycle and secondary sex characteristics.