Pistachios are nutritious dry fruits which aid in overall growth and development of the human body. Including pistachios in your diet can allow you to stay healthy. This edible nut is full of flavor and makes a wholesome addition to your diet. Before talking about its various benefits, let us discuss about pistachios in detail.
What are Pistachios?
Pistachios are commonly found all over the world. They are native to Asia, Iran, and Iraq. The pistachio nuts are not available throughout the year and are seasonal. These nuts can be found in several forms such as sweetened, unsalted, shelled, and unshelled. It is said that buying unshelled nuts is the best way of selecting pistachios as it remains in its natural form. The pistachios can be stored in airtight containers away from direct sunlight. They are one of those few nuts that contain nutrients essential to humans for maintaining the overall health.
Pistachios Nutritional Facts
As mentioned above, pistachios are nutritious and healthy. It is loaded with B complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate and thiamin. These nuts are also packed with minerals like selenium, calcium, magnesium, copper, protein, zinc, and potassium.
Did you know that one cup of pistachio offers about 520 calories to the human body? In fact, pistachios contain a higher protein amount in comparison with other nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews. They contain six grams per one ounce, which is the highest amongst all nuts.
For more details, you can take a look at the pistachio nutritional facts below:
Benefits of Pistachios
There are several studies and findings that have attributed to the various benefits of pistachios. Consuming these nuts on a daily basis can bring definite results to overall health, including skin and hair. So, read ahead and learn about the benefits of pistachios.
Benefits of Pistachios for Health
Here are few amazing health benefits of including pistachios in your daily diet:
1. Weight Management
Pistachios contain low calories, high proteins, low saturated fat, and high unsaturated fats, which make it ideal for weight management. Monounsaturated fats are soluble in nature, and therefore do not allow weight gain. Pistachios are also loaded with fiber which gives you a sense of fullness while the presence of protein burns fat easily, instead of storing them. Consume pistachios in moderate quantities as it is a calorie-rich food.
2. Healthy Heart
Pistachios are known to be heart-friendly nuts. This can mean that daily intake of pistachios can help to decrease bad LDL cholesterol. The presence of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids can help in promoting a healthy heart.
3. Nervous System
Pistachios have a high concentration of Vitamin B6 and therefore quite beneficial in keeping nervous system healthy and fit. These nuts produce amino acids and help in promoting proper nerve impulses transmission.
4. Prevents Diabetes
One of the pista health benefits is that it functions well to control diabetes. These nuts contain antioxidants known for reducing glycation, which is the bonding of sugar molecules with proteins and without enzymatic regulation. This whole process of glycation can thus control diabetes.
Pistachios have a rich content of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory agents which helps in reducing body inflammation.
6. Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria
Pistachios are loaded with high amounts of dietary fiber which is helpful in strengthening our digestive system. They are good for the boosting of good gut bacteria and also increasing the number of butyrate producing bacteria in gut.
7. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential for overall health. They can prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer. They contain more antioxidants in comparison with other nuts. In fact, one or two servings of pistachios daily can provide your body with lutein and γ-tocopherol. In addition, they contain antioxidants such as polyphenols and tocopherols which can protect against cancer and heart diseases.
8. Boosts Immune System
Consuming pistachios daily can increase immunity levels. They contain higher amount of Vitamin B6, which are essential for the immune system to function well. You can consume these nutritious nuts daily with other nuts for a well-balanced calorie diet intake.
9. Balances Cholesterol Level
Consuming pistachios daily can reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increase good cholesterol levels (HDL). In turn, it prevents you from several forms of heart diseases.
Pistachios are rich sources of arginine molecule which can boost body functioning processes. These molecules can regulate metabolic processes in our body and increase nitric oxide levels in our body to prevent buildup of arterial wall blockage.
11. Keeps Blood Pressure under Control
Pistachios have low sodium levels and high potassium levels which can help to keep blood pressure under control and thus keep the heart healthy.
12. Improves Blood Flow
Pistachios can enhance the blood flow in our body by increasing the oxygen capacity of our blood.
13. Enhances Hemoglobin Count
Pistachios contain high quantities of vitamin B6 which can increase oxygen levels in the blood and hemoglobin count, thus preventing anemia.
14. Protects against Cancer
Pistachios are rich in antioxidants and prevent the chances of skin, lung, and prostate cancer. These nuts are also loaded with gamma-tocopherol that slow down the saturation of harmful UV rays into the skin.
15. Rich Source of Minerals
Pistachios contain several minerals which are helpful in keeping a healthy body. They are a rich source of manganese, potassium, copper, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Just one cup of pistachios can provide our body with 80% of recommended copper dose essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system.
16. Good Source of Energy
Pistachios contain high levels of calories and are therefore a good source of energy. In fact, 100 g of pistachio servings can provide our body with 560 calories. They are also rich in dietary fibre and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which makes it a healthy treat.
Benefits of Pistachios for Eye Health
Here are few benefits of pistachios for improving the health of your eyes:
17. Sharpens Eye Vision
Pistachios can prevent age related macular degeneration and fight off free radicals to maintain proper eye vision.
18. Fights with Free Radicals
Pistachios contain antioxidant proteins like lutein and zeaxanthin which is essential for fighting off free radicals and preventing macular cells from getting damaged.
Benefits of Pistachios for Skin
Pistachios are excellent for skin in so many ways.
Here are few benefits:
Pistachios boost insulin levels and control blood circulation, which can in turn prevent acne. An imbalance in sugar levels can produce excessive oil that can lead to acne. Pistachios also contain selenium, which works well with Vitamin E to reduce skin inflammation and appearance of scars.
20. Anti-ageing Properties
Pistachios have higher concentration of Vitamin E which can improve skin’s elasticity. It can fight off skin ageing process and prevent wrinkles, to reveal a youthful skin. Vitamin E can also protect cell membranes for making skin healthy.
21. Free radical Damage
The presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C and E found in pistachios protect the skin against UV radiation damage. Selenium can also aid in producing glutathione, which can neutralize free radical damage that weaken healthy skin cells.
22. Hydrates Skin
Pistachios hydrate skin and smoothen it for keeping it silky and glowing.
23. Treats Dryness
The essential oils present in pistachio can help to treat skin dryness. They can help to keep skin hydrated and regulate the production of sebum, the skin’s natural conditioner.
24. Natural Glow
Pistachios contain essential fatty acids which can provide glowing and radiant skin. You can include pistachios with green apples in your diet to ensure radiant skin.
25. Maintain Skin Health
Pistachios are a rich source of Vitamin E and antioxidants which make it essential to maintain skin’s natural health. They protect your skin against UV damage, skin cancer and sunburns.
Benefits of Pistachios for Hair
Here are few benefits of pistachios for hair:
26. Stimulate Hair Growth
Pistachios can naturally boost hair growth because of its presence of fatty acids essential for hair growth.
27. Increases Hair Flexibility
You can make a hair mask using pistachios to deeply nourish and moisturize your hair. This hair mask can also be helpful for treating split ends, dryness, and chemically treated hair.
28. Prevents Hair Loss
Pistachios are a rich source of biotin which is essential for keeping hair healthy. A biotin deficiency can contribute towards hair loss. Regularly consuming pistachios can help with hair loss effectively.
29. Nourishes Hair Follicles
Pistachios can strengthen hair strands and increase hair flexibility by nourishing hair follicles.
30. Treats Split Ends
Pistachios can treat split ends effectively because of its presence of biotin.
Benefits of Pistachios for Children
Pistachio nut benefits children in a lot of different ways. Here are few examples:
31. Overall Growth and Development
Pistachios are nutritious dry fruits rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, iron, folates, and antioxidants which can provide essential nutrients for overall growth and development in children.
32. Improves Brain Development
Pistachios contain essential elements needed for brain development amongst children.
33. Prevents Disorders
Pistachios can help children suffering from lack of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and iron deficiency like marasmus, kwashiorkor, beri-beri, eye problem, bone problems, anemia, and rickets.
34. Relieves Inflammation
Pistachios have anti-inflammation properties, Vitamin A and E which helps in reducing the body inflammation.
35. Regularize Bowel Movements
Pistachios are a rich source of dietary fiber. Eating these rich nuts daily can regularize the colon functioning and bowel movement.
36. Increases Hemoglobin Count
Pistachios are a rich iron dry fruit which can increase the count of hemoglobin and RBCs in the blood flow. It can also help with other health problems such as depression, nausea, insomnia, and dizziness.
Benefits of Pistachios for Pregnant Women
Pistachios are also beneficial for pregnant women in a lot of ways. It contains iron and Vitamin B6 which can help in the maintenance of hemoglobin count and increase oxygen-rich blood supply to ease women against early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, anemia, and nausea.
37. Instant Energy Booster
Pistachios are energetic dry fruits which can help pregnant women. They offer instant energy and lower fatigue levels.
38. Keeps Blood Pressure and Hemoglobin under Control
Pistachios can help in maintaining blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, and hemoglobin count.
How to Select and Store Pistachios
Pistachios can be easily found from any grocery store in several forms like unshelled, shelled, roasted, salted, and sweetened. These dry nuts can be best taken in its raw and shelled form, instead of processed, salted, and sweetened ones. You should not select pistachios which are cracked, light, and with rancid smell. Instead, go for heavy, fresh, shelled, and sealed pistachios available in airtight containers. These pistachios can be stored in sealed container, cool place, and refrigerator.
How to use Pistachios
Pistachios are used for several purposes, be it for cooking savories or sweets. Its oil is also commonly used in most skin care products because of its emollient properties useful for treating skin dryness. It is also popularly used as carrier oil in aromatherapy, massage therapy, and cosmetic industry.
Here are several ways how pistachios are used:
- Pistachio nut can be consumed raw or enjoyed salted, roasted, and sweetened. They have a pleasant aroma and are delicious. It is extensively used for baking and cooking purposes.
- Roasted and chopped pistachio nuts can be added to salads, pasta, and entrees. They are a great addition to sweets like Kulfi. Its nuts are used for garnishing sweets and desserts.
- Pistachios are used for preparing Baklava, a pastry with fillings like pistachio, cashew nuts, and almonds.
How to Consume Pistachios?
Pistachios can be relished in its raw, roasted, salted, and sweetened versions. Its nuts can also be added to brown rice and desserts to develop its taste. They can also be added to fruit or vegetable salad, cookies, breads, muffins, cakes, ice cream, yogurt and sandwiches.
Side Effects and Precautions of Pistachios
Pistachios can be added to your diet for healthy well-being. But consuming it in high quantities is not advisable because of its high calorie content. Not only will it cause food poisoning but also cause severe health hazards. In addition, consuming pistachios irregularly can also lead to weight problems. Few of its side effects and precautions are listed below:
- It can be allergic for few people due to its anarcardic acid presence. Few symptoms to watch out for are skin itching, stomach pain, breathlessness, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Consuming too many pistachios can cause side effects like weight gain, increased blood pressures, gastrointestinal problems, and other health issues.
- Diabetic patients and those with heart problems should avoid taking salted and sweetened pistachios. These types of pistachios tend to increase glucose and sodium levels in the blood.
- Pistachios contain a compound known as fructan which is not hazardous; yet causes digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Pistachios are an excellent source of healthy fats, antioxidants, protein, and fiber, including Vitamin B6 and potassium. The health benefits of pistachios include a healthier gut, low cholesterol, blood sugar, weight loss, and maintaining blood vessel health. What more, it is delicious and nutritious to eat!