Pistachios: A Bulk Load of Health Benefits, in a Nut Shell

The pistachio is a bite-sized snack with a huge list of nutritional and health benefits. In addition to potentially reducing the risk of heart disease, it also being linked to weight management, plus a decreased risk of some forms of cancer and age-related macular degeneration, and that’s just the start.

 

Lowering Cholesterol

Pistachios contain no trans fat, and almost 90% unsaturated fat. Evidence shows that daily consumption of these tasty tree nuts may decrease the body’s bad fat (LDL), while increasing the good fat (HDL), improving blood cholesterol levels.

Among nuts, pistachios have the highest amount of cholesterol-fighting agents (phytosterols). They also rank among the highest for fiber content, with three grams of dietary fiber per serving, or roughly 12% of the daily recommended intake. That’s equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal!

Fiber is known for its ability to help lower cholesterol, manage weight and blood sugar levels, and may also reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.

 

Weight Management

When the body is fed foods that are high in protein, dietary fiber, and unsaturated fats, it tends to feel full for longer. Since pistachios contain high amounts of all three, choosing them for a snack should satisfy hunger for a longer period of time, ultimately resulting in greater weight loss success.

One serving of pistachios (about 49 pieces) contains only 160 calories, and will keep hunger at bay for longer than a serving of potato chips, or a chocolate bar, which can contain twice the amount of calories or more.

 

Nutritional Benefits

A serving of pistachios holds a whopping 30 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They contain high levels of minerals which help maintain bones and regulate blood pressure. The potassium content of one serving of pistachios is equal to that of ½ a large banana.

They are also high in B vitamins, known for their ability to increase energy and muscle growth, as well as fight infections. As if that wasn’t enough, a serving of this mighty little nut contains 10 different antioxidants, some of which have been linked to a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration.

When compared to six other common tree nuts, the Pistachio ranks among the lowest in total calories and saturated fat, and among the highest in protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorous, thiamin, B-6, phytosterols, beta-carotene, lutien & zeaxathin. It also contains a ton of other vitamins and beneficial nutrients. To sweeten the deal even more, a serving of pistachios is equivalent to about 49 pieces, more than twice as many as other nuts.