Are Pistachios Good for You, and What Are Their Health Benefits?

A wooden bowl of pistachios surrounded by pistachios with the title "Health Benefits of Pistachios."

When your tummy begins to grumble, are you selective about the type of snack your reach for? One snack that I recommend stocking up on is pistachios. Pistachios fill you up because they provide a healthy dose of protein and natural fats. They’re low in calories, and they can help to lower your cholesterol. Overall, the health benefits of pistachios are second to none.

Pistachios – Delicious and Nutritious

In 2013 the New England Journal of Medicine conducted the largest study to date about nut consumption’s relation to mortality. Researches found that consuming nuts such as pistachios, as part of a healthy diet was associated with decreased risk of major chronic diseases.

The areas where risk was lowered included cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In a nutshell, all pun intended, pistachios are a heart healthy food that are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein and fiber. Just one delicious handful provides your body with many of the micronutrients it needs on a daily basis.

What the Nutrition Label Says

Pistachios.A 1 ounce serving of raw pistachios (approximately 50 nuts) contains 160 calories and 6g of protein. It only contains about 6g of carbohydrates after subtracting dietary fiber, 3 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of fat. Don’t be afraid of the natural fat because our bodies need this for growth, development, and to function properly.

Pistachios provide us with 25% of our daily vitamin B-6 requirement, 15% of our thiamine and phosphorous requirements and 10 % of the magnesium that we need everyday.

Heart Healthy Snacking

Pistachios are a heart-healthy snack for everyone. They are considered heart-healthy because researchers from Penn State found that eating them can lower cholesterol, among other positive effects.

For a more in-depth review, watch this short YouTube video released by Penn State about the benefits of pistachios:

Attention Type 2 Diabetics!

Pistachios are diabetic friendly! Not only are they low in carbohydrates, they are low on the glycemic index. This means they will not spike your blood sugar levels. Plus, pistachios can be cooked into a meal that contains carbs to reduce the glycemic impact too.

A study by the American Diabetes Association found that pistachio consumption resulted in positive effects on glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and other metabolic risk markers. They found that the participants consuming pistachios as part of their diet had lower glucose and insulin levels.

Want to Get Lean?

If you are fighting the battle of the belly bulge, choosing pistachios as a snack over processed foods is a way to whittle that waistline down. Research published in the US National Library of Medicine reports that people who ate pistachios regularly over a 24 week period lost an average of 0.7 inches from their waists, reduced their cholesterol by 15 points, improved their blood sugar levels, and decreased inflammation. It’s undoubtedly a great ideal to drop the processed foods from your diet and go natural with raw pistachios instead

What to Avoid

When you shop for pistachios you should consider a few important things. Eating them raw is probably the best way to enjoy all the benefits they can provide your body with. However, you can enjoy them many other ways. You can buy them in the shell or shelled, but make sure you do not buy them if:

  • They are bleached
  • They are dyed
  • They have a sour taste
  • They appear to have mold or excessive moisture
  • They have insect damage

Even roasted pistachios may have decreased nutrients so keep that in mind.

Healthy Pistachio Recipes

A bowl of pistachios.Want to incorporate pistachios to your diet? You can eat them in a variety of ways including raw. Here are some delicious diabetic-friendly recipes that you may also want to try:
Lemon Slice-and-Bake Pistachio Cookies
Pistachio Crusted Salmon
Fusilli with Pistachio Pesto

Where Can I Find Different Varieties?

It is easy to find pistachios in your local grocery. You can also find a wide range of varieties online:
Roasted and Salted – Wonderful Pistachios or We Got Nuts
Sweet Chili Flavored –  Wonderful Pistachios


Pistachios are delicious and have a very unique taste. They were once the food of royalty, but now you can add pistachios to yogurts, salads, or cook them into your dinner even if you’re just a regular Joey.

The perfect way to enjoy this delectable snack is right out of the shell, one scoop at a time. Buy yourself a bag at the grocery store or online, eat at least one serving a day as a heart-healthy snack, and you can feel good knowing you are receiving all the health benefits of pistachios. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will do my best to help.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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