With so many tasty and nutritious nuts to choose from, it’s easy to let old favorites slip from your mind. Well, we are here to remind you of the value of one mighty nut: the pistachio.
You won’t see pistachios in alternative baking flours or milk because, in the US they’re only grown in three states, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth the purchase. Here are ten reasons to consider tossing a bag of pistachios in your cart the next time you do a grocery run.
They’re rich in nutrients
Nutrient-wise, pistachios pack a punch! In a one-ounce serving, which adds up to just under 50 nuts, you’ll find these nutrients:
- Calories: 159
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Potassium: 6% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Magnesium: 8% of the 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
They’re a complete protein
American pistachios aren’t just a good source of protein, but they are a complete protein. This means that they contain all nine essential amino acids, which are the ones human bodies don’t generate on their own and therefore need to be acquired through diet. Most complete proteins are animal-based, which means that for vegans and those who want to cut out their meat and animal byproduct intake, pistachios are the perfect replacement. Plus, they rank higher than other plant-based options like quinoa, chickpeas, soybeans, and cooked rice.
They might help you sleep
According to a 2017 study, pistachios are harboring more melatonin in them than any of the other nuts. So, if you have trouble sleeping, try snacking on 30 pistachios half an hour before you want to nod off.
They keep you fuller longer
Nuts are high in fat and high in calories, which is great for energy, but they are also packing significant amounts of fiber and protein, which means that your body takes longer to digest them than refined foods.
Pistachios are a great choice to munch on if you’re looking to have a marathon snacking session, as they contain fewer calories per ounce in comparison to other popular nuts such as pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts.
They’re full of antioxidants
Antioxidants are great for our bodies because they clean cells of harmful free radicals. Pistachios are a great source of antioxidants, specifically lutein, which boosts eye health, beta carotene, which may have a positive impact on long-term cognition, and gamma-tocopherol, which reduced systemic inflammation.
They’re high in fiber
At three grams per ounce, pistachios are a fantastic source of fiber. Fiber helps your body digest and also supports the friendly microbiome in your gut. Recent studies suggest that a healthy microbiome is linked to benefits like reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, healthier weight, and better mental health.
They might help lower cholesterol
They won’t spike blood sugar
Keeping your blood sugar levels from skyrocketing or plummeting is important for everyone, but especially for those with diabetes and prediabetes.
Pistachios are your friend in this instance, as they have a low glycemic index, which means that there won’t be any need to worry about a dramatic rise in blood sugar. In fact, they might even minimize the impact of high-carb foods on blood sugar. A small study from 2011 indicated that eating pistachios with carb-heavy foods such as rice and pasta helped keep blood sugar levels steady.
They could boost weight loss
We’ve mentioned before that, for a nut, pistachios are quite low in calories. Nuts in general are high in calories, which primarily come from fat, however, there are numerous studies that have actually drawn connections between eating nuts and losing weight.
For instance, a 2014 study saw that having a handful of any kind of nuts was an effective strategy for preventing weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Another study that focused solely on pistachios found that they might improve the risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that include high blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and obesity.
They might cut colon cancer risk
In a study that included over 800 colon cancer patients, it was found that those who consumed two or more servings of nuts per week reduced their risk of cancer recurrence and death.
The benefits, especially for the digestive tract and bowels probably have to do with the high fiber content of nuts in general. So, if you’re at risk of colon cancer, or simply want to support your body’s digestion process, then make sure to stock up on pistachios to snack on.