Pistachios is a tree nut which is rich in protein and fiber. It also an excellent source of antioxidants with lots of health benefits. People have been eating pistachios for thousands of years in a variety of dishes.
READ ALSO: 10 Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Here are 10 health benefits of eating pistachio nuts.
Benefits of pistachios
- Rich in nutrients
Pistachios contain many important nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 ounce or approximately 49 kernels of unroasted nuts contain 5.72g of protein, 7.70g of carbohydrates, 159g of calories, 3g of fiber, 34mg of magnesium, 12.85g of fat, 291mg of potassium, 2.17g of sugars, and 139mg of phosphorus.
- Good for eye health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin present in pistachios are vital for eye health. The American Optometric Association reports that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the chances of developing eye conditions.
READ ALSO: Heath Benefits of Okra
- Helpful for weight loss
Consuming pistachios nuts helps to reduce the risk of weight gain. From a 2012 study, people who ate 1.87 ounces of pistachios over a 12-week period experienced twice the reduction in their body mass index as people who ate pretzels instead of pistachios. Both groups consumed roughly the same amount of calories.
- Reduce risk of colon cancer
Pistachios may reduce the risk of colon cancer because they are rich in fiber. This was demonstrated in a 2017 research that indicated that roasting the nuts did not affect their health benefits in relation to colon cancer cells.
- Essential for heart health
According to a 12-year study, eating nuts may enjoy modest protection from cardiovascular disease, The study also showed a small link between regularly eating nuts and reduced risk of death from other causes. Pistachios may protect the heart by reducing high blood pressure and levels of cholesterol.
- Low in calories
Pistachios are low in calorie, 1 ounce of pistachios contains just 159 calories. People can enjoy the health benefits of nuts while easily staying within their daily calorie limits.
READ ALSO: 10 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol
- Good for blood sugar balance
Pistachios do not cause a rise in blood sugar because they have a low glycemic index. Eating pistachios reduced high blood sugar when eaten with a meal rich in carbohydrate. For people with diabetes, a study suggests that eating pistachios as a snack is useful for maintaining blood sugar levels, blood pressure, inflammation and obesity markers.
- Packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants present in pistachios may help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases by preventing damage to the cells of the body. Research reports that pistachios have among the highest levels of antioxidants including: γ-tocopherol and xanthophyll carotenoids.
- Good for gut health
Results from a 2012 study, suggests that eating pistachios may increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Participants in the study ate a standard diet with either 0 ounces, 1.5 ounces, or 3 ounces of pistachios or almonds.
Researchers collected stool samples and found that people who ate up to 3 ounces of pistachios daily showed an increase in potentially helpful gut bacteria, much more so than those who ate almonds.
- Rich in protein for vegans and vegetarians
Pistachios contribute to a person’s daily protein needs, at almost 6 g of protein per 1 ounce serving. Protein accounts for approximately 21 percent of the total weight of the nut, making it a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.