Pistachio – 13 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

The use of pistachio has gained popularity in health promotion. Pistachio is rich in many nutrients that make various foods tasty and contribute to your health benefits. This article describes the general information about the health benefits of pistachio.

What is Pistachio?

Pistachio is rich in essential nutrients with many health benefits. Pistachio is a plant in the Anacardiaceae family. The pistachio is a small tree native to Central Asia and the Middle East. The pistachio tree is believed to be native to Iran. The plant is widely cultivated from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean region and California. Pistachio contains healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Furthermore, they contain several essential nutrients and can aid in weight loss and cardiovascular health.

Benefits of Pistachio

Plant Description

The pistachio tree grows to a height of 10 meters. The deciduous pinnate leaves are 10-20 cm (4-9 inches) long. Flowers petaled and unisexual. The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible part. The fruit has a hard, cream-colored outer shell. The seed has a mauve skin and light green flesh, which has a special flavor. When the fruits are paid, the shell changes from green to autumnal yellow red and suddenly partially splits. Each pistachio tree produces an average of about 50 kg (110 pound) of seeds about 50,000 every two years. 

Nutritional value per 100 g of Pistachio/Pistacia vera 

Nutrients Value 
Energy 2,351 kj (562 kcal) 
Carbohydrates 27.51 g
Sugar 7.66 g
Dietary fiber 10.3 g
Fat 45.39 g 
Saturated 5.556 g
Monounsaturated 23.820 g
Polyunsaturated 13.744 g 
Protein 20.27 g 

Nutritional value of vitamins per 100 g of Pistachio/Pistacia vera 

Vitamins Quantity % DV 
Vitamin A equiv. lutein zeaxanthin1205 μg
Thiamine (B1) 76% 0.87 mg 
Riboflavin (B2) 13% 0.160 mg 
Niacin (B3) 9% 1.300 mg 
Pantothenic acid (B5) 10% 0.52 mg 
Vitamin B6 131% 1.700 mg 
Folate (B9) 13% 51 μg
Vitamin C 7% 5.6 mg 
Vitamin D 0% 0 μg 
Vitamin E 15% 2.3 mg 
Vitamin K 13% 13.2 μg

Nutritional value of minerals per 100 g of Pistachio/Pistacia vera 

Minerals Quantity % DV
Calcium 11% 105 mg 
Iron 30% 3.92 mg 
Magnesium 34% 121 mg 
Manganese 57% 1.2 mg 
Phosphorus 70% 490 mg 
Potassium 22% 1025 mg 
Zinc 23% 2.2 mg

Other constituents per 100 g of Pistachio/Pistacia vera

Other constituents Quantity 
Water 4 g

Scientific classification of Pistachio/Pistacia vera 

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Anacardiaceae
  • Genus: Pistacia
  • Species: P. vera
  • Scientific name: Pistacia vera 

Benefits of Pistachio

1. May lower the cholesterol levels

Various studies suggest that a handful of pistachios helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the level of good cholesterol (HDL). (1) It also shows that pistachios help improve total cholesterol levels in the blood. All these benefits help reduce the risk of long-term heart disease such as stroke.

2. May improve heart health

Consuming moderate amounts of pistachios can effectively boost your heart health. These nuts contain arginine, an amino acid. Arginine is also known to help lower blood pressure. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which help in reducing high blood pressure. They can also reduce the level of bad cholesterol which helps in clearing the vessels of your heart.

Read Also: Peanuts – 14 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

3. May promote healthy blood vessels

Endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction can lead to various cardiovascular diseases such as stroke in the long run. Pistachio helps keep your blood vessels healthy through vasodilation. Pistachio is an excellent source of the amino acid L-arginine which helps in the conversion of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a compound that plays an essential role in vasodilation.

4. Help to reduce weight

Pistachio contains dietary fiber and protein which can increase satiety and thereby help in weight loss. The fiber in them increases the body’s metabolism which helps you lose excess pounds from your body. Pistachio is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids that help control weight and keep inches off your waistline over time. Pistachio is also known as a low-calorie snack, so you can enjoy them whenever you feel hungry.

5. May promote gut bacteria

Pistachio is high in dietary fiber which can strengthen your digestive tract. Pistachios convert intestinal bacteria ferment fiber into a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid. Therefore, they can markedly increase bacterial levels in the intestines. High fiber helps prevent constipation.

6. May help control blood sugar levels

Despite being rich in fatty acids, pistachio has a low glycemic index. Pistachio helps in lowering blood sugar levels and keeping them under control. Some studies suggest that pistachio helps increase peptide 1 level. This is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in people with diabetes. Another study result suggests that the fiber and healthy fats in pistachio is beneficial for blood sugar control in the long run.

Read Also: Malabar Nuts (Vasaka) – 14 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

7. May work as an anti-inflammatory

Pistachio contains monounsaturated fatty acids that help fight inflammation. This helps fight internal inflammation, especially in heart disease.

8. Help to improve vision

Pistachio is a good source of nutrients that are essential for your eye health. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin which is present in the human retina. Adequate intake of these antioxidants prevents age-related macular degeneration and vision problems such as cataracts. They are rich in zinc which helps reduce the risk of decreased night vision.

9. May improve the immunity system

Regular consumption of pistachios can boost your body’s immune system. These are rich in vitamin B6 which is important for the immune system to function properly. It also contains antioxidants that can help keep infections at bay.

10. For pregnant women

Pistachio provides a daily dose of important nutrients that are essential for women during pregnancy. Rich in vitamins like vitamins B6, A, C, and K which maintain healthy blood levels, and accelerate fetal development. They also serve as a healthy snack for nursing mothers and help them meet their increased energy demands.

11. Boosts cognitive health

Pistachio was found to have an extensive nutritional profile to fight inflammation in the brain and improve cognitive performance. Providing vitamin E, healthy fats and protein, pistachio improves cognitive performance, learning skills, attention span and memory. Pistachio, on the other hand, plays an important role in protecting brain cells from harmful toxins and potential damage caused by certain medicines.

Read Also: Ice Apple – 11 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

12. Improves sexual health

Pistachio is valued as a powerful aphrodisiac that improves male fertility and sexual health. Anecdotal evidence suggests that daily consumption of a handful of pistachios was found to improve vitality and libido. Pistachio is known to contain the highest amount of phytoestrogen which can increase estrogen levels and regulate normal menstruation. In addition, arginine is rich in phytosterols and antioxidants and is also beneficial to Erectile dysfunction.

13. Anti-aging effects

Pistachio is composed of vitamin E, phenolic acids, and flavonoids which are excellent antioxidants, which remove harmful toxins. It regenerates new skin cells, hides fine lines, and wrinkles, and reduces aging. Additionally, the huge store of copper in pistachio helps boost Elastin production and treats the skin.

Uses of Pistachio

Pistachios can be eaten fresh or fried. Pistachios are also commonly used in various sweets, milkshakes, smoothies, puddings, kheer, desserts, etc.

Side Effects of Pistachio

About a handful of pistachios are eaten fresh or unsalted every day, usually well absorbed by most people. Like all foods, eating too many pistachios can definitely lead to health problems like stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea, kidney damage, heart disease, weight gain and nut allergies. In addition, if a person suffers from heart disease and high blood pressure, it is recommended not to eat soaked pistachios with high salt content. 

Therefore, pistachio should be used in the right amount considering its advantages and disadvantages as excessive use of any ingredient can harm our health. The above information is provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using pistachio in treatment. 

Conclusion

The information discussed in this article has introduced you to the health benefits of pistachio. In this article, you will learn about the benefits, harms, uses and information of pistachio. I hope the information mentioned in this article will be useful to you. Thank you!

FAQ

1. Is pistachio safe for diabetics?

Ans: Pistachio has a low-glycemic index which makes it safe for diabetics. Studies have also highlighted that eating pistachio can help lower blood sugar levels.

2. Is pistachio good for our skin?

Ans: The high content of vitamin E in pistachio oil helps improve skin elasticity, which helps prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, vitamin E also works to protect your skin’s cell membranes, producing radiant, healthy-looking skin.

3. What is pistachio known for?

Ans: Pistachio is a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, thiamine, and phosphorus. These are excellent sources of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

4. Pistachio is a plant belonging to which family?

Ans: Pistachio is a plant in the Anacardiaceae family.

5. What is the scientific name of the pistachio?

Ans: The scientific name of pistachio is Pistacia vera. 

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