Good things come in small packages when it comes to the nutrition benefits of pistachios. A one-ounce serving of pistachios (about 49 nuts) contains a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that contribute to various health benefits within the body. And all for about 160 calories. One ounce of pistachios provides:
A recent review of research pertaining to the benefits of eating pistachio nuts suggests diets that include pistachios tend to be linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, even for those who are at high risk of diabetes.¹ Research suggests that these benefits may be due, in part, to the protein, fiber, and lower fat content of pistachios when compared to other nuts.¹ Pistachios also have the highest phytosterol content among nuts. Researchers suggest this may help lower blood cholesterol levels by:
1) decreasing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines during digestion and
2) reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by the body.¹
Compared to other nuts, pistachios have lower fat and energy content and higher levels of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, phytosterols, y-tocopherol, vitamin K, xanthophyll and carotenoids, which researchers believe are important attributes of a heart healthy and diabetes-friendly diet.²
Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes that tree nuts, including pistachios, can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may lower the risk of heart disease.³
1 Bullo M et al. Nutrition Attributes and Health Effects of Pistachio Nuts. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S79-93. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003250.
2 Hernandez-Alonso, P., et al. Effect of pistachio consumption on plasma lipoprotein subclasses in prediabetic subjects. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Apr;25(4):396-402.
3 U.S. Department of health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009). Food labeling guide Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm072926.htm