Pistachios aren’t actually nuts. They are the edible seeds of the Pistachia vera tree, the only one of 11 pistachio species grown commercially. The trees thrive in dry climates and are largely grown in Middle Eastern countries, Italy, Australia, and California’s Central Valley.
Each 1-ounce serving of pistachio (about 28 grams or 49 nuts) contains the following:
- Calories: 159
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Potassium: 6% of Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin B6: 28% of RDI
- Thiamine: 21% of RDI
- Phosphorous: 11% of RDI
- Copper: 41% of RDI
- Manganese: 15% of RDI
The bright-green nuts contain monosaturated fats (the good type!) which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammation.
They are also jam-packed with antioxidants, including anthocyanin (protects cells from damage), lutein and zeaxanthin (protects against age-related vision loss), and polyphenols and tocopherols (protect the body against heart disease and cancer).
Moreover, pistachios are a low-GI food. That means they satiate you for longer and keep your blood glucose levels stable. Their low-calorie content allows you to have more nuts per serve. In comparison, a serving of almonds equals 23 nuts.
Of course, anything that’s eaten in excess can be bad for you.
A cup of pistachios has about 700 calories, which is more than 25% of the average person’s daily caloric needs to maintain weight.
Many pistachio products sold in stores are salted. If you eat half a cup of that, you’ll easily consume up to 400 mg of sodium. That spells trouble for your blood pressure.
About the author
Hey, it’s Chenzi! A writer made in Cebu. Stringing words is my bread and butter, but baking and mothering my 3-year-old are what feed my soul. I have an insatiable thirst for learning.