The Health Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachio
The health benefits of pistachios are remarkable, possibly outdistancing even the wonderful walnut and amazing almond. Here’s why we love’m!

Nuts are a Low-fat snack – I’m serious

Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts – and even though nuts are generally considered “high fat,” the fat they have doesn’t all convert to fat in our bodies. The fibrous cell walls of nuts actually make the fat in them difficult for our bodies to absorb, so we only take on a portion of what shows up on the nutrition label. But when you break down that cell wall, like with peanut butter, the fat becomes more available for absorption. Thirty pistachios are about 100 calories, perfect for snacking.

Pistachios are Skin Foods

High in Vitamin E, pistachios help your skin regenerate and heal, giving you a fresh-faced, healthy glow! Vitamin E also protects against UV rays and premature aging, as well as skin cancer.

Bright Eyes

Pistachios contain two carotenoids rarely found in nuts, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are powerful antioxidants for fighting free-radical damage. Lutein is normally found in dark leafy green vegetables, and protects the eyes from sun damage and oxidative stress, helpint to prevent cataracts, retinitis, pigmentosa and macular degeneration. Lutein is best absorbed when eaten with fat, so while you might have to add avocado to reap the full benefits of a salad, the pistachio has it all – in a nutshell.

I Heart Pistachios

Increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol means that pistachios reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Another heart-healthy fact is that just 1 oz of pistachios carries as much potassium as your average banana (potassium is good for preventing heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as reducing anxiety and stress).

With all the health benefits of pistachios, it’s amazing that we don’t use them in more ways than eating straight out of the shell (it’s the best way, but still!). If you’re looking for more ways to use pistachios, check out this recipe for a pistachio-based dessert (that isn’t ice cream!).

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

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One response

  1. Pingback: Living with Nuts | Linda Baldwin's Intelligent Gourmet

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