Pistachio is one of the most consumed nuts in the world. It is an oleaginous nut , that is, it has natural oil, as well as chestnuts and almonds. Its green bean is the most consumed part, serving as a snack and crowning several recipes.
For this reason, these beans are already available ready for consumption, whether fresh or dried (roasted and/or salted).
As with most oilseeds, there are a number of health benefits that can be gained from eating pistachios. These small seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, proteins, fiber and antioxidants. It is also a great ally in weight loss , as well as heart and bowel health.
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The health benefits of pistachios
According to nutritionist Patricia Duarte, “Pistachio is an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids and bioactive compounds, such as dietary fiber, tocopherols, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, minerals such as copper, manganese and phosphorus, in addition to having a high protein content “.
She adds that, for this reason, oilseeds are often used as a nutritional strategy for the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases, in metabolic control, in addition to being an efficient alternative to reduce the intake of saturated fat, whose excessive consumption , according to the scientific literature, is related to the emergence of cardiovascular problems , such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Patricia says that studies show that oilseeds bring health benefits by minimizing the risk of these events, and also of problems such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, hypercholesterolemia and metabolic syndrome.
She points out that, in addition, there are already scientific reports that the ingestion of oilseeds can contribute to the reduction of weight gain even having more calories per serving. Another positive point about this food is the satiety it provides, which helps to reduce food intake.
Its composition is beneficial for various functions of the body, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and helping to prevent anemia .
Against cell aging
As if all the above benefits weren’t enough, pistachios is still very rich in antioxidants . It contains more antioxidants than most oilseeds, according to studies.
Among walnuts, pistachios, as this grain is also called, have the highest content of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are very important for eye health. . These substances protect the eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet rays and age-related degeneration.
Finally, the antioxidants present in these seeds have been shown to be more easily digested in the stomach and, therefore, more likely to be absorbed during digestion , which makes them a healthy choice for food.
Pistachio loses weight?
Although pistachio is a seed rich in calories, its consumption can be beneficial for those who want to lose weight. That’s because it’s rich in fiber and proteins that increase satiety , making it a great alternative to snacking between meals.
In a 12-week weight-loss program, individuals who ate 53 grams of this grain per day as an afternoon snack had twice as much reduction in body fat as those who ate other foods with the same number of calories.
Other studies show that, in overweight individuals, consumption of pistachios helped to reduce waist measurements. The result was 1.5 cm less compared to those who did not eat this food.
Some say that, by stimulating blood circulation and its ability to provide energy, pistachios is a powerful aphrodisiac. It’s worth testing and drawing your own conclusions.
|100 gram serving||Amount per serving|
|Energetic value||567 Kcal|
|Total lipids||44,82 g|
|C vitamin||3,0 mg|
|Vitamin B6||1,122 mg|
|Vitamin E||2,42 mg|
|Vitamin A||259 mg|
* Daily reference values based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from USDA .
How much and how to consume?
To enjoy all these benefits, it is necessary to be aware of the quantities ingested. According to nutritionist Patricia Duarte, “scientific findings suggest that 42 g of pistachios a day is already capable of significantly reducing blood triglycerides and promoting general health benefits. However, it is important to consult a nutritionist for more personalized recommendations”.
It can be incorporated to power various practical ways, as in salads, snacks, desserts, or combined with fruit in natur to or dehydrated.
Health in the form of dessert: pistachio ice cream
Much of the popularity of pistachios in Brazil and around the world is directly related to the way the seed was introduced to most of us: through its creamy ice cream, delicious ice cream dessert in shades of green with an almond aroma.
Ice cream, however, is not the only way to use pistachios. Some Italian sweets , such as spumoni and Neapolitan, and baklava, famous in Turkey, have the ingredient as the protagonist.
It’s impossible not to get your mouth watering just imagining these delights, isn’t it? So, how about learning how to prepare this appetizing ice cream at home?! Check out the recipe:
Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream
- 1 can of light condensed milk
- the same measure of milk
- 1 cup of peeled pistachios (100 g)
- 2 clear
- 1 can of sour cream
Put the condensed milk, milk, and pistachios in a blender and blend well. Reserve. Whip the egg whites. Add the reserved cream and stir gently. Place in bowls and freeze for at least 4 hours. See how simple it is to have one of the most famous ice creams in the world at home when you feel like it?
- Recipe taken from the Tudo Gostoso website
A point of attention when buying is the quality of the pistachios purchased, since this food can be contaminated by aflatoxins, which are microtoxins produced by fungi of the Aspergillus genus, which develop naturally in food products, such as peanuts, corn , beans, rice, wheat, among others.
Pistachio features and trivia
Pistachio was one of the first walnuts to be cultivated, along with almonds. Proof of this is that both chestnuts are mentioned in the Holy Bible, in Genesis 43. Studies show that their cultivation dates back to 7,000 years BC
Both the fruit and the tree, native to Southeast Asia, are called pistachios. For a long time it was exclusive to Asia and the Mediterranean region, until it was introduced in America, where it began to be studied and produced on a large scale. Today, California is the second largest producer of this grain in the world.
A curiosity about it is that it grows in bunches , and during ripening it resembles sour grapes. As the fruit ripens, it changes from hard and green to soft and yellow. The skin becomes wrinkled and softer, and that’s when it’s harvested.
After harvesting, the outside of the pistachios is removed and discarded and the nuts are sorted, sun-dried, then salted and roasted.
Before harvesting the seed, which is the “nut” we eat, grows in its husk inside the fruit to the point where it explodes and splits naturally with a snap. Legend has it that if you’re sitting under a pistachio tree and you hear this sound, it’s a sign of good luck. The Persians called it “the smiling nut” because the cracked shell resembles a smile. The Chinese call it “the happy nut”.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.