Health & Wellness

5 Reasons To Go Nuts Over Pistachios

November 27, 2017

They may be small in size but pistachios pack a nutritional punch.

Linda Winley is a Toronto-based dietician who encourages her patients to snack on this superfood as a healthy alternative.

“If you’re craving something crunchy that’s full of flavour, pistachios are a great substitute to potato chips or crackers which are full of saturated fats and sodium,” she says, “just make sure you buy the un-roasted, un-salted kind.”

This superfood, which is full of essential vitamins and minerals (like  B6, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and iron),  has a higher amount of protein and less fat than other nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts.

Whether you toss them in your salad or replace them as your movie snack, here are five reasons why Winley says you need more pistachios in your life.

Pistachios love your heart:  Both salted and unsalted pistachios, in a healthy diet, can help reduce blood pressure and lessen the vascular load on the heart. Winley suggests that this superfood lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, in the body. “Pistachios are full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, known as good fats, that block the absorption of cholesterol in the gut,” she says. 

Pistachios and weight management: Known as the skinny nut, Winley explains that pistachios are a low-cal, low-fat, high-protein snack. “They’re not only satisfying to munch on, but pistachios make you feel fuller longer.” Pistachios can also give you an extra boost of energy if you’re feeling sluggish. “Shelled pistachios are even better for you because the shells slow down your consumption rate and research suggests that the process of cracking open the nuts and seeing the shells serves as a visual cue in managing portion sizes,” Winley says.

Pistachios are great for your skin: According to Winley, Pistachios are rich in vitamin E which hydrates your skin and can prevent or reduce signs of ageing. “Vitamin E is considered an antioxidant that combats free radicals which can cause ageing in the skin,” Winley says.  This isn’t to say that you should stop wearing your favourite moisturizer with SPF. 

Pistachios will keep your bowels moving: If you’re feeling a little backed up, consuming pistachios may help your digestive tract. Pistachios are a good source of dietary fibre says Winley. She explains that a serving of about 1 ounce or 30 grams of pistachios (that’s about 40- 45 pistachios) contains  3 grams of dietary fibre, which is more than enough to get your digestive tracts working.

Pistachios promote healthy hair: If your hair’s feeling a little thin and brittle, up your pistachio intake for a stronger and shinier mane. A contributor to hair loss is the lack of biotin in the body. Pistachios are rich in biotins, which is part of the B complex vitamins. You can even try pistachio oil as a hair mask to moisturize, treat split ends and improve the flexibility of hair fibres.

Replace salty snacks full of saturated fats with pistachios as a healthy alternative.

While pistachios are responsible for different health benefits including possible weight management, it’s important to remember moderation. “You don’t want to go nuts when eating pistachios,” says Winley. “If you eat a bag, without monitoring how many you’re cracking, you could easily consume 500 to 1000 calories in one sitting and that’s not healthy.”

A healthy serving of pistachios is equivalent to 40-45 pistachios, and “…should be consumed between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner or as a snack,” she says.

The Toronto-based nutritionist also revealed that a serving of raw or dry roasted pistachios provides:

160 calories

5.8 to 5.9 g of protein

12.7 to 12.9 g of fat

7.8 to 8.3 g of carbohydrates

2.8 to 2.9 g of fibre

Wonderful Pistachios is my pistachio brand of choice. I can’t say if this company is better than others on the market (because I’ve never tried them) but I’ve never been disappointed with Wonderful Pistachios. Winley says consumers should consider brands that offer raw or dry roasted and unsalted pistachios. 

Winley also says that those with nut allergies, or those looking to make changes to their diet, should consult a healthcare practitioner first, “there are many people online who position themselves as experts but always speak to a licensed and registered professional you trust.”

Did you know that California produces almost 98% of North America’s pistachios? That’s nuts!

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  • Reply Aggie November 27, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I love pistachios! One of my favourite gelato flavours! 😍 Great to learn how great pistachios are for our body!

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:09 am

      That is my favourite gelato flavour too! Yes, isn’t it wonderful!?!? I had no idea until I spoke to Linda who is the expert.

  • Reply Marie November 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    I love pistacios! They taste so good, but i never knew they had such wonderful effects for the body! This was a really informative and well-researched post 🙂

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:10 am

      Thank you so much! I’m just lucky I had the opportunity to speak to a professional dietician who knows more about food than I ever will!

  • Reply Dara November 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Pistachios are seriously one of my favorite nuts!! Now I love them even more because of these awesome benefits!

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:11 am

      Right?! I think they are the tastiest!

  • Reply Purvi Kamaliya November 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Oh! I never knew my favourite nut had so many health benefits too. Now I have got reason to eat them more and often. Thanx for sharing

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:11 am

      Thank you for reading 🙂 It’s always an added bonus when the foods you love are also good for you 🙂

  • Reply sadiee November 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    pistachios for the win!! Now I have a reason to eat them by the pound! Those are some awesome benefits !

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Yes, indulge (but not too much haha) thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Crysta November 27, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Good to see I’m doing something right by eating pistachios almost every day. 😉

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:13 am

      I eat em every day too! Enjoy your pistachios 🙂

  • Reply Bee November 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Great post! I love eating pistachios but didn’t realize they had all those benefits. Great post and thanks for the info 🙂

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I know right?? I love that they have less fat than other nuts… just means I can eat more of them!

  • Reply Saranya November 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I love pistachios and this post gives me even more reason to eat them!

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:14 am

      Yay! Glad you discovered something new 🙂

  • Reply Wendy Duffy November 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    I had no idea it was so healthy! I just started loving them, funny how tastes change as you get older.

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:15 am

      Well I’m glad you enjoy them, now you know that you are doing something good for your body every time you indulge.

  • Reply Kyla Matton Osborne November 27, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I know several people who are totally hooked on pistachios. Unfortunately, they are binge eaters who buy the heavily salted kind. I like those ones too, though I usually only eat a handful and probably less than once a year. I am more a lover of almonds, peanuts, and various seeds and legumes.
    Kyla Matton Osborne recently posted…Christmas Recipes: Traditional Sugar Cream Fudge (Sucre à la Crème) from QuebecMy Profile

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:16 am

      Yes, I can see how they can be addicting. I think everything in moderation is okay as Winley suggests. I love seeds! I am a big seed eater!

  • Reply Rachel November 27, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I love pistachios! I’m thrilled to learn that they love me back. I have been buying the salted ones, so it’s time to switch to unsalted.

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:17 am

      Unsalted is better but you can still reap the benefits of the salted variety. Happy eating!

  • Reply Doreen Hamangambwa November 27, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    I love pistachios! After reading all these healthy benefits, they are definitely going on my shopping list. I have high blood pressure, so pistachios helps reduce it, then they are going to be my fav snack. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

      Thanks for reading! Yah who knew this small nut had the ability to lower blood pressure, make sure you buy the unsalted kind!

  • Reply Stephanie November 28, 2017 at 2:02 am

    I love pistachios but always forget to buy them! Thanks for the reminder as to why I SHOULD get them next time I go grocery shopping 🙂

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

      Yes don’t forget your pistachios lol! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Erudite Traveller November 28, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I like snacking on pistachios especially while watching TV. I didn’t know it has a lot of health benefits. Thanks for the info.

    • Reply angelahoyos November 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      They are delicious. Neither did I until I spoke to the dietician mentioned in the article. Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Michelle Ofiana November 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I love Pistachios. And I am just glad I love it because of its health benefits. 🙂

    • Reply angelahoyos November 29, 2017 at 2:01 am

      Enjoy em! Such a nice bonus that they have all of these awesome benefits 🙂

  • Reply Joanna November 29, 2017 at 2:10 am

    I love pistachios and your article makes me feel better about eating them with all their health benefits! I need to go buy a bag!!

    • Reply angelahoyos November 29, 2017 at 2:11 am

      Indulge (but in moderation)! 🙂

  • Reply Gillian November 29, 2017 at 3:55 am

    I’ve never loved pistachios but now that I see all these benefits I might just start loving them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply angelahoyos November 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      The health benefits are totally awesome but if you’re not a fan I’m sure you can take advantage of them other ways or with other foods. Do you have a favourite nut-type?

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