Nuts about Nuts–Well, Pistachios, Anyway

Seems like news about a new superfood comes out once a week. Broccoli, oats, spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, pomegranate juice, blackberries, garlic, almonds, and fish oil, just to name a few, have all had their 15 minutes of food fame.

The health benefits of all of the above have been pretty well documented, which was why hearing that pistachios were the latest nutritional miracle didn’t come as much of a surprise.

What was surprising, though, was the impressive evidence behind the claims. Let me give you a few examples–all taken from reputable studies:

  • Men 38-59 with erectile dysfunction who at 3.5 ounces of pistachios every day for three weeks, saw improvements in erectile function and sexual satisfaction (that may explain why some people call pistachios the “love nuts”).
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) the fat in pistachios isn’t completely metabolized, meaning that eating pistachios may not be as calorie intensive as was originally thought.
  • The process of taking each pistachio out of its shell slows down the eating process and may help you enjoy your food more and reduce the chance that you’ll overeat.
  • Pistachios have more antioxidants per 100 grams than blueberries, blackberries, garlic, and pomegranate juice.
  • A 1-ounce serving of pistachios (that’s about 49 nuts) provides more dietary fiber than 1/2 of cooked broccoli, the same amount of protein as an ounce of soybeans, “good” fats: 7 grams of monounsaturated and 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat, as much potassium as half a banana.
  • Pistachios are cholesterol- and trans-fat free.
  • As part of an overall heart-healthy diet, pistachios can help manage cholesterol levels, inflammation, and blood vessel health.

Be careful, though. Pistachios are tree nuts, so if you’re allergic, you’ll want to stay far away from them. And of course, before  you start making any changes to your diet, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

You can get more info–including recipes–from the American Pistachio Growers at


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