Pista or pistachios ( Pistacia vera) is a delicious nut that grows on pistachio trees. It belongs to the cashew family and is native to Asia. But, they are now grown in many countries such as Iran, the USA, Turkey, China, and the Syrian Arab Republic. Pistachios provide many health and beauty benefits as they contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc.
Health Benefits Of Pistachios
Some major health benefits of pistachios are as follows
(1) Promotes Weight Gain
Pistachios are high in calories (562 calories per 100 grams) and are good for underweights who would like to gain some pounds.
When eaten moderately, pistachios are a wonderful snack that provides energy for day-to-day activity. It reduces fatigue and lethargy.
Dietary fibers and protein in pistachios provide stomach satiety and controls overeating.
Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats in pistachios improve our cardiovascular health and provide many other benefits.
However, pistachios are high in saturated fats. Too much saturated fat may clog up our arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
(2) Maintain Ocular Health
Pistachios are good for the eyes and maintain our ocular health.
It contains antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
These compounds protect the eyes from free radical damage and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. cataract and glaucoma, etc.
Vitamin A improves vision, prevents eye dryness, and reduces the risk of night blindness.
(3) Good For Stomach
Pistachios are good for the stomach and benefit our digestive health.
Antioxidants in pistachios protect our digestive system from free radical damage and reduce the risk of abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, intestinal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in pistachios improve bowel movement and provide relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
(4) Manages Cholesterol Level
Pistachios help in managing our cholesterol level as it reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.
Dietary fibers in pistachios reduce LDL cholesterol and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that hardens and narrows our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls.
It is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids in pistachios increase HDL cholesterol and boost heart health.
However, pistachios are also high in saturated fats. It could deposit on the inner lining of the arterial walls and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
To avoid this risk, eat pistachios in moderation.
(5) Regulates Blood Pressure
Pistachios contain potassium (1025 mg per 100 grams), a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and relieves hypertension.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems and affects millions around the world.
Despite the advantage, enjoy pistachios moderately as high potassium levels may drop blood pressure below healthy levels. It may cause dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, poor concentration, pale skin, and blurred vision.
If you take blood pressure medication, eat pistachios after consulting with your doctor to ensure there’s no food-drug interference.
Avoid salted pistachios as they are high in sodium and may elevate our blood pressure.
(6) Provides Cardiovascular Benefits
Pistachios are good for our heart health and improve our cardiovascular system.
It contains powerful antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and phytonutrients, etc that protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in pistachios reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease, etc.
Potassium, a vital mineral in pistachios relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension is a known cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
Other nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, in pistachios also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health.
(7) Provides Aphrodisiac Benefits
The aphrodisiac properties of pistachios increase libido and improve sexual health.
As per a 2011 study, people who ate 100 grams of pistachios per day for 3 weeks showed 50 percent more improvement in their erectile dysfunction compared to the other group who didn’t consume pistachios.
Vitamin E in pistachios improves sexual health by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the genitals.
Omega fatty acids and amino acids in pistachios also help in improving sexual health.
(8) Provide Anti-Cancer Benefit
Pistachios are an abundant source of antioxidants like carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
These antioxidants protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and reduce the risk of various cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, abdominal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from nearby molecules and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
(9) Excellent Source Of Antioxidants
Pistachios contain several antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like lutein, carotene, and zeaxanthin, etc.
These antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of various cancers.
Antioxidants also provide many other benefits such as improving cardiovascular health, strengthening the immune system, improving cognitive benefits, managing cholesterol, promoting detoxification, and so on.
As per researchers from Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran, Iran; not just pistachios but even their shells are rich in powerful antioxidants.
(10) Beneficial For People Suffering From Diabetes
Pistachios help in managing diabetes as it has a low glycemic index and slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream. This prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Dietary fibers in pistachios reduce the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream and keep blood sugar under control.
Pistachios contain antioxidants that help in managing diabetes by reducing the glycation process.
During glycation, sugar forms inappropriate bonds with the protein and makes them unusable. It forms harmful molecules known as Advanced Glycation End Products.
However, overeating pistachios may drop blood sugar below the healthy range.
If you take diabetic medication, have a word with your doctor before adding pistachios to your routine to avoid food-drug interference.
(11) Reduce Anemia Risk
Pistachios reduce the risk of iron-induced anemia, a blood disorder caused by iron deficiency in the body. It may cause fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain.
Iron, a vital mineral in pistachios increases the production of red blood cells that carry oxygenated blood to cells and tissues of the body.
This provides nourishment to our cells and reduces the risk of iron-induced anemia.
Copper in pistachios increases iron absorption and further benefit against anemia.
Vitamin B6 in pistachios increases the oxygen level in the blood and combat anemia.
(12) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
The anti-inflammatory compounds such as dietary fibers and vitamin C in pistachios provide relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma.
(13) Improve Neurological Health
Pistachios are good for the brain and improve our neurological health.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds in pistachios protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia, etc.
Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids in pistachios serve as a building block of the brain, enhance memory, and prevent cognitive decline.
Other nutrients like potassium, folate, magnesium, iron and B vitamins in pistachios improve neurological health by providing cognitive benefits such as sharper memory, better focus, increased concentration and alertness, and reduced confusion, etc.
(14) Strengthen Immune System
The immune system is the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats microbial infections, diseases, injuries, and wounds.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds such as lutein, carotene, and zeaxanthin, etc in pistachios protect our immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage.
This strengthens our immunity and reduces the risk of diseases and infections.
Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells and further strengthens immunity.
The antimicrobial properties of pistachios reduce the risk of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate, and other nutrients, etc in pistachios also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health.
(15) Provides Energy
Pistachios are high in calories ( 562 calories per 100 grams) and provide an abundance of energy.
They are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that provide many health benefits.
Pistachios are a wonderful energy booster that provides energy for our day-to-day activity and promotes healthy weight gain.
(16) Reduce Fatigue
Iron in pistachios enhances the production of red blood cells.
Red blood cells carry oxygenated blood to our cells and tissues and provide nourishment to them.
By providing oxygen to our cells and tissues, pistachios improve their efficiency and encourage good health. This reduces fatigue, lethargy, and other health problems
Benefits of Pistachios For Skin
Some major benefits of pistachios for skin are as follows.
(1) Keeps Premature Ageing At Bay
Vitamin E, vitamin C, and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in pistachios protect our skin cells from free radical damage.
This reduces fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, skin blemishes, and other signs of aging.
Antioxidants enhance the production of collagen, an amino acid that improves skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and skin sagging.
Vitamin E moisturizes our skin and prevents skin dryness.
Because of its anti-aging benefits, pistachio oil is often added to cosmetic creams, aroma oil, and therapeutic massage oil, etc.
(2) Improve Skin Health
Pistachios are good for our skin because of their rich nutritious profile.
Vitamin E protects our skin cells from harmful UV rays from the sun and reduces the risk of skin diseases.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other relevant compounds in pistachios protect our skin cells from free radical damage and keep premature aging at bay.
Pistachios smoothen skin and improve skin radiance.
zinc, vitamin B complex, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium, etc in pistachios also improve our skin health.
(3) Wonderful Skin Moisturizer
Pistachios contain vitamin E, an essential nutrient that moisturizes our skin and prevents it from becoming dry and flaky.
Pistachio oil is often used as a natural moisturizer that hydrates and soothes our skin.
By reducing skin dryness, pistachio oil reduces the risk of skin problems like itching, scratching, and inflammation.
(4) Improves Radiance And Glow Of Our Skin
Antioxidants in pistachio oil protect our skin from free radical damage and bring out the natural glow of the skin.
Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3, Omega-6, and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) in pistachio oil keep skin healthy and improve skin complexion.
(5) Reduce Risk of Acne And Pimples
Pistachios reduce the risk of skin problems like acne and pimples.
Acne is a common skin problem that affects millions around the world and mainly occurs due to the clogging up of skin pores by toxins and impurities.
The detoxifying properties of pistachios remove toxins and other impurities from our system.
When there are fewer toxins, they are less likely to accumulate in skin pores and reduce the risk of acne and pimples.
Dietary fibers in pistachios regulate the secretion of excess oil from the sebaceous gland of the skin and prevent acne from worsening.
Vitamin E in pistachios prevents skin dryness, an indirect cause of acne ( as it enhances the production of more sebum oil in our skin ).
Benefits of Pistachios For Hair
Following are the major beauty benefits of pistachios for hair.
(1) Promotes Hair Growth
Pistachios are good for our hair and scalp.
Nutrients like vitamins and minerals in pistachio oil nourish our hair follicles and scalp and improve scalp health.
Antioxidants in pistachios protect our hair from free radical damage and reduce premature greying of hair, hair fall, split ends, and hair dryness.
Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in pistachios improve scalp health and stimulate the growth of new hair follicles.
(2) Make Our Hair Stronger
Regular and moderate consumption of pistachios is beneficial for our hair as they make our hair stronger because of the presence of vitamin E and essential fatty acids in them.
In addition to this, massaging your hair and scalp with pistachios oil will also provide the same hair strengthening benefits.
(3) Moisturizes Hair
Vitamin E in pistachio oil moisturizes our scalp and improves scalp health.
It prevents scalp dryness and reduces the risk of hair problems such as split ends, hair dryness, etc.
(4) Prevents Hair Loss
Pistachio oil contains Biotin, an essential nutrient for our hair.
The deficiency of biotin increases hair loss risk.
zinc, selenium, copper, and B vitamins in pistachios improve scalp health and strengthen our hair.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.