Not to mention, research suggests that eating nuts can help protect you from cardiovascular issues like heart disease and high blood pressure, along with type 2 diabetes. They may even help you maintain a healthy weight.
Some nuts have more of a health halo than others, though. Almonds, in particular, pretty much dominate the nut aisle these days. (And the dairy aisle, thanks to all the almond-based milk and yogurt alternatives out there these days.) Peanuts which are technically legumes, BTWmeanwhile, get the side-eye from many healthy eaters.
What about often-forgotten pistachios, though?
Though they might not be as trendy as almond-everything, pistachios are actually darn good for you. Pistachios have a lot going for them health-wise. Not to mention, they’re just straight-up delicious.
Before you pass over bright green pistachios the next time you’re in the bulk aisle, keep the following impressive health benefits in mind.
When you want to stock up on pistachios, you’ve typically got two different options: shelled or unshelled
1. They are a solid source of fiber
Fiber is essential for a slew of different aspects of your health, like keeping your GI tract working properly and helping you maintain a healthy weight. And, oh heypistachios provide plenty of it. Since fiber enhances satiety, pistachios can ultimately help with weight control, if eaten in the appropriate amounts.
2. Pistachios are lower in calories than most nuts.
Since many nuts contain serious calories, this is kind of a BFD. While pistachios contain 159 calories per ounce on paper, recent research suggests they might actually contain five percent fewer calories that we thought.
3. They are packed with antioxidants.
Because of their unique purple and green color, pistachios may have more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects than other nuts.
Those colors are caused by nutrients lutein (which is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A) and anthocyanin. Most other nuts lack anthocyanin.
4. Pistachios may help you sleep better
Surprising fun fact about pistachios: They contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. In fact, they are the most melatonin-rich nut in the game. Eating a handful of pistachios is like taking a melatonin supplement. Apparently some people even snack on pistachios to help with jet lag.
5. They aren’t as easy to overeat as other nuts
Compared to other nuts, pistachios have a nice balance of protein and fat, which can help fill you up and keep you satiated, Upton says. Plus, eating them in-shell also helps prevent overeating. I like that they come in the shell, which helps slow you down, Larson says. Basically, with all the time you spend cracking pistachio shells to get to the nuts, you give yourself a beat to feel full before you’ve gone also far.
6. Pistachios’ healthy fats support long-term health
Thanks to their healthy fats (mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), eating pistachios can do your health a solid in the long run. Experts believe these fats can help lower your LDL (a.k.a. bad) cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke in the process. They also and help develop and maintain your cells. Plus, polyunsaturated fats also contain essential fatty acids that your body needs for brain function . Eating them may help slow age-related cognitive decline.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé