Once a revered dried fruit among royals, pistachio is now popular tree nut among masses, the reason for its growing popularity is due its delicious taste, flavor and ready availability. If you are calorie conscious, then you can count on pistachio as an ideal nutritional snack.
Pistachio nut has its origin in western Asia, specifically in Iran, Syria, and other west Asian countries. However, in modern days it is also grown in California and other parts of North America. Pistachio nut is covered with a hard shell. After removing the egg shaped shell you will find a tasty kernel of pistachio.
This low calorie nut is fully loaded with many important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, unsaturated fats, phytosterols, fiber etc. Eating nuts is considered to be good for your heart.
Nutritional Value Of Pistachio Nuts
Following facts of pistachio nutrition will reveal its health benefits and its importance as a dried fruit snack. Pistachio is also used as a topping and dressing for various culinary dishes.
- 100 grams of pistachio has about 575 calories. Out of total calories, 380 calories is from fats. The fat present in pistachio is healthy unsaturated fat that is good for your heart. Total fat is 45 grams, 27% is saturated while rest is unsaturated.
- Besides this, pistachio is 0 mg in cholesterol. Sodium is 10mgs. Total carbohydrate is 29gms, out of which 40 percent is made of fiber, 30 percent is sugar and 21 grams of protein is present in 100gms of pistachio.
- Pistachio is rich source of iron 23%, calcium 12%, vitamin A 6% and vitamin C 5%, potassium 30%, phosphorus 49%, magnesium 30%. Zinc, copper and selenium are other important minerals present in pistachios.
- Pistachio contains omega 3 fatty acids: 260 mg in 100gms of pistachio.
- Omega -6 fatty acid: 130mg in 100gms of pistachio.
Health Benefits Of Pistachio Nuts
Knowing the nutritional facts of pistachio, let us now find out how pistachio is beneficial to our health, besides being a delicious dried fruit.
- Pistachio good for your heart: pistachios have high amount of monounsaturated fats. Studies have revealed that eating pistachio can reduce cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol LDL and it also increases the level of good cholesterol HDL. Eating pistachio is good for your blood pressure, it keeps it under control. As high cholesterol and high blood pressure are the key factors in increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, it makes sense of eating a handful of pistachios daily.
- Pistachio for your eyes: pistachio contains lutein and zeaxanthin, the two carotenoid compounds that are usually absent in other nuts. Both the carotenoids are found to protect your eyes from age related macular degeneration, which is a cause for blindness in elderly individuals. So eat pistachios regularly to prevent age related blindness.
- Pistachios are good for calorie conscious people. Eating pistachios in moderation will not increase your weight as well as provide all its health benefits.
- It is also a rich source of vegetable protein.
- The high iron content in pistachios among dry fruits is useful for anemic patients.
- Minerals such as manganese, copper present in pistachios are useful for various body metabolisms as well as for tissue formation.
- The B vitamins present in pistachios assists proper functioning of nerves as well as maintaining a healthy immune system.
- The fibers present in pistachios are good for gastrointestinal tract. It relieves constipation when eaten in moderation.