Featured in everything from delicious seasonal soups to luscious low-carb ice creams, pistachios are definitely having a moment. Pistachios are even making an appearance in some of the most creative cocktails of 2018. And while trendiness does not always equal healthiness, pistachios definitely have a nutritional profile to match their in-the-moment allure. Whether you’re a faithful pistachio snacker or are relatively new to this flavorful and versatile nut, here are a few of the top health benefits of pistachios.
One of the most important health benefits of pistachios is improved heart health. Certified by the American Heart Association, pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while boosting HDL cholesterol (the good kind). While pistachios are an excellent source of good fats, they’re also less calorically dense than most other nuts, including almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans.
With an incredible lineup of skin-friendly nutrients, including Vitamin E and an impressive antioxidant content, pistachios are an amazing nutritional tool for promoting healthy, youthful skin. As Bahram Tadayyon, MD points out in his book The Miracle of Nuts, Seeds and Grains, this nutrient profile also “protects the skin from UV damage, defending against premature aging and skin cancer.”
You may be familiar with carotenoids, the etymologically on-the-nose element of carrots that gives them their orange hue. As it turns out, pistachios are rich in carotenoids as well—specifically zeaxanthin and lutein—which can ward off macular degeneration and support overall eye health.
It’s almost impossible to enumerate the complete health benefits of pistachios, but blood health is well worth noting. The nutritional profile of pistachios is virtually tailor-made for circulatory health and hemoglobin production, with essential components like vitamin B6, copper, iron, and folic acid.
If you’re interested in boosting your body’s natural resistance to illness, adding a routine handful pistachios to your diet might just do the trick. One of the top health benefits of pistachios is their role in supporting the immune system, along with reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Amid a range of health benefits, research has also demonstrated that pistachios can be a surprisingly effective aphrodisiac. This lesser-known health benefit is definitely something to think about as you plan your Valentine’s Day menu.
With essential elements like healthy fats, vitamin E, and vitamin B6, pistachios are an ideal snack for studying and creative work sessions. With an array of health benefits, including improved cognitive function, increasing the number of pistachios you consume is definitely a smart move.