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  1. Antioxidant-rich. The pigments that give pistachios their unique green and purple colour have protective antioxidant properties. …
  2. Heart-healthy. …
  3. May support eye health. …
  4. May support weight management. …
  5. May manage blood sugar levels.
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MAGAZ PISTA Nutrition facts

We’ve been eating pistachios for thousands of years—with a mention of the slightly sweet nut in the Old Testament (Genesis 43:11, to be exact). The U.S. didn’t start importing them until the 1880s and today, they’re grown on about 950 farms in New Mexico, California, and Arizona.

Pistachio nuts, which are actually the edible seeds of the pistachio tree, were once considered a status symbol and delicacy for the bourgeois, but are now widely available to pretty much anyone craving a nutritious snack. It’s no wonder we’ve found countless ways to consume them, from roasting and tossing them over salads to mixing them into gelato and baked goods.

Pistachios truly have a place in any meal or snack—it just depends on how much you love them and how creative you can get. You can sprinkle crushed pistachios over Greek yogurt, grind up a healthy pistachio-based topping for fish, pop them in the oven seasoned with spices and citrus, or even whirl up some pistachio milk.

Beyond their tastiness and versatility, pistachios are nutritious and full of benefits. According to Connecticut-based blogger Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, of Plant-Based With Amy, they might be just what you need to ensure you hit your daily nutrient goals.

Top Health Benefits

Paprika Lime Pistachios

Complete Protein

Typically, plant protein sources don’t have all the essential amino acids, but pistachios are the exception. Gorin touts them as one of the highest-protein snacking nuts. “Pistachios are a wonderful source of plant-based protein—and they’re actually a complete protein source, offering 6 grams of protein per ¼-cup serving,” she says. “This means they help fuel your body with all nine essential amino acids.”

High in Fiber

“A diet rich in fiber can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases,” Gorin says. “Pistachios have more fiber than other nuts, making them an excellent choice for snacking. Per ¼-cup serving of pistachios, you get 3 grams of fiber.”

Contains Healthy Fat

Many of us are wary of the fat content in nuts, but Gorin assures us that, when consumed in moderation, pistachios’ fat content shouldn’t overshadow their value. The polyunsaturated fats found in pistachios increase feelings of satiety and help lower cholesterol. “Pistachios provide fiber and better-for-you unsaturated fats,” she says. “The trio of protein, fiber, and fat helps keep you fuller for longer—and provides sustained energy.”

Lots of Vitamin B6

Pistachios are rich in nutrients overall, but their B6 content shines. A balanced diet high in vitamin B6 helps prevent conditions like anemia and lowers your risk of heart disease. It’s also essential for building muscles because it helps your body process amino acids. One handful of pistachios gives you 30% of your recommended daily value of this important nutrient. What’s more, pistachios have smaller amounts of other B-complex vitamins, namely thiamin (B1) and folate (B9).

Antioxidant Boost

Pistachio lovers get an antioxidant boost, too. Compounds in pistachios like lutein, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol help to reverse the effects of cellular damage.

Pistachio Recipes

For a healthy snack, you’ll find a variety of packaged pistachios—with and without shells—at the grocery store to enjoy them straight from the bag. Gorin loves flavored pistachios, like Wonderful Pistachios’ No Shells Sea Salt & Vinegar, because they make better-for-you snacking more interesting. “When I’m craving salt-and-vinegar potato chips, these do the trick,” she says, “and I also get my protein, healthy fat, and fiber.”

But if you’re looking for creative out-of-the-bag ways to incorporate pistachios into your meal planning—from apps to sides to dessert—check out these flavorful recipes for inspiration.

Pistachio Pudding

Pistachio Pudding

This creamy, gently sweet pistachio pudding has a whimsical (and natural) light-green hue that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Finish each cup with a dollop of whipped cream.

Roasted Rhubarb Salad With Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Roasted Rhubarb Salad With Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Pistachios contribute sweet saltiness and a crunchy texture to this springy salad, providing a nice balance to the slightly sour rhubarb and rich goat cheese crumbles. This pairing of pistachios with rhubarb, a good source of vitamin K1 and fiber, gives this lettuce-based salad a nutritional thumbs up.

EXTRA SHARP: Nutty Superfood Breakfast Bites

Nutty Superfood Breakfast Bites

These are everything an energy bar should be: convenient, nutritious, and delicious. Packed to the brim with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, they offer a filling, guiltless, grab-and-go bite.

Green Risotto With Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Green Risotto With Pistachio Pesto

If this glorious green risotto doesn’t make you think “spring,” we don’t know what. We use verdant spinach, herbs, and pistachios to lighten up a velvety bowl of cheesy Arborio rice.

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup With Pistachio-Seed Topping

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup With Pistachio Dukkah

While pistachios don’t get top billing in this recipe, they provide an essential nutty crunch atop a rich, pureed soup. We combined the chopped nuts with sesame seeds and spices to create a dukkah—a Middle Eastern spice mix that warms your soul.

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