Noshing on nuts is a great way to satisfy your need to snack without sabotaging your diet. But nuts aren’t just a tasty alternative to chips and other unhealthy snack foods. They’re also good for you.
Almonds, walnuts and peanuts tend to make most people’s cut. But once you hear about some of the surprising benefits pistachios bring to the table, we’re betting you’re going to want to add them to your list too.
Unexpected ways pistachios are good for you
Following are five surprising ways pistachios are good for you.
1. Weight control:
Have you been avoiding nuts because you’re worried about the calories? Well, then you’re going to love pistachios.
Pistachios are lower in calories than most nuts. An ounce weighs in at 160 calories, making them a perfect mid-day snack. Plus, with just the right amount of healthy fats, fiber and protein, they’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied longer.
Pick the pistachios still in the shell and researchers say you’ll end up eating less of them than other nuts.
2. Eye health:
Two major research universities, Tufts in Boston and Penn State just outside of Philadelphia, have both linked pistachios to a lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration.
You can thank the high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the nut for promoting eagle-eyed vision. Experts say these powerful antioxidants are tops when it comes to maintaining eye health.
3. Gut health:
Researchers say as much as 70 percent of your immune health is tied to the bacteria living in your gut. And it turns out making pistachios a part of your regular routine could help you keep those belly bugs happy.
Pistachios are high in the fiber gut bacteria need to stay healthy and active. So they feed your gut bacteria, as well as you.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, people who eat pistachios have significantly higher levels of butyrate producing belly bacteria. This important short chained fatty acid lowers your risk of developing digestive problems, heart disease and even cancer.
4. Heart health:
Pistachios are loaded with the healthy fats you should eating more of to maintain a healthy heart. Experts say a diet high in these healthy fats will help lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels.
Plus, two studies published in the journal Nutrition, showed that a pistachio rich diet helps protect blood vessels, improving blood pressure and circulation.
5. Brain health:
Your brain requires vitamin B6 to keep firing on all cylinders. This critical vitamin helps your brain cells and nerves communicate. And when you run too low, it can cause confusion or depression.
Pistachios are a great way to maintain your vitamin B6 levels. A single ounce of the nuts provides .4 mg of B6. That puts you well on your way to the 1.5 mg RDA for women and 2 mg RDA for men.
Pistachios are good for you and they taste terrific. The next time you reach for a snack, make it pistachios.