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Health Benefits of Pistachios

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Pistachio nuts are among the most nutritious keto-friendly nuts. They’re rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. 

Eating pistachios can have significant benefits for your health. Pistachio nuts promote a healthy heart, support your vision, and may lower blood pressure. 

Let's find out about pistachios' several health benefits and why you should be eating pistachios regularly.

Dry roasted pistachios

What are pistachios?

Pistachios are the edible seeds of the pistachio tree, but most people refer to them as pistachio nuts. 

Pistachios are small, oval-shaped nuts with a hard, tan-colored shell that splits open when the nut is ripe. The nut itself is green and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

Pistachios are among the most popular nuts, and you won’t have difficulty finding them. Most grocery stores offer a range of pistachio products, including roasted, crushed, or raw pistachios. Pistachio nut butter has become popular and is a tasty and nutritious spread.

Watch the video below to learn more about the nutritional benefits of pistachio nuts.

Are pistachios keto-friendly?

Pistachios are on the Keto Food List because they contain high amounts of healthy fat and are low in net carbs. A one-ounce serving of pistachios has five grams of net carbs.    

It’s important to note that pistachios contain more carbs than other nuts. However, eating moderate amounts won’t kick you out of ketosis. Avoid eating more than three ounces in one sitting, and choose shelled pistachios. Cracking open the shells will naturally slow you down and control your portion sizes.

wonderful pistachios

Eight health benefits of pistachios

Pistachio nuts are rich in vitamins, essential minerals, and healthy fats. They’re nutritious and have a high-fat-to-low-carb ratio, making them an ideal keto-friendly nut.

Here are eight reasons why you should eat pistachio nuts regularly!

1. Rich in nutrients 

Like most nuts, pistachios are highly nutritious. Pistachio nuts are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E, B1, and B6, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Almost all of the fats found in pistachio nuts are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids—including alpha-linolenic acid, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and healthy cholesterol levels. 

Zinc, magnesium, and potassium are essential minerals that support your health. These nutrients promote healthy brain function, support your immune system and play crucial roles in energy metabolism.

2. Low in oxalates

Pistachios are among the lowest oxalate-containing nuts and a healthy choice if you are prone to kidney stones.

Oxalates are chemicals found in plants. Some people are sensitive to oxalates and can experience joint and bone pain, inflammation, and cloudy urine when consuming oxalate-rich foods.

3. Heart health

Pistachio nuts are a good source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Pistachios contain several antioxidants, including vitamin E, selenium, and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds help protect your blood vessels from oxidative damage and inflammation, promote healthy blood pressure, and lower the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Heart Shaped Pistachios

4. Weight management

Research indicates that daily pistachio consumption supports metabolic health and promotes a healthy weight. 

Pistachios are a good source of protein and fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied, supporting weight loss and weight maintenance.

5. Blood sugar control

Eating nuts, including pistachios, is an excellent way to promote healthy blood sugar levels and may help reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes. 

The combination of protein, fiber, and antioxidants in pistachios helps slow blood sugar absorption. This study found that eating pistachios daily reduces the amount of insulin needed to achieve balanced blood sugar levels.

6. Eye health

Pistachios are a good source of lutein, a potent antioxidant important for eye health. Lutein protects the delicate structures of your eye from free radicals, which are metabolic by-products that cause inflammation and cellular damage.

Frequent consumption of lutein-containing foods promotes eye health and significantly lowers the risk of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness.

7. Digestive health 

Eating pistachios is an excellent way to promote digestive health.

Pistachios are rich in dietary fiber, a prebiotic food that feeds the good bacteria in your intestines. 

Intestinal bacteria break down fiber and produce butyric acid. This fatty acid provides energy for your microflora and has been found to lower inflammation and may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

8. Cognitive health

Pistachios are rich in B vitamins—especially vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 promotes neuronal health and protects brain cells from oxidative damage, lowering the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

Vitamin B6 is needed to produce serotonin and dopamine—essential neurotransmitters that promote a calm central nervous system and support stable moods.

Individual Pistachios

Key takeaways

Pistachios are keto-friendly and nutritious nuts that support your health and well-being, help you maintain a healthy waistline, and may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Pistachios are low in oxalates and an excellent nut for people prone to kidney stones. 

Regularly consuming pistachio nuts is a healthy choice, but remember that these nuts are calorie-dense. Eating too many can quickly exceed your energy requirements and cause weight gain.


1. Are pistachios healthy?

Yes, pistachios are highly nutritious and beneficial for your overall health and well-being. They’re a rich source of essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin E. 

Pistachios are also a source of essential amino acids. They’re a complete protein source and among the highest protein snack nuts.

2. What are the health benefits of pistachios?

Eating pistachios is linked to a wide range of health benefits. They’re nutrient-dense nuts that support a healthy digestive system, promote weight loss, and may lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. 

3. Can I have pistachios on keto?

Yes, pistachios are keto-approved. They’re low-carb, high-fat, and rank among the top keto-friendly nuts. 

4. Can I eat pistachios every day?

Yes, you can eat pistachios daily. It’s important to remember that all nuts are calorie-dense, and eating too many pistachios can quickly lead to weight gain.

5. Do pistachios have side effects?

If you are allergic to nuts, it’s best to avoid pistachios. Although pistachios are technically a seed, many people with nut allergies are also sensitive to pistachios.

Eating too many pistachios can lead to weight gain and has been found to increase the risk of digestive issues, including abdominal pain, bloating, and belching.

6. Which are healthier, pistachios or almonds?

Pistachios and almonds are healthy nuts rich in nutrients that provide many health benefits. Pistachios have the lowest amount of oxalates of all nuts, making them a great option if you are prone to kidney stones or have arthritis.

On the other hand, almonds contain the highest amounts of oxalates which can exacerbate inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and Crohn's disease.

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