Pistachios Have Tons of Health Benefits, According to Nutritionists

When it comes to nuts, pistachios are often overlooked—even though they are tiny nutritional goldmines. “These little morsels are rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and are a good source of satiating protein,” says Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of Maya Feller Nutrition and author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life. Keep reading to find out exactly how these yummy nuts can benefit your health.

Pistachios Have Tons of Health Benefits, According to Nutritionists

“Pistachios are nutrition powerhouses loaded with antioxidants that help to minimize free radical and combat oxidative stress in the body,”

1. Pistachios are packed with nutrients.

2. The protein in pistachios is key.

3. Fiber gives pistachios superpowers.

4. Pistachios are a boon for your heart.

5. Pistachios may also lower inflammation.

6. Raw pistachios are minimally processed.

How to pick packaged pistachios:

You’ll find an array of pistachios on store shelves, and they’re all pretty tasty. “They can be enjoyed raw, roasted, shelled, or flavored,” says Feller. She loves ones that are spiced with chili lime, tamari, or cumin and black pepper. “I do check the sodium to make sure that it's on the lower end so under 5% of the daily value for sodium,” adds Feller. “If you have the time, purchasing raw pistachios and roasting/flavoring them at home can aid in monitoring sodium intake as well.” You'll also want to steer clear of honey-roasted options if you're watching your sugar intake.

How to add pistachios to your diet:

While perfectly tasty on their own, these nuts are surprisingly versatile. Try some of these strategies for incorporating pistachios into your meal plan.

  • Use as a topper for rice, salads, or desserts, suggests Feller.
  • Mix into granola or smoothies.
  • Crush and add to your favorite energy ball recipe.
  • Blend into a nut butter.
  • “We incorporate them a lot into our breading for meats,” says Twombley. “Even something like chicken can become a lot more nutrient dense if when you bread it you incorporate crushed pistachios in there.”