Pistachio Nuts: Nutrition Value and Facts
Pistachios are nuts with a dry, hard, outer egg shaped shell, with a tasty kernel inside that are popularly consumed as a snack food. Botanically known as Pistacia vera, it is a fruit bearing tree which is native to Syria, Greece, Iran and Western Asia, but are also commercially grown in the United States, Turkey and Italy. In the Unites States, about 98% of all pistachios are grown in California. There is limited commercial growth of pistachios in Arizona and New Mexico as well.
Pistachios are grown on trees and have naturally tan shells. The kernels inside the shells are a greenish tan. They get their greenish coloring from chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural pigment that gives leaves their green color. The pistachio trees grow about 10 meters high on an average. It is a desert plant, which explains its origin in western Asia. The pistachio nut is a culinary nut. Pistachio tree grows well, even in high salinity soil. Every pistachio tree doles out about 50 kg of Pistachio seeds every year! Iran is the largest producer and exporter of Pistachio.
Pistachios are typically sold with the shells partly open and the kernels peeking out, making the task of separating the kernels from their shells easy. The shell actually opens on its own during the growth process. As the pistachio nut grows, it expands until it pops its shell open.
Sometimes, pistachio shells don’t open on their own. Often, this is caused by immature kernels that don’t grow properly. Such nuts should usually be discarded. Many individuals are familiar with pistachio nuts with red shells. The red shells are the result of dyeing for aesthetic appeal, not necessity. Though some enjoy the red color, many believe the red dye adversely affects the taste of the pistachio kernels. The red dye may also stain clothes and hands.
Pistachios are not just enjoyed as a snack food; they are also used in baking and cooking. Their unique texture and coloring makes them a popular addition to salads and appetizers. They are also a frequent addition to entrees and desserts.
Pistachios are sold in many different forms. You can find them roasted, with or without salt, and raw. You can even find them coated with candy. For those who prefer to avoid dealing with the shells, pistachios can be purchased without shells.
Pistachio nuts can usually be purchased in supermarkets, produce stores, and gourmet food shops. They can also be found in candy and nut stores, as well as from a variety of online vendors. Pistachios can even be purchased from mail-order catalogs.
There are many different varieties of pistachios. However, the Kerman variety, grown mostly in California, is predominant in the United States. Pistachio trees can live for quite a long time. In fact, there are pistachio trees in the Middle East that have been thriving for more than two centuries. They are still going strong!
Pistachio Nutrition Value
We would begin the pistachio nutrition information with a table listing out the nutritional values of the nut. Note that, the values have been given for a serving size of 100 grams, and the percentage values are according to a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutritional Value of Pistachio
46 g (71%)
0 mg (0%)
405 mg (17%)
27 g (9%)
10 g (41%)
21 g (43%)
262 IU (5%)
2.3 mg (4%)
13.2 mcg (16%)
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||
0.8 mg (56%)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||
0.2 mg (9%)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||
1.4 mg (7%)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||
1.3 mg (64%)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||
50.0 mcg (12%)
110.0 mg (11%)
4.2 mg (23%)
120 mg (30%)
485 mg (48%)
1042 mg (30%)
2.3 mg (15%)
1.3 mg (66%)
1.3 mg (64%)
9.3 mcg (13%)
|Total Omega-3 fatty acids||
|Total Omega-6 fatty acids||
Pistachio Health Benefits
- The first and foremost benefit of these nuts, that must be mentioned, is associated with a healthy heart. Because they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, they are one of the most healthy options for heart. They work to reduce high blood pressure. So when these two factors are taken care of, it is obvious that cardiovascular diseases would have lesser chances to set in.
- Another important pistachio nutrition information which is also a must-mention is about its property to improve vision. The antioxidants that are contained in this nut are believed to be found in no other nuts. These antioxidants fight free radical damage, and reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
- The nuts’ richness in copper, magnesium, and B vitamins, work to strengthen the immune system thus, preventing a number of diseases.
- One more benefit of the high content of antioxidants in these nuts is a reduced risk of developing cancer. These antioxidants basically reduce cell death thus, this benefit.
- If you are a vegetarian then you would be delighted to know about this pistachio nutritional information that, these nuts can help fill the gap of protein in your diet. Combine them with grains, vegetables, fruits, and seeds, and you can have the required dose of protein for healthy body functioning.
- You are well aware of the benefits of fiber in foods. Two very important benefits include weight loss, and improved bowel function. Including these nuts in your regular diet, can help you reap all such benefits.
- Conditions like type 1 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, erectile dysfunction, stroke, dementia, allergies, arthritis, other immune problems, etc., can be prevented or treated to some extent with the regular consumption of these nuts.
- These nuts are rich in phytosterols. These are plant sterols which reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol from different foods. This help in bringing down the levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body.