Want to snack on some nuts but afraid of the calories they pack? Then reach for a handful of pistachios! Experts say that compared to Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds and most other nuts, pistachios contain the least amount of calories — only 160 calories per 1-ounce serving.

Another wonderful thing about pistachios is they are available all year round — yes, there’s no need to wait for a certain season to arrive just to enjoy pistachios. Pistachios are readily sold at most supermarkets, so you’re not going to have a hard time getting a bag of them. Further, you can get pistachios shelled, unshelled, salted and sweetened.

But of course it’s a good idea to steer clear of the salted and sweetened varieties. You definitely don’t want to ruin your health with too much sodium and refined sugar in the diet. Most people love the shelled varieties. You are not going to face some challenges eating shelled pistachios as the shells are already partially open.

Just like many other nuts out there, pistachios are not only good for snacking, but also for cooking. Their unique texture and color make them excellent additions to all sorts of baked goods and desserts. Pistachios are also commonly crushed and added to salads, or sprinkled on yogurt, oatmeal and others.

The following are some of the many, many health benefits that pistachios bring:

 

Lowered Bad Cholesterol

Healthy fats found abundantly in pistachios, according to experts, help lower bad cholesterol. You don’t want your bad cholesterol to be elevated because it can lead to high blood pressure, something that considerably increases your odds of having a heart attack, heart disease and stroke.

 

Beautified Skin

Other than keeping your heart in a fantastic state, healthy fats in pistachios also help keep your skin stay soft and supple. There are also plenty of antioxidants in pistachios that zap free radicals that damage healthy skin cells. In other words, including pistachios in your diet regularly can help keep your skin stay healthy and young-looking.

 

Reduced Weight

Go for a handful of pistachios rather than that bag of chips if you want to lose excess pounds. That’s because pistachios are low in calories and fat, plus they contain absolutely no cholesterol. Healthy fats and fiber in pistachios also make your tummy feel full, thus saving you from overeating and ruining your figure.

 

Improved Digestion

One of the most fantastic things about pistachios is they are excellent sources of dietary fiber. We all know that eating foods that are rich in fiber is good for the digestive system. Fiber not only supports better digestion, but also promotes regular movement of the bowels for the elimination of toxins and prevention of constipation.

 

Lowered Anemia Risk

Iron-deficiency anemia is a blood condition characterized by low red blood cell count due to insufficient iron in the body. To help boost the absorption of iron in foods, it’s a good idea to munch on some pistachios. That’s because they are good sources of copper, a mineral so important for iron absorption.

 

Improved Eyesight

Lutein and zeaxanthin — these antioxidants protect the eyes, and both of them can be found in good amounts in pistachios. By adding pistachios in the diet, eye specialists say that you can significantly lower your chances of having age-related macular degeneration, something that can make you lose your eyesight.

 

Boosted Vitality in Men

Men who are suffering for reduced libido as well as erectile dysfunction or ED may benefit tremendously from the inclusion of pistachios in their diet on a regular basis. Based on a 2011 study, participating men who were given pistachios daily enjoyed increased libido and reduced blood flow, courtesy of improvements in blood flow.

 

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