Have a Stash of Pistachios for Health

“I was born on a pistachio farm and have done tons of research on the benefits of pistachios. They are the best and healthiest nut out of all the nuts.” —Dr. Hojat Askari

by Dr. Hojat Askari, Founder and Medical Director, Thumb Butte Medical Center

There are no “magic” foods that can heal your conditions, roll back your scale and turn back your clock. Yet pistachios, considered nuts but actually the seeds of the pistachio tree native to Central Asia and the Middle East, cram a ton of healthy nutrients and antioxidants into a comparatively low-calorie package when compared to other seeds and nuts.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FoodData Central website, 1 ounce of shelled, raw, unsalted pistachio kernels include:

159 Calories

Less than raw macadamia nuts’ 204 calories, but about the same as the 157 calories in an ounce of raw peanuts. Daily consumption should be limited to about 1 ounce per day.

5.73 Grams of Protein

This is a significant percentage of the roughly 46 to 56 grams recommended as a baseline for daily protein consumption. It is important for healthy muscles and bones, helps with weight loss and fuels your immune system, among many other functions.

12.8 Grams Fat

90% of these are healthy unsaturated fats that reduce inflammation, cholesterol and build more resilient cells throughout your body.

7.71 Grams Carbohydrates

Complex carbs found in pistachios and other natural sources provide essential fuel for bodily functions without spiking your blood sugar levels. Pistachios are among the lowest-carb nuts you can choose for your diet.

3 Grams Fiber

The fiber in pistachios lowers their net-carb figures while maintaining the digestive tract, slowing absorption of sugar and feeding our healthy gut bacteria.

29.8 Milligrams Calcium

Many nuts and seeds contain calcium, which strengthens our bones and teeth, but pistachios beat out many others in this category. An ounce of pecans has about 10 milligrams less, while peanuts have nearly 4 milligrams less.

0.483 Grams Vitamin B-6

This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s about a third of the recommended daily consumption, and pistachios are among the best food sources for this vitamin; important to brain and nervous system development and function.


A National Institutes of Health study found pistachios have higher antioxidant content than other nuts including lutein, beta carotene, selenium and more.