The Power of Pistachios

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Good things come in small packages when it comes to the nutrition benefits of pistachios. A 1 ounce serving of pistachios (about 49 nuts) contains a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients bodies need to function and stay healthy. And all for about 160 calories.

Pistachios also have more antioxidant power per 100 grams than blueberries, blackberries, garlic, and pomegranate juice.

Lutein, an antioxidant found in green and yellow vegetables, is also found in pistachios. This antioxidant has been widely studied and shown to support eye health. Pistachios have more lutein in them than any other nut.

One ounce of pistachios provide:

  • More dietary fiber (3 grams) than 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli
  • Six grams of protein – the same amount as 1 ounce of soybeans
  • Good fat—7 grams of monounsaturated and 4 grams of polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart healthy
  • Less than 2 grams of saturated fat
  • Phytosterols, which may decrease the risk of heart disease
  • As much potassium as 1/2 of a large banana
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper
  • Thiamin
  • Phosphorous
  • Manganese
  • No cholesterol
  • No trans fat


Heart-Healthy Snack

Pistachios are heart-healthy and give you vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes that tree nuts, including pistachios, can be part of a heart healthy diet: scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may lower the risk of heart disease. Research has also shown that eating calorie-controlled amounts of pistachios as part of a heart healthy diet can help support healthy cholesterol levels in individuals with already healthy cholesterol levels, and blood vessel health.

am-heartLooking for the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark on food packaging in the grocery store is a good first step in creating a sensible eating plan. Visit their website.


Tree Nuts as Protein provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.

MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image – a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl.

All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group.

In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

What are the benefits of eating nuts and seeds?

Eating peanuts and certain tree nuts (i.e., walnuts, almonds, and pistachios) may reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs. Because nuts and seeds are high in calories, eat them in small portions and use them to replace other protein foods, like some meat or poultry, rather than adding them to what you already eat.

Adapted from the USDA Center for Nutrition
Policy and Promotion’s