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What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Pistachios

Are they really as healthy as some claim? We turn to the experts.

Pistachios are probably one of the best examples of the saying "good things come in small packages." While this small nut may not seem like much, pistachios are full of plant-based goodness that can do a lot for your body's health. From keeping you full to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, choosing to eat pistachios over any other nut may help your body in the long run. Plus, they're just salty and delicious!

To prove to you all the benefits of what happens to your body when you eat pistachios, we spoke with a few registered dietitians about the exact science behind pistachios and why they are so good for you—and their answers did not disappoint. Here's what they had to say, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

They'll fill you up.

Pistachios falling out of bowl

Thanks to the healthy fats, plant-based protein, and fiber in pistachios, this salty snack can help you feel fuller for longer!

"Pistachios nuts are great snacks, and most people love them for their taste and great nutritional value," says Edie Reads, RD and chief editor at "These pistacia vera tree seeds are a healthy source of fats, antioxidants, fiber, and proteins. Just a single serving of about 49 pistachios, also contains vitamin B-6, copper, Manganese, phosphorus, calories, and carbs."

Here are 9 Warning Signs You're Not Eating Enough Fiber.

They can protect your eyes from blue light damage.


"Pistachios are high in zeaxanthin and Lutein, which are great in protecting your eyes from blue light damage," says Reads. "Further, tocopherols and polyphenols—abundant Pistachio antioxidants, also protect against heart disease and cancer."

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They can help you lose weight.

Pistachios in a white bowl

"Pistachios are also one of the most weight-loss-friendly foods," says Reads. "Their high level of protein and fiber increases the feeling of fullness. That helps you promote the feeling of fullness. The high fiber level is also good for gut bacteria. That helps reduce the risks of digestive disorders like colon cancer."

They can lower your cholesterol levels.


Reads points out how pistachios can actually help lower blood pressure, which in return helps to lower your LDL "bad" cholesterol. Which then leads to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

"Pistachios are packed with both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,"  says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN from recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. "Research suggests a balanced diet rich in these unsaturated fats can help improve blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce risk of heart disease."

The fiber in the pistachios also helps with reducing cholesterol in the body, according to Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balanced One Supplements.

"You are reducing the cholesterol in your body, again due to the fiber provided through pistachios along with their antioxidants. Fiber helps remove cholesterol from the body by sticking to it in the blood and eliminating it naturally."

Along with pistachios, here are 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.

They'll improve your mood.

Whole pistachios

"You may improve your mood by increasing your B6 vitamin intake," says Best. "A serving of pistachios provides the consumer with nearly 30% of the recommended daily value of this nutrient. Vitamin B6 is known for its involvement in mood, mental clarity, and improved energy side effects."

They'll create a healthy gut.

pistachios yogurt

"You are improving your gut health by feeding good gut bacteria," says Best. "The form of fiber in pistachios acts as a prebiotic all of which can help reduce your risk of gastrointestinal-related cancers."

Here's The Best Way to Eat for Your Microbiome and Improve Gut Health.

They're satisfying.


"Pistachios make the perfect nourishing snack, salad topping, or flavorful addition to desserts," says Burgess. "Try making heart-healthy avocado truffles rolled in chopped pistachios for a crunch."

So start snacking on pistachios today with one of these 15 Perfect Pistachio Recipes!

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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