Pistachio | Pistachio Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts



The pistachio (Pistacia vera) is a small tree native to Central Asia and the Middle East. The Pistachio plant is a member of the cashew family. People eat the seeds that the pistachio tree produces.

Pistacia vera is frequently misjudge for other Pistacia species that are also referred to as pistachios. These additional species can be identified by their geographical ranges and their considerably smaller, soft-shelled seeds.

The pistachio tree's seeds are known as pistachios. Typically, they are sweet and green. Despite being primarily seeds, pistachios are often referred to be nuts. They have been consumed by people for ages. Humans have been eating them since ancient times.

The pistachio kernels' colour can vary, ranging from yellow to green. The kernels are usually 1 inch long and half an inch in diameter. However, if you want to taste one, you must first get through its impenetrable exterior.


The pistachio is a desert plant that thrives on saline soil. It is said to grow well when irrigated with water that has between 3,000 and 4,000 parts per million of soluble salts. In the correct circumstances, pistachio trees can tolerate temperatures as high as 48 °C (118 °F) in the summer and as low as 10 °C (14 °F) in the winter. They require well-drained soil and a sunny weather to grow properly. Pistachio trees function poorly in humid environments and are prone to winter root rot if they receive excessive moisture and the soil is not properly free-draining. The fruit needs long, hot summers to ripen properly.

History of Pistachio

The pistachio tree is indigenous to parts of Central Asia, such as the modern day nations of Iran and Afghanistan and other parts of middle east. Pistachio seeds were a typical food item as early as 6750 BC, according to archaeology reports.  Pistachio usage has been documented as far back as the Bronze Age in Central Asia, in Djarkutan, present-day Uzbekistan.

In the first century AD, the Romans brought pistachio plants from Asia to Europe. All over southern Europe and northern Africa, they are grown. It was described by Theophrastus as a Bactrian tree with nuts resembling those of an almond.

From excavations at Jarmo in northeastern Iraq, archaeologists have discovered proof of the ingestion of Atlantic pistachio.

Around 700 BC, during the reign of King Merodach-Baladan, pistachio trees were rumoured to have existed in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Commercial pistachio cultivation began in the 19th century in areas of the English-speaking globe like Australia, New Mexico, and California, where it was first imported in 1854 as a garden tree.

David Fairchild of the United States Department of Agriculture brought tougher varieties from China to California in 1904 and 1905, but it wasn't until 1929 that it was marketed as a commercial crop. By 1917, the Syrian pistachios grown by Walter T. Swingle in Niles, California, were already producing well.

Pistachio Cultivation

The lifespan of a pistachio tree can reach 300 years. The trees are cultivated in orchards, and it takes them seven to 10 years to begin producing significantly. The harvest is heavier in alternate years with production being alternate-bearing or biennial-bearing. 20 years are needed to reach peak production. Typically, trees are cut down to size to facilitate harvesting. Eight to twelve drupe-bearing female trees can be pollinated by a single male tree. In both Greece and the United States, harvesting is frequently carried out by employing machinery to shake the drupes off the tree. In order to make pistachio kernels, pistachios are first hulled, then dried, and then separated according to whether they have open-mouth or closed-mouth shells.

The majority of female pistachio trees in California are the Kerman cultivar from Kerman, Iran. A mature female 'Kerman' scion is grafted onto a rootstock that is one year old.

Pistachio Consumption

In addition to being used in pistachio ice cream, kulfi, spumoni, pistachio butter, pistachio paste, confections like baklava, pistachio chocolate, pistachio halva, or biscotti, as well as cold cuts like mortadella, the kernels are frequently consumed whole, either fresh or roasted and salted. Americans prepare pistachio salad, which comprises whipped cream, canned fruit, fresh pistachios or pistachio pudding.

Although the pistachio's shell is typically beige in colour, commercial pistachios may have red or green dye applied to it. Initially, dye was employed to cover stains on the shells left behind by hand-picking the nuts. The majority of pistachios are now picked mechanically, leaving the shells untarnished.

Pistachio Nutrition

There are 4% water, 45% fat, 28% carbs, and 20% protein in raw pistachios (table). Pistachios are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value or DV) of protein, dietary fibre, numerous dietary minerals, and the B vitamins thiamin (76% DV) and vitamin B6 (131% DV) in a 100-gram reference amount. Pistachios have 2,351 kilojoules (562 kcal) of food energy (table). In terms of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K, pistachios constitute a moderate supply (10–19% DV).

Nutritional value per 100 g


562 kcal


27.51 g

Dietary fiber

10.3 g


20.27 g


45.3 g


5.55 g


23.82 g



Vitamins Quantity %DV†

Vitamin A


Thiamine (B1)


Riboflavin (B2)


Niacin (B3


Pantothenic acid (B5)


Vitamin B6


Foliate (B9)


Vitamin C


Vitamin E


Vitamin K


Minerals Quantity %DV†















Saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats make up the fat profile of raw pistachios. Palmitic acid, which makes up 10% of all fatty acids, and stearic acid, which makes up 2%, are examples of saturated fatty acids. Oleic acid, which makes up 51% of total fat, is the most prevalent monounsaturated fatty acid, whereas linoleic acid, which makes up 31% of total fat, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Pistachios are lower in fat and food energy than other tree nuts, but they are higher in potassium, vitamin K, -tocopherol, and a few phytochemicals including carotenoids and phytosterols.

Pistachio Price

Pistachio prices vary according to quality and size. The market retail price of pistachio seeds varies from Rs 1100 per kg to Rs 4000 per kg.

Pistachio Health Benefits

The first qualified health claim regarding consumption of seeds, including pistachios, to lower the risk of heart disease was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in July 2003. Eating 47 grams per day of most nuts, such pistachios, as part of a daily diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Pistachios typically contain a large amount of dietary energy, however frequent consumption is not associated with weight gain or obesity.

Pistachio eating was observed to reduce blood pressure in those without diabetes mellitus in one assessment of preliminary evidence.

Pistachios may benefit for your health in the following ways:
  • Unsaturated fatty acids and potassium in abundance. Both have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • There may be a decrease in your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Pistachios are rich in the fibre, minerals, and unsaturated fat that can help control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • As a result of their protein and fibre, you might feel fuller for longer. This fibre may also benefit you by assisting "good" microorganisms in your digestive system.
  • They can help with weight management because they are a nutritious and filling snack. As a result, you might eat less and shed some pounds. Eating pistachios that have the shells on takes longer.
  • Consuming pistachios lowers blood fat and sugar levels (glycemic index) and improves blood vessel tone and flexibility, claims some study.

Pistachios side effects

A cup of raw pistachios contains just about 1 mg of sodium, while roasted pistachios, which are commonly salted, do not. One cup of salt-salted dry-roasted pistachios has 526 mg of sodium. An excessive salt consumption can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

If you have fructan intolerance, a negative reaction to a certain kind of carbohydrate, pistachios may give you stomach pain.

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