RDs Are Nuts About Pistachios—Here Are 5 Reasons They're So Good for You
People have been eating pistachios for a long time—there are actually references to this slightly sweet nut in the Old Testament of the Bible (Genesis 43:11, to be exact), and they've been imported into the U.S. since the 1880s. Pistachios, which are actually the edible seeds of the pistachio tree, were once a status symbol and delicacy for the bourgeois, but now they're widely cultivated and available to pretty much anyone who wants a nutritious snack. (950 farms in New Mexico, California, and Arizona produce the crop!) It's no wonder we've thought of countless ways to consume them, from roasting and tossing them over salads to mixing them into gelato and baked goods.
Pistachios truly have a place in any meal or snack—it just depends on how much you love them and how creative you can get. Sprinkle crushed pistachios over Greek yogurt; grind up a healthy pistachio-based topping for fish; or pop them in the oven seasoned with spices and citrus. And there's more reason to pick up pistachios at the grocery store beyond their tastiness: Pistachios are extremely healthy and full of benefits, and according to Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Conn., they may be just what you need to ensure you hit your daily nutrient goals.
The Top Health Benefits of Pistachios
For a healthy snack, you can buy any variety of packaged pistachios, either in the shell or shelled, at the grocery store and enjoy them straight from the bag. Gorin loves eating flavored pistachios, like Wonderful Pistachios' No Shells Sea Salt & Vinegar, because they make better-for-you snacking more interesting. "When I'm craving salt-and-vinegar potato chips, these do the trick—and I also get my protein, healthy fat, and fiber," she says.
If you're looking for creative ways to incorporate pistachios into your cooking and baking, check out these flavorful recipes for inspiration.