Why you need to eat more pistachios

Sep 28, 2012 at 3:06 p.m. ET

I am a pistachio addict once I get started on popping the nutty meats out their shells. Coming from California, I've eaten -- and still eat -- my fair share of these yummy nuts. Not that I need an excuse to eat more pistachios, but the taste isn't the only reason to nosh the healthy nuts at every chance. They are rich with nutritious benefits and are a perfect addition to any diet.

Why you need to eat more pistachios

Pistachios are a good source of protein

At 6 grams of protein per ounce, pistachios can help vegans get their daily dose of the muscle-building nutrient.

Pistachios a tasty source of fiber

One ounce of pistachios, which is about 49 kernels, delivers 3 grams of fiber. This is equal to the fiber found in about a 1/2 cup of broccoli.

Pistachios are a healthy source of fat

A serving of pistachios has 13 grams of fat, which is 20% of the Daily Valey, but only 1.5 grams is saturated fat. Pistachios are also cholesterol-free. Eating these green-hued gems may also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Pistachios deliciously deliver vitamins and minerals

Pistachios are a crunchy source of B vitamins, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. In fact, one serving of pistachios has more potassium (300 milligrams) than an orange (250 milligrams).

Pistachios benefit your health

Research has shown that eating modest quantities of pistachios as part of a heart healthy diet can help manage healthy cholesterol levels, inflammation, and blood vessel health. Pistachios also have more antioxidant power per 100 grams than blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranate juice. Pistachios can aid in weight management and are considered a "love nut" because of their long history of aphrodisiac repute.

*Source: American Pistachio Growers

Pistachio recipes

Need more convincing that pistachios need a place on your daily menu? Take a bite out of these pistachio recipes.

Rhubarb Salad with Pistachios
Grilled Cherries with Pistachios
Roasted Nut Party Mix
Dark Chocolate Covered Matzo Squares
Christmas Biscotti
Apple Cinnamon Snack Cake
Escarole Salad with Pistachios and Figs
Ice Cream Bombe