Pistachios vs Almonds – Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects


They are one of the world’s oldest nuts, being grown in the Middle East for millennia. For instance, archaeological evidence dates the association of these nuts and man as early as 6,000 BC.

Nutrition Facts

They are truly loaded with all types of nutrients, such as – thiamine, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.

Furthermore, a 1-ounce serving of these nuts has about 6 grams of protein, 160 calories, 15 grams of fat, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 2 grams of saturated fat. They are also free of cholesterol and trans fat.

Health Benefits

Eye Health

Among nuts, they have the highest content of zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which are essential antioxidants for eye health. These strong antioxidants protect the tissues of the eyes from inflammation caused by oxidative stress and free radicals.

More importantly, lutein and zeaxanthin protect against age-related macular degeneration, an age-related eye disorder that slowly reduces the eye vision making sufferers unable to work and read properly.

Improves Digestion

Being an excellent source of fiber, eating these nuts in reasonable amounts can benefit the functioning of the large intestine. In addition, an increased intake of dietary fiber has shown to help with regulating bowel movements and weight control (increases satiety levels).

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Consuming these nuts may also promote heart health because they are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. These healthy fats help reduce high blood pressure as well as protect against coronary heart disease.

Boosts The Immune System

These nuts are a remarkable source of vitamin B6, a nutrient which the human body requires in order to create amino acids, that help to transmit the messages to the nervous system. Moreover, vitamin B6 helps produce antibodies as well as numerous enzymes.

Fights Wrinkles

The high concentration of vitamin E in these nuts helps to improve the skin’s elasticity. Vitamin E also protects the skin from damage due to premature aging, fights wrinkles, UV rays damage, and skin cancer. Also, vitamin E helps to maintain stores of vitamin K, vitamins A, selenium, and iron and is involved in the formation of red blood cells.

Side Effects

These nuts are at high risk of contamination by aflatoxin (produced by certain molds – Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus) and may be fumigated or bleached during processing. Therefore, it is recommended to buy organic and avoid those nuts which are bleached, dyed, or show signs of decay.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, roasted nuts seasoned with salt contain approximately 121 mg of sodium per serving and are not good for people with hypertension.


They are the oldest and most widely grown of all the world’s nut crops and are also mentioned in the Bible. In the present day, California has about 82 percent of the globe’s production.

Nutrition Facts

They are a good source of high-quality protein, magnesium, vitamin E, dietary fiber, copper, iron, riboflavin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, zinc, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and healthy fats

Health Benefits

Excellent Source Of Potassium

These nuts are an excellent source of potassium, an electrolyte with the main function to control the balance of fluids within the human body while also regulating the electrical activity of the heart. This essential mineral is also responsible for opening up veins and arteries, allowing for proper blood flow.

Good For Type 2 Diabetics

Regular consumption of these nuts can help type 2 diabetes mellitus sufferers maintain their glycemic level most likely due to their high fiber content.

Cardiovascular Health

According to a 2005 study issued in the “Journal of Nutrition,” these nuts contain flavonoids, plant-based pigments with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Flavonoids positively affect cardiovascular health by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, reducing the risk of developing a blood clot, and lowering blood pressure.

Prevents Cancer

They are a good source of folate, an essential B vitamin for the healthy development of the fetus’s neurological system and brain. Additionally, numerous studies have strongly associated a high folate intake from food with a lower risk of colon cancer.

Side Effects

Some people are allergic to these nuts and they can experience tingling, gastrointestinal problems, hives, rashes, breathing problems, and burning sensations in the mouth. The bitter type should not be consumed as it has hydrocyanic acid, a poisonous chemical.

More importantly, starting in 2007, the USDA made it a requirement that all almonds which are commercially sold in the United States must be pasteurized or fumigated with propylene oxide.

Also, if your body is not used to taking too much dietary fiber, bloating and cramping can occur.

Pistachios vs Almonds – Which Have A Better Nutritional Profile?

Both foods have an amazing nutritional profile and should be included in our regular diet, but the balance is just a little inclined in the favor of pistachios due to their higher content of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium, and selenium.

Featured image credit – Shutterstock

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