This plant-based complete protein provides numerous nutrients and phytochemicals

A recent article published in Nutrients reviews the protein science related to pistachios. The paper explains how this nut can contribute to daily protein intakes and amino acid profiles as part of a shift towards plant-based protein sources.

The authors show that pistachios are a plant-based complete protein that provides all nine essential amino acids in addition to an array of nutrients and phytochemicals. They explain that raw and roasted pistachios have a Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 73% and 81%, respectively. The paper reviews the evidence on the health benefits of pistachios, specifically in the areas of body weight, diabetes, heart health and cancer. It also provides an overview of the recommended intakes of tree nuts and notes that pistachios do not always have a clear place within dietary guidelines.

The authors conclude that pistachios have a key role to play in terms of providing good-quality, ready-to-eat, plant-based protein; that pistachio intake is associated with various promising health benefits; and that consumption of these nuts has the potential to alleviate pressure from other food protein production methods that contribute to environmental strain.

American Pistachio Growers provided funding for this paper.

Derbyshire, E., Higgs, J., Feeney, M. J., & Carughi, A. (2023). Believe It or ‘Nut’: Why It Is Time to Set the Record Straight on Nut Protein Quality: Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) Focus. Nutrients, 15(9), 2158.

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