Pistachios help you boost your nut consumption to 5 ounces weekly -- an intake level that can protect you from heart disease, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. At approximately 160 calories per ounce, pistachios provide fuel to help you get through the day. Adding raw or roasted pistachios to your diet benefits your health, and both raw and roasted pistachios provide similar nutrition advantages.
Raw and roasted pistachios contain phosphorus, an essential mineral. Your body uses phosphorus to make up several important compounds -- hydroxyapatite, the mineral found in your bones and teeth; DNA and RNA, the compounds that store your genetic information; phospholipids, the fats found in your cell membranes; and ATP, a source of energy. An ounce of raw or roasted pistachios provides approximately 135 milligrams of phosphorus -- 19 percent of your daily phosphorus requirements, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Copper also plays an important role in your health, allowing you to make mature collagen required to keep your tissues strong, as well as helping to support brain function. Getting enough copper from your diet also helps keep you free of disease, since low copper levels cause reduced numbers of infection-fighting white blood cells in your bloodstream. Consuming an ounce of raw or roasted pistachios provides you with approximately 368 micrograms of copper, or 41 percent of the recommended daily intake, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Roasted or raw pistachios also contain lutein and zeaxanthin -- pigment compounds that benefit your health. Your retinas contain both lutein and zeaxanthin, and rely on these compounds to filter the light that enters your eye and prevent tissue damage from excess light exposure. A diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin also correlates with a decreased risk of diseases, including lung cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Raw pistachios contain slightly more lutein and zeaxanthin -- 398 micrograms per ounce, compared to 329 micrograms in an equivalent serving of roasted pistachios.
Consuming More Pistachios
Pistachios make healthful additions to homemade muesli, granola and trail mix, paired with juice-sweetened cranberries for a delicious and colorful snack. Alternatively, pair raw or roasted pistachios with pitted cherries for use in oatmeal, or top your cereal or toast with homemade pistachio butter. Mix chopped pistachios with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil to make a healthy pesto sauce for whole-wheat pasta. If you're in the mood for something sweet, combine ripe frozen bananas with roasted pistachios in a food processor until the mixture takes on a soft-serve-like consistency.
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.