Pistachios are Native to Middle East. Commercial plantings began in 1800s in Iran, which today is the world's largest producer of pistachios. The United States is currently the world leader in pistachio production, having surpassed Iran in 2010.
And sales of Pistachios are booming, with exports are doubling over the past six years from 100 million pounds to almost 270 million pounds.
Pistachio trees capable of reaching 30 feet in height take 10 to 15 years to begin producing significant quantities of nuts.
A pistachio comes in small packages but it has many benefits on nutrition. It has more antioxidant power per 100 grams than blueberries, blackberries, garlic, and pomegranate juice.
Pistachios contain more potassium, which can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, than any other nut.
Eating pistachios may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer. Pistachios are an excellent source of phytosterols, plant compounds that have been found to decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and they are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants (including the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein, which gives the pistachio kernel its distinct green color).
Good things come in small packages when it comes to the nutrition benefits of pistachios. A 1 ounce serving of pistachios (about 49 nuts) contains a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients bodies need to function and stay healthy. And all for about 160 calories.
Pistachios also have more Lutein, an antioxidant found in green and yellow vegetables, is also found in pistachios. This antioxidant has been widely studied and shown to support eye health.