Chemical Composition of Pistachio Nuts

Thought of as a nut or a legume by botanical standards, the pistachio is actually a "drupe," or a stone fruit. Stone fruits have a hard pit in the center and are highly concentrated in saturated and unsaturated oils. The pistachio is more than 50 percent oil, is low in cholesterol and has a good supply of Vitamin B6 and manganese.

  1. Fatty Acids

    • Oleic and linoleic oils make up about 80 percent of the fatty acids in pistachios. Whether or not oleic acid, a monounsaturated oil, is good for you depends on who you ask. According to a 2008 study published in Chemical & Engineering News, oleic acid lowers blood pressure. However, a 2005 study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine says too much oleic acid can also cause lung edema.


    • The predominant simple sugar in pistachios is glucose. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods and provides a major source of energy for the body, the brain, and the nervous system. It is the preferred source of energy by doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists.

    Amino Acids

    • Amino acids make up about 25 percent of the chemical composition of a pistachio nut. Amino acids help build proteins and assist the body with metabolism, which is simply the way the body uses food to give us the energy we need to move, think and grow.


    • Protein is the second largest chemical composition of pistachios, right after oils. There are two types of proteins, complete and incomplete. Complete proteins come from fish and poultry; incomplete proteins from vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Protein is made of amino acids and helps the body to produce red blood cells and build cardiac muscle.


    • Pistachios are only six percent water. Since most people know that the chemical makeup of water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (more commonly known as H2O), this is the simplest chemical compound in the drupe.

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