What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Pistachios In Excess?

Nuts, when consumed in limited quantity, is naturally beneficial for our health. Pistachios are one of the popular nuts that have a deluge of health benefits. They are rich in several essential nutrients and can aid weight loss and heart and gut health.

Having understood the benefits of pistachios, you may think that eating as much as possible can help you get all the benefits as quickly as possible. However, it is important for you to realize that pistachios are not something that could be consumed in large amounts and have their own set of side effects as well.

Read on to know about the side effects of eating pistachios in excess.

1. Weight Gain

Pistachios are easy-to eat-snacks, which means that you tend to munch on it a bit too much. However, it is important to note that your daily habit of consuming pistachios may well become the cause of your weight gain [1]. Most people will be surprised to note that a simple cup of pistachios has as much as 700 calories [2]. Thus, if you are someone who is striving towards weight loss, you should keep track of your pistachio consumption.

2. Excess Fibre

While consumption of fibre is necessary to ensure smooth bowel movement in human beings, the fact remains that too much fibre is not good for us. It can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, stomach cramps, malabsorption and a number of other conditions that lead to pain in the abdomen [3]. Thus, one should avoid consuming too many pistachios in one go.

3. Risk Of Salmonella Infection

Studies have pointed out that pistachios can contain salmonella, which makes the dry fruit highly unsafe for human consumption. This bacterium has an adverse effect on infants and older adults as they have weaker immune systems. In most cases, it may lead to high temperature, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems [4][5].

4. Risk Of Acrylamide Ingestion

Roasting pistachios are a great way of dealing with the harmful salmonella bacteria. However, this gives rise to the generation of acrylamides. Studies point put that; acrylamide is known to elevate the growth of cancer-causing cells in the human body [6].

5. Digestion Problems

Pistachios have a very high calorific value. Due to this, when you have too many pistachios in one go, it may make you bloated and cause digestion problems. The heavy feeling may cause you to feel lethargic, and it may even interfere with your other dietary habits since you will experience a loss of appetite at large [7].

6. High Blood Pressure

Most of the pistachios that we eat are roasted – which means high salt content. Studies point out that in most packets of roasted pistachios, the sodium content is about 121 mg per ounce (28.3 g) of pistachios. Over-consumption of sodium increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also results in high blood pressure and can prove to be detrimental in the long run [8].

7. Kidney Problems

It is important to understand that the consumption of pistachios does not cause kidney problems. However, if you are suffering from kidney problems, the consumption of pistachios might do you more harm than good. This is because pistachios are a rich source of potassium. It helps maintain the electrolytic balance and provide relief from stress and anxiety by improving the metabolism of the body [9]. Now for people suffering from kidney disorders, the kidney is not efficient in removing excess potassium from the body. This, in turn, results in excess potassium content in the body, which can cause various other health issues as well [10].

8. Risk Of Kidney Stones

Even for healthy people, the consumption of pistachios in large quantities may upset the potassium balance in the body. The presence of oxalates and methionine in pistachios fosters calcium oxalate formation – one of the primary components of crystalline kidney stones [11]. Thus, consumption of pistachios in large amounts may cause the development of kidney stones in healthy adults.

9. Gastrointestinal Problems

Fructan is an essential component of pistachios. It is not usually harmful, but many people (particularly in the Indian context) are allergic to fructan [12]. The intensity of allergy may vary from that of mild allergy to severe ones (sometimes even leading up to hospitalization). These people can develop severe complications, which can, in turn, gastrointestinal trigger issues. These may range from constipation and flatulence to abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Hence it is advisable that you start consuming pistachios only in small quantities to find out if you are allergic to them or not [13].

10. High Manganese Levels

Manganese is a component that is necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. However, excess manganese in the body can be a cause for concern in itself. This is especially true in the case of pregnant women and lactating mothers [14]. Pistachio is loaded with manganese, which, when consumed in large quantities, can cause headaches, hallucinations, leg cramps and a number of neurological conditions [15].

Some other less-common side effects of consuming pistachios in excess are as follows:

  • Navel orange worm infection [16]
  • Tree nut allergies (for people who allergic)
  • Risk of pesticide and insecticide consumption

On A Final Note…

Pistachios are good for your health but in limited quantities. It is recommended that you eat 1-2 handfuls (around 30 kernels) a day and not more.

Source: oneindia