A handful of pistachio nuts a day can help destroy bad cholesterol, ward off heart disease and prevent cancer, say scientists.
The findings published in the Journal of Nutrition follows previous research by the same team that discovered pistachios help destroy bad cholesterol that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Professor Penny Kris-Etherton, of Pennsylvania State University, said: "Our previous study showed the benefits of pistachios in lowering lipids and lipoproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease.
"This new study shows an additional effect of pistachios so now there are multiple health benefits of eating pistachios."
She and colleagues found pistachios are much richer in the main dietary antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol than other nuts.
Beta-carotene turns into vitamin A which prevents cancer and gamma-tocopherol is a common form of vitamin E that wards off heart disease. Lutein is found in dark green leafy vegetables and is important in vision and healthy skin.
It is believed antioxidants also prevent cholesterol from moving into the blood vessel walls and causing inflammation.