The Betterment Project
Do Pistachios Have Melatonin?

Do Pistachios Have Melatonin?

You darken the room, stay away from any screen, even try listening to some soothing music. But nothing seems to help?


Your body produces melatonin hormone that signals your mind and body to sleep. Many natural foods also contain melatonin, including pistachios. Yes, pistachios do contain melatonin. 


Food-based sources facilitate sleep without grogginess associated with sleeping pills.


Keep reading to know more about the connection between pistachios and melatonin and how it may help you!


Melatonin


With busy schedules and stress, the prevalence of sleep problems is high. About
one-third of the global population suffers from sleep disorders.


One may take the aid of sleeping pills, but they have numerous side effects such as grogginess, dizziness, and headaches. So, many people prefer non-pharmacological assistance. Melatonin-containing foods and supplements are one of the common options.


Your pineal gland (part of the brain) naturally produces the hormone melatonin, which tells your body it is time to hit the hay. Extrapineal tissues such as the heart, placenta, kidney, liver, and skin can also synthesize melatonin in small quantities. It is also present in some food items and supplements.


Your body produces melatonin in response to darkness and peaks around 2 a.m. Light is the primary inhibitory environmental factor that affects melatonin production.


Some other things can also disrupt melatonin’s functioning, such as:

  • Change in the time zone.
  • Poor mental health.
  • Poor sleep hygiene.
  • Breathing problems.


Melatonin manages the circadian rhythm, and its deficiency disrupts this cycle. Low melatonin levels in the body is one of the major problems for sleep disorders.


Benefits


In addition to sleep, this
hormone may also offer:

  • Management sugar levels.
  • Pro-aging support.
  • Weight management.
  • Protection against joint discomfort.
  • Better functioning of your immune support.
  • Protect your nervous system from damage.
  • Keeping your eyes and digestive system healthy.


Some studies also suggest its benefits for tooth and bone healing.


However, melatonin is not a substitute for conventional treatment for any disorders. It may just boost their benefits.


Pistachio and Melatonin Connection


Many claims are suggesting the high melatonin content of this nut. A
2019 study suggests that the melatonin content of pistachios is about 660 nanograms per gram. In comparison, melatonin supplements usually contain 0.2–10 mg per dose.


Nutrition of Pistachios


You can crack pistachios before bed to help support your sleep health. Choose unsalted kernels and have them 30-60 minutes before hitting the bed. 


Even if you don’t want the melatonin aid of pistachios, you will be happy to know that it also supports your overall health. 


These
benefits are due to the following contents:

  • Antioxidants
  • Healthy fats
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B1 and B6
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Manganese


In short, these nuts are a delicious way of boosting your health and sleep.


Benefits of Pistachios

 

Some benefits that you can gather from including pistachios in your diet:

  • Heart health
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure levels
  • Metabolic activity

Pistachios for Sleep


28 grams of pistachios provides 6mg of melatonin, which is similar to the content in supplements. So, it is safe to have a handful of pistachios about an hour before bedtime. 


It is also best to avoid spicy foods and caffeine at night or late evening. In addition, avoid taking too many pistachios. There is no evidence for this, but sleep-inducing properties may extend to daytime.


Besides, pistachios are rich in calories, and their intake thus should be limited. Limit your consumption to your ideal recommended daily allowance for your weight, height, and age.

 

Other Sources of Melatonin

 

You can get melatonin from food sources and supplements. The hormone is well absorbed orally and can cross the blood-brain barrier to reach your brain. The circulating levels of melatonin are beneficial for sleep troubles.


Food Sources


Pistachios, grains, and mushrooms contain the highest amount of melatonin.


Let’s have a look at the melatonin content of some food items per gram:

  • Pistachios: 230 mcg
  • Mushrooms: 4.300 to 6.4 mcg
  • Wheat: 0.14 mcg
  • Oats: 0.071 mcg
  • Cherries: 0.010 to 0.020 mcg
  • Eggs: 0.006 mcg
  • Salmon: 0.0037 mcg
  • Lamb meat: 0.0016 mcg
  • Tomatoes: 0.001 to 0.067 mcg


Moreover, cow’s milk is not rich in melatonin. But it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to the sleep hormone melatonin. For the same reason, glucose-rich foods promote sleepiness as they promote tryptophan passage through the blood-brain barrier.


Supplements


Melatonin can also be prepared synthetically and is available as a supplement. You can get melatonin supplements in the form of pills and mouth dissolving tablets.


While there is no sufficient evidence on recommended doses, supplements ideally contain between 1 to 10 mg of melatonin.


According to the
National Sleep Foundation, it is safe to take about 0.2 – 5 mg of melatonin before sleep.


The absorption of melatonin from supplements and food varies.
Animal studies hint at a better impact of melatonin from a supplement than from food.


Melatonin Side Effects


The use of an appropriate dose of melatonin is usually safe for most people. However, studies have not analyzed the long-term effects of extended duration or high dose use.


Some common side effects may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizzy spells
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness


It may also result in agitation and bedwetting in children. Start low and slow, and consult your doctor before taking supplements to prevent the risk of undesirable effects.


It is also essential to pick the right, high-quality supplement and stay within the dose limit. 


If you are looking for supplements with melatonin, you can try
Complete Calm Sleep. In addition to melatonin, this supplement has ingredients that offer a more refreshing and deeper sleep. 


Precautions


The use of melatonin supplements may not be safe in pregnant and lactating females. Besides, they may act similar to birth control pills and affect your ability to get pregnant. While low doses are safe, it is essential to consult your doctor before taking them.


People with bleeding disorders should take melatonin supplements with caution or avoid them altogether.


They may also interact with some medications, including blood pressure drugs and antidepressants. Always consult your physician if you are taking any medicine to understand their interaction with melatonin supplements.

Final Thoughts


The answer to the question “does pistachio contain melatonin” is a “yes.” It is one of the richest food sources of melatonin.


Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays a crucial role in managing sleep and overall health. While your body produces it, some factors such as stress and a hectic schedule can affect its level, causing sleep problems.


Fortunately, you can manage melatonin levels with food sources and supplements. However, the effect may be different, and supplemental melatonin may have a better impact on your body.


Supplements such as
Complete Calm Sleep have melatonin and other ingredients to help you get a good night’s sleep. Treat yourself with these supplements so that you no more have doubts about whether or not you are getting a sound sleep every time you hit your bed.



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Sources:

Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being | NCBI

Melatonin's Impact on Antioxidative Reprogramming in Homeostasis | NCBI

Spectrofluorimetric determination of melatonin in kernels of four different Pistacia varieties after ultrasound-assisted solid-liquid extraction | NCBI

Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin | NCBI 

Melatonin and Sleep | Sleep Foundation 

Influence of Dietary Sources of Melatonin on Sleep Quality: A Review | Wiley Library 

STUDY FINDS AMERICAN GROWN PISTACHIOS CONTAIN MELATONIN | American Pistachios.org 

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

  • Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert

    Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.