Can You Eat Pistachio Shells? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Can You Eat Pistachio Shells

Pistachios make a tasty snack for relieving hunger. If you bought a lot of packs of them and binge ate them, you might be having a bowl full of pistachio shells.

Throwing them away is not an environment-friendly option, and you may want to utilize the shells. But, is it possible? Are they fit to eat or not?

No, you cannot eat pistachio shells because they are not edible. Also, they are hard to grind and chew, and your digestive system fails to break them down. They have no health benefits and will leave you with a bruised mouth. Fresh pistachio shells are usually consumed for their curing properties and are softer than regular pistachio shells.

Although everyone has their own favorite nut choice, pistachios are irresistible. It might sound pleasant to have this superfood as a part of your diet, but what about the unnecessary waste it leaves behind. Let’s discover more about pistachio shells and their edibility.

Is It Safe To Eat Pistachio Shells?

While everyone loves munching nuts, pistachios have their fan base. Besides their unique taste, they come packed full of health benefits. Coming to its shells, eating them is a big no, and there are several reasons for it. They are not safe for consumption, and you should refrain from having them.

Most pistachio shells are stiff and not easy to grind and swallow. If you forcefully chew them, they can hurt your mouth and leave you with blisters. It will also potentially damage the parts of your digestive tract. They do not even taste like anything and are not worth taking so much suffering.

Apart from this, the digestive system cannot break them down to release any nutrients. So, your body is not getting any benefit from the shells, but rather getting hurt along the process of chewing them. They can also lead to gastrointestinal problems. Thus, it is better to discard the idea of eating pistachio shells. Instead, there are many alternative ways you can use them.

Can You Eat Fresh Pistachio Shells?

Though it is never advisable to eat hard pistachio shells, the case with their fresh counterparts is slightly different. Delicate pistachio shells have a reddish hue and possess many health benefits. Also, as they are still soft and not fully hardened, eating these shells is not risky.

Fresh Pistachio shells contain many antioxidants. These antioxidants help neutralize the free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer. They are also refreshing and soothing for the stomach and have proven anti-diarrhea and similar painful sicknesses.

Besides, they are considered the best medicine for taking away bad breath, and chewing them heals the sores in the mouth. Fresh pistachio is convertible into oil, and its oral consumption is therapeutic. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said for hard pistachio shells as they are not edible.

Buying Pistachio In The Shells; Here’s Why

When you plan to buy pistachios, you find them shelled or unshelled. Usually, people think the former is a better choice because of being pre-peeled. However, the reality is that in-shell pistachios are a more reasonable choice.

Firstly, unshelled pistachios are economical as you get them at a lower price than shelled ones. Secondly, when you are removing the shells, it allows you to be conscious of their quantity. It helps to check and balance your diet, as after eating fewer nuts, you will attain a sense of fullness. In a way, it promotes less eating and leads to weight loss.

The pistachio shells also reveal the number of nuts, signaling your brain that what you eat is enough. If you eat the pistachio without cover, there is a high chance that you may overeat them, increasing your calorie intake. So, always opt for unshelled pistachios if you don’t mind the extra time it takes to peel off.

What Happen If You Eat Pistachio Shells Accidentally?

As you know now, eating a pistachio shell has many downsides and negatively impacts your body. However, there is a chance that you accidentally swallowed it and are worried about the outcome. Our digestive system can deal with foreign objects that pass through it unknowingly.

So, it is not a matter of much concern if you consume a pistachio shell as it is small. It is non-digestible due to being hard, and the digestive juices cannot break it down. But, there are instances where the shells get stuck in the esophagus and cause immense pain. To avoid such an emergency, be a little careful while munching your favorite nuts so that you don’t take in shells.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Eating Pistachio Shells?

While pistachios are full of nutrients, it does not apply to their shells. They are fibrous, difficult to chew, and indigestible. You might get sick upon consuming them and damage your digestive system. Nevertheless, they have tons of benefits if you apply them outwardly, and they are part of many skin care products.

Fresh pistachio shells, on the other hand, provide a handful of health benefits. They work well as medicine for curing many ailments. You can chew it or sub it on the gums to strengthen them. Brewed fresh pistachio skin also helps in eliminating heartache and vomiting. Make sure you go for the softer shells, not the hard ones, as the latter has no proven benefits.

In What Ways Can You Use Pistachio Shells?

Now that you have discovered eating pistachio shells is not advisable, still, don’t throw them away after enjoying your delicious nuts. There are several other ways of utilizing them and curbing unnecessary wastage.

  • You can use them in gardening to improve soil drainage. Place the shells at the bottom of the pot before adding dirt. You can also put them underneath them, as you prefer.
  • They are treated as a mulching material and keep the soil moist, encourage fertility, and help in restraining weeds.
  • Pistachio shells have craft uses too, and you can make jewelry, holiday tree ornaments, mosaics, and rattles.
  • If you like camping, you may know pistachio shells are fire starters. Next time you go on a trip, don’t forget to grab a few packets of pistachios and slide them into your backpack.
  • Pistachio shell granules go as the main ingredient in personal care products. They make great exfoliators in body, face, and lips scrubs.

These were just limited usages of pistachio shells, and you can find tons of others too. It is ideal not to toss them to maintain a clean environment.


Pistachios are a popular dry fruit variety, and people like having them for an instant energy boost. They are healthy and nutritious, but you cannot their shells. The shells are hard to grind, and you cannot digest them. If you accidentally eat them, they can get stuck in your digestive tract and hurt your mouth.

Consuming pistachio shells makes no sense as they have no nutrients and taste. However, fresh pistachios shells are softer, and you can have them. They offer a cure for many diseases and are great for your overall health.

Always buy unshelled pistachios as you are less likely to overeat them. It helps to prevent extra calorie intake that causes weight gain. Eating pistachio is not only an enjoyable experience but also packed with antioxidants. You cannot eat the shells, but they have many other uses, including mulching, enhancing drainage, and crafting.

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Tauseeq is the principal creator of He loves cooking and wants to help others overcome kitchen challenges through practical advice and solutions.

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