Eating a handful of pistachios a day could help lower blood pressure during stressful times, US research shows.
And both salted and unsalted versions of the green nuts could have the desired effect, as long as it was part of a healthy diet, according to the the Pennsylvania State University study.
The research led by Assoc Prof Sheila West, who is on secondment at the University of Sydney, compared otherwise healthy adults with high cholesterol levels who ate healthy diets without pistachios, to those who ate 42g and 84g of the nuts.
The best results were in those who ate 42 grams of pistachios a day.
Participants' heart responses were measured while they sat a challenging maths test and again when their feet were immersed in cold water.
Assoc Prof West said the results showed that physiological responses to stressful laboratory tasks were affected by the foods consumed.
The results were published in the American Heart Association Journal, Hypertension.