They lower cholesterol, could lower the risk of heart disease and help lose weight. The benefits of the pistachio have been reported on for years. Pistachios originated in the Middle East, were mentioned in Genesis, and became popular in the US through immigrants during 1800s. The first commercial crop was developed in 1976 becoming a booming industry for California, Arizona and New Mexico, according to American Pistachio Growers association. Besides from being an asset, here are reasons to add pistachios to your shopping list.