A nutrition-dense seed hiding in a nut’s name – Pine nuts are anything but ordinary. This evergreen nut has been around for ages and has been enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans since time immemorial. Native to South Africa, Pinenuts are harvested from Pinecones and are a well-known aphrodisiac.
Also known as Pignolia nuts and Chilgoza, this delicious nut is an excellent source of healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber.
Out of 20 species of pine seeds, The Mexican Pine nut, The colorado Pine nut, the Chinese Pine nut, the Italian stone Pine nut are the most popular ones (1). It takes about 18 – 36 months for this expensive superfood to mature and ready to be consumed.
How many Pine nuts should we eat in a day?
Studies have shown that consuming 1 tablespoon of pine nuts a day along with other low-calorie snacks reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and hormonal imbalance considerably. This dry fruit is a rich source of mono-saturated fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Nutritional value of Pine nuts (As per the United States Department of Agriculture) (2)
1 oz (170 kernels/ 28gm) of pine nuts contains –
- Calories – 191
- Fat – 20gm
- Sodium – 0.6mg
- Carbohydrates – 3.5gm
- Fiber – 1.1gm
- Sugar – 1gm
- Protein – 4 gm
- Fiber – 1gm (1% of the daily value)
- Potassium – 169mg (4% of the daily value)
- Thiamin – 1 mg (7% of the daily value)
- Iron – 6mg (8% of the daily value)
- Vitamin E – 7mg (9% of the daily value)
- Zinc – 8mg (12% of the daily value)
- Phosphorus – 163mg (16% of the daily value)
- Magnesium – 71mg (18% of the daily value)
- Vitamin K (19% of the daily value)
How to eat pine nuts?
This winter nut has a creamy texture and is a popular low-calorie snack. Pine nuts can be eaten raw and they also make for a great ingredient for – smoothies, pesto sauce, protein bars, Pine nut oil, yogurt topping, hummus, and salads.
Why you should add pine nuts to your diet?
Here are 10 health benefits of pine nuts –
1. The most nutritious way to manage diabetes
Did you know – Over 100 million Americans are living with diabetes and pre-diabetes (3). Pinenuts with their high nutritional value, healthy protein, unsaturated fats, and magnesium can help them in increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing glycemic index, and maintaining a healthy weight (4).
2. A delicious heart-healthy food
Chilgoza or Pine nuts are one of the most heart-healthy foods in the world. They contain L-arginine, phytosterols, vitamin E, and vitamin K, all of which boosts red blood cell production, widens the arteries, lowers bad cholesterol, in turn reducing the chances of a heart attack considerably (5).
3. The easiest way to sharpen the brain
This evergreen nut contains iron and magnesium which are also known as the mood-enhancing nutrients. Not only do they ensure proper blood supply to the brain cells but they also help in keeping you away from stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional outbursts (6) (7) (8).
4. An effective way to fight infections and prevent cancer
Snacking onto Pine nuts will ensure you get enough fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium, all of which are known for their inflammation-reducing, cancer-fighting properties (9). According to a recent study, consuming the daily requirement of this heart-healthy food reduces the chances of colon and pancreatic cancer by over 20 percent (10).
5. A sure shot way to have a brainy child
Pinenuts are a pregnant woman’s best friend. According to recent studies, pregnant women who consumed 90gms of pinenut every week are more likely to have a brainy child (11). These evergreen nuts offer folic acid and essential fatty acids which helps in the development of brain tissue and cognitive skills of the fetus.
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A nutrition-dense seed hiding in a nut’s name – Pine nuts are anything but ordinary. This evergreen nut has been around for ages and has been enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans since time immemorial…
6. A Superfood for eyes
Munching onto this dry fruit will help you get magical carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also known as the eye vitamins (12). This high protein snack absorbs harmful UV rays and prevents the weakening of eyesight, macular degeneration, cataract, and other common eye ailments.
7. A storehouse of a bone-strengthening nutrient
A common misconception is that only calcium is responsible for strengthening the bones. Another crucial aspect of bone health is Vitamin K which prevents osteoporosis and calcification of arteries (13). Pinenuts (along with cashew nuts) is one of the major sources of this bone-strengthening nutrient. In a recent study, it was found that people consuming daily requirement of Vitamin K are 22 percent less likely to fracture their bones after a fall (14) (15).
8. Pine nuts expedite weight loss
Surprisingly, pine nuts with their highest fat content, help you lose weight. They contain fiber, healthy fats and, and pinolenic acid – all of which are well-known satiety agents (16). They also aid in digestion and cutting down on the stubborn belly fat. According to NHANES, people who regularly add this superfood into their diet are more likely to have a smaller waist circumference (17).
9. Boost your multi-tasking skills
Pinenuts are a great source of instant energy and play a vital role in breaking down glucose. They help the body in repairing damaged tissues, strengthening connective tissues, keeping away the fatigue, and giving an instant boost of energy (18) (19).
10. The secret to perfect skin and hair
Pine nuts are also popular for their anti-aging properties. These nutritional powerhouses nourish the skin, reduce hair fall, and treat several skin problems like eczema, pimples, and scabies (20).