Yummy and nutritious.. just like it’s sight it helps us maintain a trim body.
There are many additional reasons to eat pine nuts aside from the flavor, as they’re surprisingly good for your health.
Suppress Your Appetite
If you’re trying to lose weight, eating pine nuts may help. Research showed that fatty acids derived from pine nuts lead to the release of high amounts of cholecystokinin (CCK), an appetite-suppressing hormone.4
Women who consumed three grams of the fatty acid pinolenic acid prior to breakfast slowed the absorption of food in their gut and decreased their food intake by 37 percent. According to researchers:5
“Korean pine nut PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids] suppress appetite and affect food intake.”
- Boost Energy
Pine nuts contain nutrients that help boost energy, including monounsaturated fat, protein and iron. Pine nuts are also a good source of magnesium, low levels of which can lead to fatigue.
One-half cup of pine nuts provides nearly half of the daily recommended amount of magnesium, which is a benefit in itself since so many Americans are deficient.
- Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Pine nuts contain a synergistic blend of compounds known to support heart health. This includes monounsaturated fat, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and manganese.
Research suggests that the pinolenic acid in pine nuts supports healthy cholesterol levels and may have LDL-lowering properties by enhancing the liver’s LDL uptake.6
- Anti-Aging Antioxidants
Pine nuts contain a wealth of antioxidants, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and lutein. Antioxidants are crucial to your health as they are believed to help control how fast you age by combating free radicals, which are at the heart of age related deterioration.
Antioxidants are nature’s way of defending your cells against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Your body naturally circulates a variety of nutrients for their antioxidant properties and manufactures antioxidant enzymes in order to control destructive free-radical chain reactions.
- Vision Health
Pine nuts contain lutein, a carotenoid that may help you ward off eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your macula is a small area just two millimeters wide, located in the back of your eye, in the middle portion of your retina.
For reasons scientists have yet to pinpoint, parts of your retina and macula may become diseased. As AMD progresses, tiny, fragile blood vessels that leak blood and fluid begin to develop in your retina, causing further damage.
However, there is pigment in your macula that seems to act as a blue-light filter to protect your macular region against oxidation by light. In addition, this macular pigment can scavenge free radicals.
Other benefits :
Lutein is one of the predominant pigments in this area, and numerous studies have found that consuming foods rich in these nutrients can significantly reduce your risk of AMD (and non-Hodgkin lymphoma).
- Pine nuts are rich in Vitamins A and lutein, both of which are known to support sharper vision.
- They contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fat.
- Pine nuts build stronger bones, thanks to their Vitamin D content.
- They boost immunity, because they’re rich in Vitamin C.
- Pine nuts contain pinoleic acid, which makes you feel fuller faster, and thus aids in weight loss.
- They are a good source of iron, which is good news for the circulatory and nervous system.
- The little nut fights free radicals, thus giving Father Time a run for his money.
- The protein and magnesium in pine nuts makes them an excellent source of energy, so whenever you’re feeling tired, pop a few and feel like new!
Pine nuts nutrition facts
Crunchy yet butter textured, pleasantly sweet and delicious pine nuts are small edible seeds of female cone in a pine tree. Pine kernels are, indeed, very good source of plant derived nutrients, essential minerals, vitamins and “heart friendly” mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help benefit in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
Botanically, pine trees belong to the family of Pinaceae, in the genus: Pinus. Some of the common names are pinon nuts, pignoli, cedar nuts, chilgoza, pinyon pinenuts…etc.
Health benefits of pine nuts
Pine nuts are one of the calorie-rich edible nuts. 100 g of dry-kernels provide 673 calories. Additionally, they comprise of numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
Their high caloric content chiefly comes from fats. Indeed, the nuts are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (18:1 undifferentiated fat) that helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good-cholesterol” in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which contain good amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Pine or cedar nuts contain essential fatty acid (omega-6 fat), pinolenic acid. Recent research has shown its potential use in weight loss by curbing appetite. Pinolenic acid triggers the release of hunger-suppressant enzymes cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the gut. In addition, pinolenic acid has thought to have LDL-lowering properties by enhancing hepatic LDL uptake.
Likewise in almonds, pines too are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 9.33 mg per 100 g (about 62% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Furthermore, pines are one of gluten free tree nuts, and therefore, are a popular ingredient in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations can be a healthy alternative in people with wheat food allergy, and celiac disease.
Pine nuts are an excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. These vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes in cellular substrate metabolism inside the human body.
Furthermore, pine nuts contain healthy amounts of essential minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. At 8.802 mg per 100 g (about 383% of daily recommended intake), pines are one of the richest sources of manganese. Manganese is an all-important co-factor for antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. It is therefore, consumption of pines helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Pine nut oil has a delicate flavor with sweet aroma, and is being employed in many traditional medicinal applications. The main chemical components in pine oil are borneol, bornyl acetate, a and ß-phellandrene, a-pinene and ß-pinene. Its emollient property helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been employed in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.