Pine nuts are a popular source of nutrition eversince. These nuts are obtained from a pine tree, which belongs to Pinaceae, genus Pinus family. The nuts are hard and have similar fat content like almonds.
Nutritionists are in favor for pine nuts due to its high content of vitamins and minerals that play an essential role to improve overall health. Pine nut is known by several names including pinon nuts, cedar nuts, pignoli and pinyon nuts. It is commonly found in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.
Health Benefits of Pine Nuts:
1. Anti-Aging Antioxidants
Pine nuts have a wealth of antioxidants, inclkuding lutein, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Antioxidants are essential to your health as these are believed to help in controlling how fast you age by fighting free radicals, which are at the heart of age related deterioration.
Antioxidants are the way of nature in defending your cells against attack of the ROS or reactive oxygen species. Your body naturally circulates various nutrients for their antioxidant properties and manufactures antioxidant enzymes that control destructive free-radical chain reactions.
2. Boost Energy
Pine nuts contain nutrients that help in boosting energy, which includes protein, monounsaturated fat, and iron. Also, pine nuts are a good source of magnesium, in which low levels can lead to fatigue.
Just 1/2 cup of pine nuts provides approximately half of the daily recommended amount of magnesium. This is a benefit in itself because many Americans are deficient.
3. Curbs Your Appetite
If you are planning to lose weight, then consuming pine nuts may help.
Research reported that fatty acids taken from pine nuts lead to the release of high amounts of cholecystokinin or CCK, which is an appetite-suppressing hormone.
Women who ate 3 grams of the fatty acid pinolenic acid before breakfast, slowed the absorption of food in their gut, therefore, decreasing their food intake by at least 37%, as per researchers;
“Korean pine nut or PUFAs polyunsaturated fatty acids, helps in suppressing appetite and affect food intake.”
4. Diabetes Management
Pine nuts are safe to consume for individuals suffering from type-II diabetes. Moderate consumption of pine nuts can help in controlling glucose and in reducing levels of bad cholesterol which might contribute to your cardiovascular health.
Also, diabetics only have a few snack options, and pine nuts, which are filled with nutrients and contains almost zero bad fats, are healthy for diabetics.
5. Eye Health
Pine nuts contain antioxidants and beta-carotene, which are very beneficial for eye health.
Lutein which are present in pine nuts helps your eyes to filter UV light, therefore, preventing macular damage. Also, it prevents your eyesight from deteriorating with age.
6. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Pine nuts have a synergistic blend of compounds that are known to support heart health. This includes magnesium, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin E, and manganese.
Research reported that the pinolenic acid, which are contained in pine nuts support healthy cholesterol levels and may contain LDL-lowering properties, through the enhancement of the liver’s LDL uptake.
7. Strengthen Bones
You need Vitamin K and calcium to keep your bones strong. According to a current study, the high content of vitamin K present in your body, can help in preventing your bones from falling prey to osteoporosis. It is widely used in medication for the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone problems, which makes them denser. When bones are dense, you are prone to fractures.
Pine nuts contain vitamin K, which are healthy and delicious choice to strengthen your bones.
How to Cook with Pine Nuts:
Pine nuts are generally eaten raw; but, you can also roast them before consumption.
As with most nuts, roasting pine nuts give them a distinct aroma and taste. You can sprinkle some pepper and salt, and they are ready to eat. You can also soak the raw nuts in water for at least few minutes to bring out their creamy flavor and texture. Also, roasting pine nuts minimizes its aftertaste.
The seeds of Pine nuts have a buttery and sweet flavor. It is used in the preparation of pasta, pesto, meat curries and casseroles.
Pine nuts are can also be mixed to fruit and vegetable salads. Chopped pine nuts are sprinkled on sundaes, yoghurt, and ice cream to add texture to the dishes. Also, they are added to cookies, biscuits, crunch bars and granola.
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