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health benefits of pine nuts

10 health benefits of pine nuts

Published on July 29, 2020

Pine nuts are among the fanciest and the most expensive nuts. Like any other nuts, pine nuts come with lots of benefits. They are packed with minerals and vitamins and can protect the body against different health problems. These nuts can also add flavour and extraordinary texture to the foods you cook.

Therefore, you need to know more about this fancy nut and add it to your diet to enjoy its taste and benefits. In this post, we are going to tell you what pine nuts are, what benefits they have, and how you can add them to your daily cooking.

What do you know about pine nuts?

  • Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine cones. Although several pine trees can produce pine nuts, only 18 species of these trees that are in Asia, Europe, and North America can provide the pine nuts that are eatable by humans.
  • Normally, it takes three years for pine nuts to grow.
  • These nuts are harvested in summer.
  • Pine nuts are one of the hardest nuts to harvest. The cones should be smashed, and the seeds should be separated by hand, which will take a lot of time. That’s one of the reasons why pine nuts are so expensive.
  • Moreover, there is another shell around the final nut that needs to be removed before eating. However, the final product that you buy in the store doesn’t have this shell, which indicates that the process of making this product has gone longer than you think.
  • Pine nut was a popular food since 300 BC.
  • All the pine nuts don’t look the same. The ones that grow in Asia are shorter and stubbier, and the ones that are produced in Europe have longer shapes.

What are the health benefits of pine nuts?

  1. Help with weight-loss
    The dietary fiber and certain fatty acids in the pine nuts can help release a hormone, which can suppress appetite. Therefore, when you eat pine nuts, you feel fuller for a long time. As a result, you won’t feel the necessity of eating unhealthy snacks just to curb your appetite. Having pine nuts in your weight-loss diet can help you burn belly fat and lose weight without having any problem or feeling any discomfort.
  2. Pine nuts are energy-boosting
    Pine nuts contain monounsaturated fat, iron, and protein that all of them can help boost energy levels. Moreover, these nuts are rich in magnesium, which can repair tissues in the body that might lead to fatigue. Thus, eating an adequate number of pine nuts can help you feel more energetic during the day.
  3. Reduce the risk of heart diseases
    Pine nuts are loaded with monounsaturated fats, which are considered as a healthy fat. Therefore, like any other nuts, eating pine nuts can be good for the heart too. Additionally, pine nuts contain vitamins E and K, and magnesium, that all help prevent different heart diseases. Vitamin K can help to form blood clots, and vitamin E helps produce red blood cells. The healthy fat in these nuts also can lower the level of bad cholesterol, which is the main cause of most of the heart diseases.
  4. Good alternative for diabetics
    The main concern that diabetics have, is what they eat. In fact pine nut, like other nuts, can be a great alternative for diabetics as they don’t contain any sugar, and won’t increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, consuming pine nuts can help diabetic control their glucose level, and reduce bad cholesterol; both are risky to them.
  5. Improve brain health
    Pine nuts are rich in iron, which is great for brain health, and also can help the body transport and store oxygen. Therefore, consuming enough numbers of pine nuts can help the brain to stay healthy and conscious. Moreover, the magnesium in this nut can also wake up the brain and makes it more concentrated.
  6. Strengthen bones
    Calcium is the major mineral that can help strengthen the bones. However, the amount of calcium in pine nut is not high; but instead, it contains vitamin K, which is a great alternative to calcium in case of being beneficial to the bones. This vitamin can increase bone mineral density and reduce fracture rates. Moreover, vitamin K is helpful in treatment after bone injuries.
  7. Reduces the risk of cancers
    Studies have shown that the deficiency in magnesium can higher the risk of cancer by 24 percent. Therefore, consuming foods that contain magnesium can help to lower such risk. Fortunately, pine nuts are rich in magnesium. Each serving of pine nuts (almost 28 grams) contains 17% of daily needed magnesium, which is a great amount for normal people who don’t have any magnesium deficiency.
  8. Improves skin and hair health
    Pine nuts are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are great for skin and hair. Antioxidants, known as anti-aging mineral, can slow down aging and make you look and feel younger. You either can eat pine nuts or use their oil to improve your hair or skin health. You can also make great face masks with pine nuts oil, which is suitable for sensitive skin types. It also has moisturizing effects on the skin.
  9. Enhances eye vision
    One of the most effective vitamins in pine nuts is vitamin A, which is great for vision health. Moreover, pine nuts contain an antioxidant called lutein, which is known as the eye vitamin. This nutrient can help prevent different eye diseases, such as glaucoma and also fight damages that are caused by free radicals. Therefore, consuming pine nuts is good for eye health.
  10. Helps decrease anxiety and depression
    The impact that pine nuts have on brain health is more than just making it more aware and conscious. The magnesium in pine nuts is an exceptional nutrient to fight depression and stress. Consuming this nut can calm the body and help you sleep better. Moreover, you will be more concentrated, and your memory will work much better after removing the signs of depression and anxiety.

Do pine nuts have any side effects?

Tree nuts are the most allergic nuts, and since pine nuts are a type of tree nuts, some people might be allergic to them too. Eating pine nuts may cause taste disturbance, which is known as pine nut mouth or pine nut syndrome, which is one of the side effects of eating pine nuts.

The symptoms are the bitter and metallic taste. However, this problem is not life-threatening and will only last a couple of days. Although it doesn’t need any medical care, you can go for a check-up after you notice these symptoms.

How many pine nuts to eat in a day?

Although pine nuts have many benefits for the body, eating too many of them may cause problems. Therefore, you need to know how many pine nuts you can eat in a day without being concerned about their calories or side effects.

Commonly, it’s recommended to eat up to 30 grams of each nut per day. However, you should be aware of all the other foods you eat during the day to avoid consuming more calories than you need.

That’s why it’s recommended to eat up to 15 kernels of pine nuts in a day besides other foods or mix it with other nuts and dried fruits to enjoy a more energetic snack during the day.


How can I consume pine nuts?

Pine nuts are normally consumed raw. However, sometimes they are roasted or toasted to bring out more flavour. Moreover, you can cook with pine nuts too.

For example, pesto sauce is one of the most popular sauces you can make with this tasty and fancy nut. You can also find many recipes to make cakes or different foods with pine nuts.


How should you store pine nuts?

Like other nuts, pine nuts can be stored for a long time. However, there are some conditions you need to take care of. Pine nuts should be kept in a cool and dark place. You can also keep them at room temperature for at most one week.

Although they are still eatable after this period, they might have lost their quality or even flavour. It’s better to keep them in a refrigerator or cool storage.

Pine Nuts Nutrition Facts

Pine nuts calories191
Protein3.9 g
Dietary fibre1 g
Carbohydrate3.7 g
Potassium169.2 mg
Polyunsaturated fat10 g
Monounsaturated fat5 g
(30 grams)

Bottom Line

Pine nuts are a type of tree nuts that come with many nutrients. As a fancy and expensive nut, pine nut can reduce the risks of many diseases and also boost energy and the immune system.

It is very easy to add this nut to your diet because there are many recipes that can help you cook with pine nuts. However, you should always take care of the number of pine nuts you add to your diet and make sure you are not allergic to them.


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