Unless you’re allergic, you can’t find the reason why a person isn’t going nuts for nuts. And pine nuts are also not an exception. And pine nuts are not an exception. These nuts have been cultivated for thousands of years. In particular, have more than just a delicious taste to offer you.
Read on to learn more about the health benefits of pine nuts.
What Are Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts are the only edible seeds of pine trees. Known scientifically as Pinus gerardiana whose native is eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India. It grows to an altitude of 1800 to 3350 meters.
There are 20 types of pine trees that produce pine seeds. They are also known as ‘pignon’ in French, ‘pionones’ in Spanish, ‘pinioncernen’ in German, and ‘koukounari’ in Greek. Commonly harvested pine seeds come from four pine tree species – Mexican pinon, Colorado pinon, Chinese nut pine, and Italian stone pine.
It’s about nuts (or seeds, technically speaking). How to view history?
History of Pine Nuts
The pine nut cone takes three years to mature and produces about 29 varieties of pine seeds.
Pinus pinea L species are found in the Mediterranean regions. The major pine-producing countries are Turkey, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. There are many species including Pumila, all of which are very different in appearance, shape, size, color, and taste. First, North Korea continued to produce pine nuts, followed by China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Pine nuts offer many essential nutrients, and the goal of all is common, that is to provide the best health benefits for us.
The following section will give a better idea of the nutrition profile.
Are Pine Nuts Good During Pregnancy?
Yes, very much. Because they are rich in nutrients. It is one of the best kinds of stuff that pregnant women must take in.
Pine nuts are a rich source of fiber and can ease constipation, which is one of the common problems during pregnancy. Iron and protein are especially beneficial, particularly if the mother is a vegetarian. Iron and protein play an important role in the health of both mother and baby.
Pine nuts also contain vitamin C (although not much), which can absorb iron more effectively. However, keep in mind that consuming pine nuts in their natural form is always the best.
It solves, doesn’t it? Are you wondering how to pick the right pine nuts and how to store them, read on?
Nutrition Facts of Pine Nuts
Generally, pine nuts are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and protein. They help to maintain diabetes, heart health as well as brain health.
Other nutrients in pine nuts include:
--> Vitamin K
--> Dietary fiber
--> Vitamin E
One ounce of dried pine nuts contains,
- 1 gram of fiber (1% of the daily value)
- 3 micrograms of vitamin K (19% of the daily value)
- 9 grams of protein (7% of the daily value)
- 163 milligrams of phosphorus (16% of the daily value)
- 7 milligrams of vitamin E (9% of the daily value)
- 8 milligrams of zinc (12% of the daily value)
- 6 milligrams of iron (8% of the daily value)
- 71 milligrams of magnesium (18% of the daily value)
- 1 milligram of thiamin (7% of the daily value)
- 169 milligrams of potassium (4% of the daily value)
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts offer many health benefits to you. It is great for aiding weight loss and suppressing appetite. The nutrient combo of the pine nuts improves energy, whereas other essential minerals such as protein and magnesium prevent you from heart attacks as well as diabetes. Moreover, its antioxidants are best to use during pregnancy and improve immunity, vision, skin as well as hair health.
Pine nuts have a wide variety of nutrients that maintain heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. The antioxidants included in pine nuts help with long-term and short-term heart health.
Intaking three servings of pine nuts each week can reduce your risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Also, eating at least one ounce of nuts per day can further reduce your heart disease risk.
Unsaturated fats in pine nuts help to raise HDL or good cholesterol levels and LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to protect you from arrhythmia and decrease blood clots.
The Great Vegan Source of Iron
Pine nuts contain 3 mg of iron per ounce, which is often overlooked by vegetarians or vegans (or anyone in that regard!) as a perfect source of iron. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin – the pigment that carries oxygen to the blood and provides energy to the body. The copper in them helps the body to absorb more iron.
Pine nuts can maintain your blood sugar levels stable, as it has fiber, protein, and fats. Furthermore, pine nuts have magnesium that helps to increase the insulin’s ability to uptake glucose.
Read also: 10 Scientifically Proven Herbs for Diabetes
Enhance Hair and Skin Health
As pine nut oil has healing properties, it can be used as massage therapy. It decreases a lot of skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, sores, scabies, pimples, and itching. This nut oil rejuvenates the skin and gives a fresh look.
A body scrub made with raw pine nuts and coconut oil rejuvenates the skin by reducing dead skin cells. Due to its excellent hydrating and moisturizing properties, it is used as an approved solution for removing dehydrated skin.
Pine nuts are a rich source of vitamin E, which is known to enhance hair growth. Also, it maintains the scalp in good condition. Pine nut oil can be very helpful for those affected by hair loss or thinning hair.
These edible nuts are high in protein. The protein content in nuts protects the hair from damage and maintains it strong, healthy, and lustrous.
Suppress your Appetite
Pine nuts are a great source of fatty acids that can help curb appetite. These fatty acids in pine nuts help to produce a hormone called cholecystokinin. One study found that pine nuts can improve appetite function suppressants by up to 60 percent as long as for 4 hours.
Although pine nuts are high in fat, eating pine nuts regularly can help with weight loss. Because they contain pinolenic acid, which is responsible for weight loss. Recent research has found that it is an effective appetite suppressant. Pinolenic acid stimulates appetite suppressant hormones in the gut. But don’t believe this theory when served with perfect pesto pasta.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Weight Loss – Best Guide
Pine nuts help to build and repair brain cells, thanks to their omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that there is a link between omega-3 fatty acids, improved thinking skills, and the blood flow to the brain. The antioxidants in pine nuts can help reduce cellular stress and inflammation in the brain, which can improve overall cognition and reduce the risk of aging.
Helps to Strengthen Bones
We all know that calcium is the best for bone health. Do you know that vitamin K also helps bones? A study talks about how this vitamin helps in osteoporosis treatment and prevention. It does not only improve bone mineral density but also decreases the fracture rate.
Here is something very interesting. The most common cause of vitamin K deficiency is the intake of cholesterol-lowering drugs. If you are taking pine nuts, then you don’t need any fat-lowering medicine. Because they have the ability to reduce fat, as they’re provided with a rich source of vitamin K.
Read also: Role of Herbal Plants for Bone Health
Cut Cancer Risk
The cancer health benefits of pine nuts may be attributed due to their magnesium content. This mineral is associated with a low risk of various types of cancer. One study shows that a decrease of 100 mg of serum magnesium per day improves pancreatic cancer risk by 24 percent. So improving your blood magnesium level can reduce such risk.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs to Treat Cancer
Pine nuts contain nutrients like protein, magnesium, and iron that can improve your energy levels. You can also eat them like a snack between your meals.
Supports Healthy Skin
Many of the nutrients found in pine nuts play a vital role in giving healthy skin.
According to a 2012 review published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology, the antioxidant vitamin E protects you from the aging processes associated with skin aging.
We all know that pine nuts are a great source of vitamin E; 9.33 mg per 100 g. (Approximately 62% of the recommended daily allowance – RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant needed to maintain the integrity of the mucous membrane and cell membranes of the skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen deprivation.
According to the National Institutes of Health, pine nuts support skin integrity and wound healing as it has zinc. It is important to consume zinc daily as the body does not store this essential mineral.
Pine nuts are also a rich source of copper, an essential mineral needed for collagen production. Collagen is an abundant protein in your body, but your body’s collagen production naturally decreases with age. The Cleveland Clinic reports that it can contribute to health problems such as contractions and muscle weakness or joint pain.
Apart from aging, the main reason for very low collagen is a poor diet: The Cleveland Clinic said that our body needs copper, zinc, vitamin C, and protein for collagen production. Daily intake of Pine nuts contributes all these nutrients to your body. “Overall, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Copper are good for the skin because they reduce inflammation, heal wounds and other skin ulcers, and improve skin moisture,” says Salcedo.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Skin: The Full Review
Supports Energy Production
According to the National Institute of health, pine nuts are a great source of magnesium that is needed for energy production. The iron of pine nuts plays an essential role in helping your body to transport oxygen so that the cells can generate energy. Iron deficiency is common, especially for women of their reproductive age, and is connected with symptoms like weakness and fatigue.
As it contains essential nutrients, pine nuts are recommended for everyday use. Pine nuts are a great source of healthy fats and come with plant-based protein that can increase fullness as a snack.
Pine nuts are a great source of antioxidants lutein. Regular intake of dietary lutein can help to prevent your eye from various diseases like degeneration and cataracts. It also has vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is another essential eye vitamin.
These are the health benefits of pine nuts. But now, we have an important question to address.
Pine Nut Considerations
Select the fresh and evenly colored pine nuts. Pine nuts come from pine trees, so technically, they can be collected from pine trees as well. But it is not recommended to harvest your own unless you know what you are doing. It is dangerous to consume any wild food that has not undergone safe harvesting methods.
Pine nuts quickly become inedible (unfortunately, these are nuts that are high in oil, that tastes delicious as that of butter). To avoid getting your pine nuts bad, buy those only to use for a relatively short period (a few days). In addition, you should check the expiry date to make sure when buying fresh nuts.
You can store the pine nuts in airtight containers or plastic wrappers. The best idea to keep the pine nuts fresh is to store them in the fridge. By this method, pine nuts can last up to three months. By placing the pine nuts in the freezer, you can extend their life of them for a few weeks. If you are not going to eat all the pine nuts then it can be stored well in the freezer for up to nine months.
If you are adding toasted pine nuts in your salad or other dishes, it will give a delicious taste. There are many ways to toast pine nuts, but one of the best ways is to toast pine nuts using a stove. The whole process of toasting does not take more than five minutes. This toasting is the best because you can track them to make sure whether they are toasted evenly and not burnt instead of using an oven.
Leave in your frying pan and toss the pine nuts with a few lines of salt and a little oil (canola oil works well). Do not use too much oil, as the natural oil from pine nuts will do the job themselves.
Turn your frying pan to medium heat. Keep close to the stove with your turner, flip and stir your pine nuts frequently as needed. Fry all sides of each nut for approximately one or two minutes.
Oh, wait. There is more. Do you like to know the various ways you can prepare and cook with pine nuts, here is it.
How to Eat Pine Nuts?
There are lots of ways to consume pine nuts. Here are some ways,
- It is also consumed raw or roasted.
- To prepare meat curries, pesto, and pasta, you can use these seeds.
- You can add pine nuts to vegetable dishes, fish, salads, meat and also to bake bread.
- It can be added to the puddings, stuffings, soups, sweetmeats, cakes, and sauces to enhance the taste.
- Chopped pine nuts are sprinkled on the top of yogurt, sundaes, granola, ice creams, cookies, and biscuits.
- In Spain, pine nuts are topped with sweets.
- In the Middle East cuisines such as sambusek, kibbeh, pine nuts play an essential role.
- You can also add these seeds into puddings, cakes and ice cream, etc.
- To enhance the flavor in soups, grounded seeds can be used.
- In French and Italian dishes, pine nuts are widely used.
- In the Middle eastern cuisines, pine nuts are added to sweet desserts.
- Pine nuts are used to make energy bars in cookies, chocolates, biscuits, and granolas.
- Pine nuts can be sprinkled in vegetable or fruit salads.
- Pine nut oil is used in salad dressing.
- Pine nuts are considered as one of the main ingredients in the Italian pesto sauce.
- Moreover, it can be used in chocolates also.
- The turpentine acts as rubefacient, diuretic, antiseptic and vermifuge.
- You can use the internal parts to cure kidney-related and bladder problems.
- To cure rheumatic affections, take a steam bath using it.
- Pine nuts can cure respiratory ailments like cough, colons, influenza, and tuberculosis.
- You can also use it externally to treat skin problems, scald, wounds, boils and burns.
- It can be used as herbal steam baths, inhalers, liniment plasters, and poultices.
- Pine nut powder and essential oil are used as dietary supplements.
- In homeopathic medicine, pine nuts play an essential role in increasing energy and stamina.
Different Types of Pine Nuts
There are 20 varieties of pine trees, which bear pine nuts. All seem similar but have small differences in nutrient amounts.
Based on pinenut.com,
- New Mexico pinon pine nuts (Pinus edulis): High in buttery taste.
- Italian Stone pine (Pinus pinea): Can be seen in Europe, can be rather bland.
- Chilgoza pine nuts (Pinus gerardiana): Long seeds – good for the confectionery industry.
- Chinese or Siberian pine nuts (Pinus sibirica): Rich oil content – needs refrigeration.
Some Popular Types of Pine Nuts
1. Chinese Pine nuts
It comes with a short triangular and teardrop shape. It is cultivated in Northeast China, southeast Russia, Japan, and the Korean peninsula.
2. European Stone Pine Nuts
These pine nuts have come from the Middle East, Greece, southern France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and North Africa. It has a long and torpedo shape when compared to Chinese nuts.
3. Siberian Pine Nuts
You can find these nuts in the south to central Siberia and Russia far east. It looks small but offers many health benefits.
4. Chilgoza or Himalayan pine nuts
It looks a bit longer and slender when compared to others. It is cultivated in Northern India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan forests.
5. Pinon or pinyon pine nuts (Pinus monophylla, Pinus edulis)
It is a medium-sized nut. Mexico is the largest pine species in the world, but some ranges have restricted the production of important edible nuts locally. Some produce pink pine nuts, while others produce the world’s largest pine nuts. California produces three species that are Pinus ctorreyana, Pinus coulteri, and Pinus sabiniana, which help produce pine nuts. These are edible and are used by the native Americans.
6. Swiss Nut Pine
You can find these nuts in the central European mountains. It comes with purple cones. In Italy, people use the shell of this nut to give flavor and color to local grappa.
How to Prepare Pine Nuts
As pine nuts have a buttery taste, it is most commonly used in pesto. It can also be used in preparing different dishes. It gives a delicious taste when you eat it raw, and you can easily carry it with you like a snack. You can toast pine nuts by using the stove or baking them in the oven. This method can increase the pine nuts mild flavor.
If you are going to buy pine nuts, you should check the expiry date of the pack. Make sure that you are buying fresh pine nuts. You can store them in your fridge or freezer to maintain them fresh for long days. When compared to raw pine nuts, roasting pine nuts increases the shelf life of the pine nuts.
Here are some useful ways to add pine nuts to recipes.
- Mix pine nuts in cereal side dishes like quinoa or rice.
- Mix the pine nuts with the cheese, garlic, basil, and olive oil to prepare a pesto.
- Add them to vegetable side dishes like roasted cauliflower, broccoli, or green beans.
- Use raw or roasted pine nuts in salad or pasta dishes.
- Sprinkle pine nuts over yogurt with fruit and other nuts to make a delicious parfait.
- Mix pine nuts in a homemade hummus.
- Add the top of your pizza with pine nuts for extra crunch.
But now, you have to consider some points. You can use pine nuts in your cooking, as in the following recipes.
Delicious Pine Nut Recipes
Salty-Sweet Pine Nut Bars
- Cake flour 7 ounces
- Cooking spray
- Powdered sugar 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch 1/4 cup
- Salt 5/8 teaspoons
- Fat-free cream cheese 3 ounces
- Butter 2 tablespoon
- Maple syrup 3/4 cup
- Granulated sugar 1/3 cup
- Vanilla extract one teaspoon
- Large eggs 2
- Pine nuts 1/2 cup
- First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spoon the flour lightly into the dry measuring cup. Add flour, powdered sugar, cornflour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and whisk.
Beat the butter and cream cheese by using a blender till it looks like a coarse meal.
- Transfer them into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.
- Pat the mixture evenly in a frying pan. Bake at 400o F for about 20 minutes or until it browns lightly.
- Minimize the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add maple syrup, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Keep stirring the ingredients with a whisk. Stir in pine nuts. Pour the syrup mixture over the crust and spread the nuts evenly on top. Sprinkle over the remaining salt.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it cool.
- Cut into squares, serve and taste.
Hope so, the recipes are sure to taste great. But hey, how about looking at some fast facts?
Avocado And Spinach Salad With Pine Nuts
- Sliced avocado 1
- Toasted pine nuts 1/4 cup
- Olive oil three tablespoons
- Dried baby spinach 1 bag
- Fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon
- Pepper and salt as needed
- Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper
- Take a bowl and toss every ingredient.
- Serve and eat
Fast Facts on Pine Nuts
- Although most pine nuts take 18 months to grow, some of them take up to three years.
- Pines reproduce by cones, which are conical structures with male and female sex organs.
- The seeds have wings that are scattered by the wind.
- European pine nuts are a luxury product. They cost up to €100 (or about $114) per kilo.
- Chinese pine nuts have a bitter taste, while those from Pakistan are sweeter.
Wait, you should also consider certain things about pine nuts.
Pine Nuts Cautions
Pine nuts are the best choice to add in many recipes, but there are some notable precautions.
Some people are known to be allergic to pine nuts, which is called a “pine tree allergy,” So it is not recommended for people who have nut allergies. And use them with caution.
2. High Carbohydrates
If you’re chopping carbs, then pine nuts may not be for you to snack on. This is because they contain more carbs when compared to other types of nuts. However, if you make pesto and need these nuts for your recipe or want to eat them occasionally, keep in mind that pine nuts still work for low-carb foods such as ketogenic foods in moderation.
3. Pine mouth
Properly known as metallogenesis, “pine mouth” is a metallic flavor that ends up in your mouth after eating pine nuts or pine nut oil. Although it does not seem harmful (the taste lasts for a while, but it should go away in a few weeks or days), it can certainly be an irritant associated with pignolias.
A note on this odd phenomenon: Getting a “pine mouth” can be caused by the intake of pine nuts from some Chinese type of pine nuts.
How Many Pine Nuts Can I Eat in a Day?
You can consume 15 to 20 pine nuts per day. If you are under any medication, you should consult your healthcare provider before you can consume it.