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, 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 (ω-6 fat), pinolenic acid. Recent research has shown its potential use in weight loss by curbing the 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, α and β-phellandrene, α-pinene and β-pinene. Its emollient property helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
1. Pine nuts are rich in Vitamins A and lutein, both of which are known to support sharper vision.
2. They contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fat.
3. Pine nuts build stronger bones, thanks to their Vitamin D content.
4. They boost immunity, because they’re rich in Vitamin C.
5. Pine nuts contain pinoleic acid, which makes you feel fuller faster, and thus aids in weight loss.
6. They are a good source of iron, which is good news for the circulatory and nervous system.
7. The little nut fights free radicals, thus giving Father Time a run for his money.
8. 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