1. Health & Lifestyle

Pine Nuts – a Great Snack to manage your weight & stay fit

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
pine nuts
Pine nuts (Image credit - www.pursuperfoods.com)

Crispy and delicious, pine nuts are small edible seeds of the pine cone. Scientifically known as ‘Pinus Gerardiana’, the pine trees are native to eastern part of Afghanistan, Korea, China, Russia and north-west India.

Even though there are around 20 species of pine seeds, only a few of them are cultivated. It takes about 18 months to 3 years for the pine nuts to grow fully. And once they are harvested, the nuts must be shelled and consumed shortly afterwards. It requires Mediterranean weather conditions to grow and is harvested mostly by hands.

They are a great option for snacks and can be eaten raw or roasted. They have a sweet crunchy flavour that can be enjoyed with a cup of tea. They are not only tasty to eat but are also rich in minerals, vitamins and contain monosaturated fats and antioxidants with fatty acids that help in reducing weight. It also reduces the risk of diabetes, heart attacks and is great for the skin and hair. 

Roasted Pine nuts

Health Benefits of pine nuts

  • Pine nuts help in maintaining the body’s hormonal health as they are rich in zinc.

  • It contains beta-carotene and antioxidants that helps in improving eye vision. The presence of ‘lutein’ prevents the eyesight from getting damaged as we get older.

  • If you are a diabetic, then you must add pine nuts in your daily diet as it will help in managing high glucose levels and reduce bad cholesterol.

  • Pine nuts contain vitamins E, K and magnesium that help in lowering the blood pressure levels and also reduce the risk of heart attack.

  • These nuts are a rich source of magnesium, known as the ‘Mood Mineral’. Hence it helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. They calm the body and improve sleep and memory.

  • The presence of vitamin E and antioxidants in pine nuts help enhance your skin health. It also provides moisture to the skin and has anti-ageing properties too. It prevents you from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

  • Pine nuts help fight with hair fall problems. It contains high protein content, which helps in protecting the hair from getting damaged.

  • The high nutrient content in pine nuts also helps increase your energy and prevent from exhaustion. It improves the oxygen use in your body thus increasing energy levels.

  • For pregnant women, pine nuts are very good for the health of mother and baby as it is packed with lots of protein and iron.

  • It is also rich in vitamin K and calcium that helps in building stronger bones.

Some interesting facts about Pine Nuts

  • Pine nuts are also known as ‘pinones’ in Spanish and ‘pignon’ in French.

  • They are widely used in Middle Eastern food like kibbeh and baklava.

  • In Egyptian culture, pine nuts were used for treating illness and other medicinal purposes.

  • It is a food staple in a few North American tribes.

Although pine nuts are little costly but adding a handful of these in your daily diet will be very good for your health. You can eat them the way you want – roast it or add it to your smoothies or salads.

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