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8 Health Benefits of Pine Nuts

 There is a lot of talk about the health benefits of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and cashews, but few know that pine nuts also have many health benefits, or that they’re even considered nuts ...

 

As part of a tasty pesto sauce, salad or plain snack alongside a TV show or in the middle of the day, you can add this wonderful nut into your menu in such a variety of ways. Read about the 8 health benefits of pine nuts and also make it a star in your menu as a healthy snack or as a key ingredient in foods like pine nut-pesto which you’ll learn how to make at the end of the article!

pine nuts

1. Improve eye health

Vision worsens as the years pass but pine nuts can help delay vision diseases such as macular degeneration because they contain lutein, a carotenoid that helps fight eye diseases of this kind. Researchers have yet to find the exact reason why the retinal fluid at the back of the eye may suffer from various defects, but a study conducted at the University of Florida found that lutein helps inhibit various oxidation processes that damage the eye and thus inhibits the development of diseases affecting this area.

2. Protect heart health

Pine nuts contain several components such as vitamin E, magnesium and unsaturated fats, the combination of which is known as an ideal match that protects the heart from various diseases. These components also help "cleanse" blood vessels around the heart, thus preventing various diseases associated with vascular occlusion. Apart from the healthy combination of these ingredients, the phenolic acid found in pine nuts helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, which contribute to the health of the heart and body in general.

pine nuts

3. Strengthen the immune system

If you want to strengthen your immune system, try adding pine nuts to your meals. Pine nuts contain vitamin C, which is known as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight various infections and makes it an important component in the fight against various diseases in the body. This essential vitamin prevents the expansion of oxidation processes in the cells, processes that damage the integrity of the cells and make the body vulnerable to infections. To further strengthen your immune system, add more antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as garlic, with your pine nuts, and get a powerful natural remedy to help fight infections and diseases.

4. Increase energy

Pine nuts are rich in many nutrients such as unsaturated fats, proteins and iron (100 grams of pine nuts contain 5.53 mg of iron, about 70 percent of the recommended daily intake) that helps fight fatigue and gives the body energy. Another energetic component in pine nuts is magnesium, which low levels of it in the body can cause fatigue. Half a cup of pine nuts contains close to half the recommended amount of magnesium (150 mg) per day, making pine nuts an excellent energizing snack.

pine nuts

5. Increase satiety

For those of you trying to fight excess weight, try adding pine nuts to your daily diet. These special nuts contain phenolic acid that causes the release of high amounts of the hormone colchicine, which is known to suppress appetite so it contributes to a feeling of rapid satiety. A 2002 study found that when eating pine nuts, the feeling of satiety occurs faster than in other foods, thus allowing you to avoid excessive eating that can lead to weight gain.

6. Fight signs of aging

Pine nuts contain a wide variety of antioxidants such as vitamins A, B, C and E, and lutein, which help fight age-related symptoms and contribute to a younger physical appearance. These antioxidants fight various harmful processes that occur in the body and make us "grow old" faster. They help the cells stay intact for longer, thus preventing cellular damage that causes disease and causes the skin to wrinkle both of which contribute to the aging process.

pine nuts

7. Improve blood circulation

As mentioned above, 100 grams of pine nuts contain 70% of the recommended daily consumption of iron meaning they contribute significantly to the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Iron helps red blood cells carry more oxygen and transfer it to various organs such as the lungs and heart and thus contributes to the overall health of the body. This iron supplement is especially important for people who exercise and need greater oxygen utilization in the body than people who don’t.

8. Prevent excessive bleeding and pain relief

Pine nuts contain large amounts of vitamin K which plays an important role in the coagulation system; it participates in the process of creating clots and thus prevents excessive bleeding during injury. This vital vitamin also causes blood vessel expansion and effective blood flow. When this occurs, headaches and menstrual pain caused by narrow blood vessels dissipate. 100 grams of pine nuts will provide you with about 65% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and will help your body maintain a healthy blood flow.

pine nuts

How do you choose pine nuts?

We're used to tapping on watermelons, feeling tomatoes and smelling melons to gauge their quality and pine nuts are no different. Pine nuts have many health benefits but are sensitive to the environment, so it is important that you buy the products that will give you the best that this wonderful nut has to offer. To be able to choose "healthy" pine nuts, note the following:

  • Color - Purchase pine nuts which are golden and uniform in color, indicating that their processing was normal and that they were not damaged.
  • Size - Pine nuts should be of uniform size so it is important to note that their dimensions are similar. This uniformity indicates adequate growth conditions that preserved their wonderful properties.
  • Perfection – Pine nuts that have been cut in half or are "injured" are not recommended for purchase because they have been damaged in processing or have been standing on the shelf for a long time and therefore contribute less to us in terms of health.
  • Weight - Pine nuts are small but their mass is large relative to their size. If you are buying pine nuts by weight, hold a handful and see if they feel heavy in your hand. If this is the case, you can be sure that they are good.
  • Home Storage - When buying peeled pine nuts, take into consideration that their shelf life is quite short since they don’t have their protective shell. Pine nuts that are still in their shells keep for longer, so try to buy this type or eat peeled pine nuts soon after purchase.
 

Pine-Nut Pesto Recipe

Pine nuts can be a great addition to your weekly menu or as a light snack during the day, but if you want to enjoy them in a slightly different way, try the next recipe for pesto that can be used in salads, over fish, in pasta or even as a spread to improve almost any sandwich.

pine nuts

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  •  ½ - ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated pecorino cheese (optional addition)

Instructions:

1. Place basil, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely blended.

2. Add ½ cup oil and work the ingredients until smooth.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, process, check the flavors and correct them if necessary.

4. Add cheese: If you want to add pecorino cheese to the sauce, transfer it to a serving bowl, add the cheese and stir well.

5. Freezing: If the sauce has to be frozen, transfer it to a container that is suitable for freezing and pour the remaining oil over it. It can be frozen for up to three months.

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