You’ll never know how scrumptious the seeds of pine trees (genus Pinus, family Pinaceae) are, until you taste them personally. While the other are too small, there are around 20 species of pine seeds that are big enough to be harvested, the same that nut lovers like do devour.
Pine trees grow mainly in the wild cold and taiga woods of the northern hemisphere, more specifically Canada and Siberia. The other more common name of pine nut that you can encounter is: cedar nut. What makes pine nuts so good are their crunchy, yet buttery texture, as well as their slightly sweetish and nutty flavor. Besides the taste, these health-friendly kernels are rich in beneficial nutrients that our bodies can profit from.
So when you want to get yourself some of these heart-healthy kernels, you should know that Kirkland have taken care of things by producing some of the finest organic pine nuts ever!
Nutrition facts and health benefits of pine nuts
Pine nuts’ nutritional profile comprises of numerous vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and other antioxidants. These are among the most calorie-rich nuts possible (there are 673 calories in 100g nuts), as the majority of them come from fats. This shouldn’t frighten you, because most of them are unsaturated fats like oleic acid that actually help you to raise your good cholesterol “HDL” and lower the bad one “LDL”. Studies have repeatedly stressed the importance of a Mediterranean diet for optimal health, including the prevention of coronary artery disease. This type of diet involves namely high consumption of beneficial unsaturated fats, as well as vitamins and minerals.
There are also essential omega 6 fatty acids found present in cedar nuts, and more specifically pinolenic acid. Pinolenic acid is one of the reasons why pine nuts are a highly satiating food, because it activates the release of hunger-suppressing enzymes called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and cholecystokinin. Therefore, we can say that pine nuts are a hunger suppressant. It is also thought that pinolenic acid has cholesterol-lowering qualities, because it tends to increase hepatic LDL uptake.
Looking for gluten-free nuts? Pine kernels are exactly what you need then! They are popular in gluten-free recipes and among gluten intolerant individuals who still want to enjoy this type of food.
Cedar nuts are a great source of vitamin E, because 100g nuts deliver around 9.33mg vitamin E, which equals to 62% of the recommended daily value of this nutrient. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant, needed for the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by shielding it from free radicals.
Pine nuts are a very good host of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, potassium, calcium, and manganese. The latter mineral is found in abundance in pines. As a matter of fact, pine kernels are one of the best manganese sources possible, with 100g nuts containing 8.802 mg (more than 383% of the recommended daily intake). Manganese is a key co-factor for the superoxide dismutase enzyme which has antioxidant qualities.
When you’re aiming at increasing your vitamin B complex intake, pine nuts can be a game changer. They are a host of vitamins such as pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, folates, thiamin, and vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). These nutrients are very important for a person’s optimal well-being, and for the body to work as a well-oiled machine. They play a major role in brain health and the nervous system, while also helping our bodies to convert the food we ingest into the energy we utilize for every activity! These are some of the most essential properties of B vitamins when they’re combined, but each one of them has its own perks as well.
If you’re searching for foods that help preserve eye health, pine kernels are a fine addition to your edible collection. That’s because they contain the carotenoid lutein, a nutrient that may assist you in keeping age-related macular degeneration at bay. The macula is a tiny area with only 2mm width, and is located in the back of the human eye, in the middle fragment of the retina. The retina and macula can become diseased due to reasons still unknown. With the advancing of ARMD, blood vessels that leak blood and fluid begin to grow in the retina, thus doing even more damage. The good thing is that there are pigments in the macula that appear to act as a blue-light filter to shield your macula from oxidation, originating from light. Such macular pigments have the ability to deal with free radicals. Lutein is one of the most dominant pigments in this particular part of the eye. That’s why scientists believe that eating foods rich in these compounds can benefit your eye health and prevent age-related macular degeneration from developing.