Pine nuts have been a part of people’s diet for many years. They go back to the Paleolithic times according to historical evidence and were a popular food item with the Egyptians, and the Romans, the Greeks, the Asians, and the Europeans.
Our ancestors used pine nuts both as food and as medicine to treat certain illnesses. And researchers confirm that pine nuts are indeed healthy. They contain an array of nutrients and provide many health benefits. In addition, they may even be an aphrodisiac if we were to trust the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The nutritional content of pine nuts
Pine nuts are rich in vitamin E, manganese, copper, vitamin K, and are also a good source of various other nutrients. They promote healthy aging, cardiovascular health, and good vision.
100 grams of dried pine nuts contain the following:
Vitamin A 29.0 IU Calcium 16.0 mg
Vitamin C 0.8 mg Iron 5.5 mg
Vitamin E 9.3 mg Magnesium 251 mg
Vitamin K 53.9 mcg Phosphorus 575 mg
Thiamin 0.4 mg Potassium 597 mg
Riboflavin 0.2 mg Sodium 2.0 mg
Niacin 4.4 mg Zinc 6.4 mg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg Copper 1.3 mg
Folate 34.0 mcg Manganese 8.8 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.3 mg Selenium 0.7 mcg
Choline 55.8 mg
Betaine 0.4 mg
One of the most important nutrients in pine nuts is iron. Iron serves an essential role in the human body, and it regulates various processes, carrying oxygen in red blood cells and regulating the central nervous system.
A healthy dose of pine nuts is recommended to pregnant women who need increased amounts of iron to supply the growing fetus.
Pine nuts are also recommended to athletes for increased athletic performance, being known that many athletes experience iron deficiency.
But everyone can benefit from consuming pine nuts because their health benefits extend much further than this.
Pine nuts protect against premature aging. They contain antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage in the body and even prevent diseases from installing. Due to the various antioxidants it contains, the pine nut protects against premature aging, but also macular degeneration and other eye-related diseases.
Pine nuts protect the heart. They contain oleic acid and are in fact the nuts with the highest concentration of this healthy monounsaturated fat. Some of the benefits of the oleic acid include:
- Reducing cholesterol;
- Reducing blood pressure;
- Protecting the arteries;
- Protecting cell membranes from free radicals:
- Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
Pine nuts supercharge the brain. The oleic acid content in the nut promotes proper nerve functioning in the brain and prevents related illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, loss of vision and cognitive dysfunction.
Pine nuts are energy boosters. They contain protein, 13.7 grams protein per 100 grams serving size, which represents 27 percent of the daily recommended intake. Protein is known to repair and build tissues in the body and is a nutrient that fuels the body. It provides long-lasting energy with being a slow burning fuel.
Pine nuts are good for vision. They contain the carotenoid known as lutein which promotes good vision and protects against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While the exact cause for AMD hasn’t been discovered, researchers have found that foods containing lutein can help ward off the disease.