6 Health Benefits of Pine Nuts
Last updated on August 7, 2011
Pine nuts are not really nuts but are the edible seeds of about 20 different species of pine cone. They have been eaten as food since the Paleolithic period and today are most commonly eaten as an ingredient in pesto sauce.
Here are six health benefits of pine nuts.
Even though they are high in fat, eating pine nuts on a regular basis can boost your weight loss efforts because they contain pinoleic acid, which research has found to be an effective appetite suppressant. Pinoleic acid works by triggering the release of two hunger suppressant hormones, cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).
In addition to good circulation, pine nuts also contribute to a healthy heart. They are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been linked with lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart attack. They are also high in vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, iron, and manganese, all of which help the cardiovascular system.
High in Iron
Pine nuts are a great source of iron, which is a key nutrient for many processes of the body, including circulation and nerve regulation. The copper they contain helps the body absorb more of the iron.
The antioxidants in pine nuts slow down the aging process because they help to remove free radicals from the body. When higher levels of free radicals are present, signs of aging will increase and those free radicals may also cause cancerous cells to grow. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as pine nuts, will reduce the risk of these health concerns. The copper in pine nuts also contributes to their anti-aging arsenal.
Pine nuts contain lutein, an antioxidant that is crucial to the prevention of eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They also contain vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, another important eye vitamin.
When you are feeling tired or fatigued, pine nuts can give you the boost that you need because they contain protein and magnesium. It has been found that magnesium helps to improve symptoms of fatigue and it is also beneficial for tension release and muscle cramping alleviation.