Pine nuts are seeds of the pine. It is estimated that around twenty species of pine actually produce seeds that are big enough to be collected. On the other side the rest of pines also have seeds but these are way too small to be harvested. The very process of harvesting is rather difficult. This reflects onto the price of these nutritious nuts.
This nut is abundant in proteins. The mostly consumed are seeds of Pinus pin, Pinus edulis, and Pinus cembroides. There is difference between the Chinese and European types of pine nuts. European types possess more proteins in comparison to Chinese types. On the other hand the flavor of Chinese types is rather strong. The nut is approximately 1 to 5 cm long and one cone consists of more than a hundred seeds.
Health Benefits of Pine Nuts
Apart from proteins pine nuts are relatively rich in fats and amino acids. Pine nuts contain high levels of monosaturated fats and arginine. This is why they are so nutritious. Both European and American types are great source of vitamins B1 and B3. There are several minerals present in pine nuts and they include copper, manganese, magnesium and molybdenum. Above all the minerals zinc is most present. B2 vitamin is present in some types of pine nuts. Vitamin E is another vitamin that is present in pine nuts. Potassium and iron are not present in all types of pine nuts.
Effects on Cholesterol
These nuts have been shown effective in reduction of cholesterol levels in blood. Additionally they can also be efficient in stabilizing of the increased blood pressure. Oil obtained from pine nuts is an excellent warrior against cholesterol. This is explained by the presence of pinoleic acid which stimulates the liver to take over LDL or bad cholesterol.
Effects on Weight Loss
The effects of pine nuts onto the appetite have been extensively studied. The result of one study showed that two components called endogenous cholecystokinin and glucagon like peptid-1 are responsible for feeling of fullness after eating pine nuts. This fact has been used and now we have pine nuts oil that is widely used in suppression of appetite.
Effects on the Heart
The prevention of certain heart conditions is a result of the presence of monosaturated fats. Additionally high levels of potassium and magnesium also act as mighty protectors of the heart.
All the people who are suffering from allergies to peanuts or other sort of nuts are supposed to be careful with pine nuts as they are source of allergy provoking proteins.