Pine-nuts ~ Super Nuts & Seeds

A Brief History

A high protein nut that come from the cones that grow on pine trees.

The pine family of trees produce both male and female pine cones.

Although nuts are only found in fertilized female cones.

Harvesting of the nuts can be a fairly labor-intensive task.

Since the cones need to be heated to help dislodge the nuts.

This is why pine nuts are generally more expensive than other nuts.

There are well over a hundred varieties of pine.

Yet less then a handful produce seeds that are useful (many are too small).

The main varieties of the pine nut are the Pinus pin.

A Mediterranean stone pine.

Pinus edulis, a pine that grows in southwest US.

And Pinus cembroides, a Mexican nut pine.

The seeds themselves although they fall under the same umbrella of pine nut, are also known as pigon, pignoli and pignolia.

Chinese varieties are known for their strong flavor, while European types have higher levels of protein.

Their size can vary from about 1 – 5cm in length, with over a hundred seeds coming from one cone.

Pine-nuts have been used for culinary purposes around the world for centuries.

In ancient Greece they were thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities and preserved in honey.

And Hopi and Navajo tribes have been recorded as using them as source of protein.

They either ate them dried or ground the nuts into a course powder then mixed the paste with water to make porridge.


Along with high protein and fat levels, pine-nuts are also filled with amino acids, making them a great source of nutrition.

Pignoli (European pine nuts ) and pifiions (American) are an excellent source of vitamins B1 and B3, manganese, copper, magnesium, molybdenum.

They're also a very good source of zinc.

They are a good source of vitamin-B2, vitamin-E, and potassium.

Pifions are a better source of vitamin-B1, and pignoli a better source of iron.

Cholesterol Reduction

Consumption of pine nut oil (and in some cases as much as 17 g. daily) has been shown to help reduce cholesterol.

Further it can help combat high blood pressure by normalizing the lipid spectrum of blood.

There has been considerable research to show that pine nut oil can also help reduce cholesterol.

Pine nut oil contains pinolenic acid, which affects the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor activity of human hepatoma HepG2 cells.

Essentially, pinolenic acid stimulates hepatic LDL uptake, which in turn lowers cholesterol levels in the body.

For Weight Loss

At the University of Liverpool the School of Psychology undertook a study to find out about the effects pine nuts have on appetite.

Results showed that pine nuts contain two important chemicals.

Endogenous cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

That once consumed, contribute to individuals feeling satiated, and not wanting to eat further.

A further study in the Netherlands supports these findings.

Concluding that Korean pine nuts in particular.

Can work as an appetite suppressant through an increasing effect on satiety hormones and a reduced prospective food intake’.

Oil has been extracted from the pine nuts and used as a dietary supplement which can help suppress the appetite.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Pine nuts don’t just have high levels of monounsaturated fat and arginine.

They also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium, and these four ingredients can assist in preventing heart disease.

Adverse Reactions

Allergy provoking proteins are present and individuals allergic to peanuts and other nuts are advised to avoid pine-nuts.

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