Pine nuts have been a major part of people’s diets for 10,000 years, according to recent research at the University of Oregon. There’s a plethora of good reasons for why ‘chilgozas’(as we call them in our native tongue) have been around for so long.
These little seeds are a storehouse of Manganese, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium. Iron is instrumental in allowing your body to store and transport oxygen. Magnesium is an integral component of bones and teeth. Manganese goes a long way in balancing your body’s hormonal regulation as well as strengthening your connective tissue (bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilage). Zinc is another wonder-substance. It’s many benefits include, but are not limited to, bolstering your body’s immune system and aiding in speedy wound healing. Per stats determined by the Institute of Medicine, one ounce of pine nuts provides your entire daily recommended amount of Manganese and approximately 20% of your zinc quota. Your daily Iron intake is 17 or 22% taken care of for females and males, respectively. We would be remiss without acknowledging the substantial amounts of Vitamins K and E that pine nuts contain. Both these vitamins play a key role in your cardiovascular health (CVS diseases are some of the biggest killers in both developing and developed countries). Vitamin K aides in clot formation to prevent excessive blood loss post-injury, and Vitamin E goes a long way in helping your body generate new red blood cells. You can receive about 15% of your daily recommended intake of BOTH these vitamins from this source.
Speaking of having a healthy cardiovascular system, the monounsaturated fats one finds in pine nuts have been proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and let’s not even get started on how they help prevent arterial damage that could lead to atherosclerosis and heart attack. They’re also a rich source of antioxidants, helping to prevent nasty free radical damage and allowing you to age better. No wonder the Chinese used to consider the pine tree to be a symbol of immortality, they were on to something!
Get this, the ancient Greeks and Romans used to use a concoction of almonds, honey and pine nuts to improve sexual performance – a primitive Viagra, if you will.
They’re also quite good at turning down your appetite. That’s because the pinolenic acid activates the hormone CCK in your gut to tell your hunger sensors in your brain that you’re full. Bet you didn’t expect that, did you!
This is one power-snack you cannot live without. It doesn’t matter if you’re into eating healthy or not, start incorporating pine nuts into your daily routine and you can thank us later.
Let’s get to how you can eat pine nuts. Everyone knows that these little seeds are an essential component of pesto sauce. The best part is, this sauce is easy enough to make at home. Just grind these nuts along with parmesan cheese and basil (preferably fresh). Toss it into the food processor and keep adding virgin olive oil until it achieves the viscosity you’re aiming for and voila! Pine nuts can be eaten raw, but many would advocate roasting them a bit first to accentuate the flavor. Eat them on their own for a nutritious snack or add a handful to your salad for a bit of nutrient-laden pizzazz. What else we can do with pine nuts? Give us your suggestions.
Image Credits: google