A source of omega-3 fats for a variety of health benefits, pine nuts are also rich in vitamin E, zinc, and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols.

Pine nuts come from several species of pine tree. All have similar nutritional benefits, although the longer Asian types contain more oil. They are rich in polyunsaturated fat omega-6s, but also contain some of the less widely available omega-3s that are important for heart health as well as brain power. Pine nuts are very rich in Vitamin E and zinc, two antioxidants that help the heart, boost the immune system, and increase fertility. They also contain sterols and stanols, compounds that help lower blood cholesterol. High in omega-6 fats and contain omega-3s. Contain plant sterols for cholesterol lowering and a healthy immune system. Rich in zinc and vitamin E. Good source of a range of minerals and fiber.

Practical tips:
Pine nuts have a rich and yet delicate flavor with a hint of resin. They tend to go rancid quickly so buy in small quantities, store in a refrigerator, and use within a few weeks. Pine nuts go well with spinach, strong cheeses, golden raisins, and oily fish. You can make a basil pesto with fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil. Lightly dry-fry the nuts to make toasted pine nuts, but do not overcook as they can burn easily and oxidize. Pine nuts are best eaten raw.

Research shows that pine nuts have been used for food since the Paleolithic period, which ended around 40,000 years ago.

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