Pine nuts, also referred to as pignolia nuts are not nuts but edible seeds of the pine tree, Pinus gerardiana. They are tiny, tear-dropped shaped seeds. They have a tough dark-brown outer shell. These seeds when consumed raw have a sweet, buttery taste.
Nutritional Facts of Pine ‘Chilgoza’ nuts
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one serving of pine nuts weighing 28 gm contains 191 calories, 9 gm of proteins, 1 gm of fibre, 3.7 gm of carbohydrates, 19 gm of fat, 6 mg of iron, 169 mg of potassium, 71 mg of magnesium, 163 mg of phosphorus. 8 mg of zinc, 1 mg of thiamin, 7 mg of vitamin E, and 3 mg of vitamin K.
Potential Health Benefits of Pine nuts
1/5. Improves eye health
1. Vitamin A, which is crucial for good vision is present in pine nuts thus, improving eye health.
2. Lutein, one of the most important antioxidants present in pine nuts helps improve common diseases of the eye.
3. Lutein and vitamin A prevent several eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.
2/5. Strengthens bones
The high vitamin K content of pine nuts helps strengthen the bones. It increases bone mineral density and decreases risk to fractures.
3/5. Reduces risk to cancer
1. The high content of magnesium in pine nuts helps protect against certain types of cancer — particularly pancreatic cancer.
2. The presence of fiber and antioxidants in combination with pine nuts helps in the prevention of colon cancer.
4/5. Boosts energy
1. The iron, protein, monounsaturated fats and magnesium content of pine nuts help in boosting the energy levels.
2. Pine nuts help in repairing and building tissues in the body which might otherwise lead to fatigue.
5/5. Other possible Benefits…
Apart from the health benefits mentioned above, Chilgoza produce few more health benefits such as reduces the risk to heart diseases, protects cells from damage, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,helps in weight loss, strengthens immunity, sustains brain health, alleviates premenstrual syndrome symptoms, promotes healthy digestion, helps detoxify the body, fights inflammation, delays premature ageing, suppresses appetite, benefits diabetics, and enhances skin and hair health.
How to incorporate Pine ‘Chilgoza’ Nuts into your Diet?
Pine nuts can be consumed raw, but are generally toasted or roasted. Toasting pine nuts further enhances the flavor. They can also be consumed in the crushed or powdered form. They can be added to our diet in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…
- Added in sauces.
- Consumed as a snack.
- Sprinkled over a salad.
- Sprinkled on pasta dishes.
- Blended into grain dishes.
- Added in savoury stuffings.
- Added to pesto and other dishes.
- Topped over ice cream or yogurt.
- Added to fillings for poultry, meat, or vegetables.
- Used as a sandwich spread or swirled into the soup.
- Added in baked sweets such as cookies, rolls, and cakes.
How to prepareAvocado and Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts?
Take 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and, little pepper. Whisk all of them.
Take 1 bag of washed and dried baby spinach, 1 sliced avocado, and ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts. Toss all these ingredients in a bowl and serve it.