A Handful of Pine Nuts Keeps the Doctor Away

Did You Know… 

… that a simple seed used since Paleolithic times has astounding health benefits for weight loss, heart health, vision, and anti-aging?

Most modern people don’t recognize the seeds of pine cones as a superfood, but our Paleolithic ancestors certainly may have—they relied on these seeds for sustenance.  Pine cone seeds are now known as “pine nuts” (even though they are actually not nuts), and they’ve been a time-honored nutritive source of flavor for European, Asian, and North American cuisines across the centuries.

These small buttery-tasting delights are small pearls of antioxidants, essential minerals, and amino acids.

Whittle Away Your Waistline 

One of the challenges of “dieting” is finding tasty foods that fill you up without pushing you over your calorie limits.  Eighty pine nuts have only 95 satisfying calories.

Pine nuts are also concentrated with pinoleic acid, a proven appetite suppressant.  Pinoleic acid signals your body to release two hunger-inhibiting hormones: cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

Heal Your Heart 

Pine nuts are made up of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.  The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk for heart attack and stroke.  But oleic acid isn’t the only heart healthy nutrient pine nuts are rich in—the list is extensive and includes:

Vitamin E protects your cardiovascular health.  It helps form red blood cells that carry oxygen to every tissue, cell, and organ in your body.

Vitamin K plays a significant role in blood clotting and boosting circulation, as does iron, which also helps regulates the central nervous system.

Copper is there to aid in the absorption of iron, but it is also contributes to heart health in its own right by strengthening the connective tissues of the heart muscles and blood vessels.

Magnesium is a natural blood thinner that protects the blood vessels.  In fact, one of the primary indicators of heart disease is low magnesium levels.

Watch Over Your Eyes 

Macular degeneration is an age-related eye disease that manifests as vision loss in the center of the retina.  Pine nuts contain lutein, a yellow carotenoid that helps filter UV light before it damages the macula, thereby stalling age-related macular degeneration.  Plentiful amounts of beta-carotene also protect eye health.  Your body converts the beta-carotene found in pine nuts into vitamin A, which protects the cornea (the surface of the eye) and decreases your risk of macular degeneration.

Fend Off Aging 

Pine nuts are packed with antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging cells and accelerating aging.  Free radicals are naturally produced when the body breaks down food, but we are also inundated with free radicals in the environment… pollution, smoking, toxins… and our bodies can’t handle the overload.  The essential vitamins and minerals in pine nuts (zinc, vitamins D and B2, and potassium) take the load off, destroying excess free radicals before they do their damage.

So, what are you waiting for?  Shake a handful on that salad, season your food with pine nut oil, or make your own pesto sauce by blending with parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil!