Pine nuts are a crunchy, buttery and generally delicious nuts that come from pine trees. They are also a very good source of numerous nutrients and have a number of benefits for your health in general. That said though, they also come with some warnings if you’re planning on losing weight – so read on and let’s look at the nutritional facts of these nuts a little more closely…
Calories and Dieting
Often people who are on diets will consume nuts as a way to keep themselves from getting hungry without eating carbs and without increasing their overall caloric intake. If you choose pine nuts though, then you’re only going to succeed on the one count. While pine nuts are low in carbs they’re also quite high in calories – very high for a nut in fact. If you consume 100g of dry-kernels then you’ll get yourself 673 calories which is the same as you’d get from an extravagant sandwich in a pub!
The caloric content mainly comes from fat. The good news is that this is a healthy fat and includes lots of essential fatty acids such as oleic acid. The good thing about this type of fat is that it can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). Getting good fats like this can also have a number of other knock-on beneficial effects throughout the body. Fats for instance digest slowly and thus provide the body with a steady source of energy without spiking the blood sugar. This could actually aid with weight loss by preventing you from feeling hungry so soon. What’s more is that studies show they contain pinolenic acid which is shown to be particularly effective in decreasing hunger, as is the content of cholecystokinin (1).
Fat of this kind also helps to improve testosterone production in men (seeing as sex hormones come from cholesterol) and this can increase muscle mass, virility and mood while simultaneously burning fat.
Finally, pine nuts aid the absorption of other fat soluble minerals and vitamins. Thus, if you want to make your meals more beneficial, sprinkling a few pine nuts in can be a great choice. They are delicious on a salad!
Just don’t overdo it or think that all nuts are low in calories! These can still go to your hips…
Pine nuts also come with a number of useful and very healthy nutrients. For one, pines are a great source of vitamin E which is a fat soluble antioxidant that can enhance the immune system and improve your resistance to cancer and even ageing.
Then you have good quantities of magnesium which is useful for combating lethargy and fatigue and lutein which is shown to be effective both against lethargy and damage to your eye health.
Pine Nut Mouth…
But be wary of pine nut mouth! This might sound like the lamest bed-time horror story for children but this is a real phenomenon. Basically, pine nut mouth causes your mouth to taste bitter and metallic and this can last for days or weeks afterward. Interestingly, studies have failed to explain this (2).
And the only way to stop it? Lay off the pine nuts for a while! So despite their relative health benefits, the calories and… pine nut mouth… mean that you shouldn’t overindulge on this particular snack.