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Benefits Of Eating Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are the seeds from pine trees and are super health foods. For such teeny packages, they sure do pack a punch. So why exactly should we be eating them like squirrels?

Heart Healthy

Keeping the heart healthy is vital considering that it is the only organ we have which pumps our blood and keeps us alive in such a unique and essential manner. Pine nuts are a healthy source of monounsaturated fats as well as a host of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals which range from zinc to manganese. They also contain the fatty acid called oleic acid which lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood.

Excellent Source For Iron

Healthy sources of iron aren’t usually so tasty or vegan-friendly as pine nuts. These little nuggets are packed full of iron that measures 3mg per 1oz serving. While one nut might not do much, a whole handful definitely will. Iron is a vital part of hemoglobin which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the brain. The pine nuts also carry copper which assists the body in absorbing the iron. It is like a complete package in this regard.

Excellent Resource For Vitamin E

It can be argued that we are not getting enough Vitamin E in our diets nowadays. Supplements are great to fill in the nutritional gaps, but nothing quite beats getting the vitamins and minerals our bodies need from the source. Pine nuts contain high levels of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and maintains the cell membranes of our mucus membranes. Vitamin E has been shown to display anti-aging properties so the more we consume, the better we look.

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Eye Health

We often take our eyes for granted and don’t really think about them when considering the health benefits of our snack food choices. Have no fear though; pine nuts are here! Pine nuts boast the antioxidant known as lutein which can drastically assist in the prevention of nasty eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. They also contain vitamin A which is another important eye-boosting nutrient. So grab some pine nuts and relax in the knowledge that our eyes are going to be okay.

Natural Energy Booster

If we find ourselves reaching for the eighth cup of coffee in one day, we might need to rethink the way we are handling our low energy levels. Pine nuts are super containers jam-packed with protein, antioxidants, iron and monounsaturated fatsall of which can help boost our energy. Just half a cup of pine nuts every day contains nearly half of the daily recommended amount of magnesiuma key component to our fatigue if we are deficient and most Americans are magnesium deficient.

Appetite Suppression

While in general, suppressing our appetites isn’t something most of us are interested in hearing about. But if we are trying to slim down a little before summer hits or have a medical reason to suppress our appetite, then pine nuts will do it. They contain a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) which suppresses the appetite and can help us eat less at each meal when pine nuts are eaten before hand in small amounts. They won’t make our appetite go away completely, but if timed right, we might be able to skip that annoying afternoon snack and last all the way from lunch to dinner very comfortably.

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Battles Cancer

Or at least, pine nuts drastically decrease the risk of developing certain types of cancer which include pancreatic cancer. This is due to the high levels of magnesium contained in these powerful little nuts. We know that Americans don’t get nearly enough magnesium in our daily diets. If we increased our consumption of magnesium, our chances of developing certain types of cancer (as well as our fatigue and other signs of deficiency) would improve by 24%.

Psychological Health Benefits

While we are on the topic of magnesium, various other studies have shown that magnesium can help treat anxiety, depression and stressespecially in adolescents who have these conditions. Higher levels of magnesium can lead to fewer and less intense emotional outbursts and other behaviors associated with mood disorders. We all know at least one teenager in our lives who could do with some pine nuts every day.

Bone Health

We all know how important calcium is to our overall bone health but vitamin K is also equally important and pine nuts contain vitamin K. Various studies have shown the benefits of vitamin K in regards to our bones. One study reported vast improvements in treating and preventing osteoporosis and another one recorded increased bone mineral density levels along with decreased fracture rates. Basically, vitamin K makes our bones harder and stronger which means they fracture less.

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Immunity Boosters

Pine nuts contain manganese and zinc which are important immunity boosters. Manganese helps to balance our hormones and strengthen our connectives tissues throughout the body while zinc boosts immunity to ward off colds and battle germs while also aiding in wound healing. We all want that annoying paper cut to hurry up and heal already. People who are immune compromised should be aware that zinc boosts the T-cells which are the guys who destroy the invaders and thus, consumption of foods containing zinc should be avoided or closely monitored for flare-ups.

Cognitive Decline

All nuts are considered brain food due to their high amounts of natural oils, vitamins and minerals. Pine nuts are no exception to this rule. In fact, out of all the nuts available, pine nuts might just be the best ones to eat to battle Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that eating pine nuts regularly decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 35%. The recommendation is to enjoy these nuts five times a week.

Benefits To Hair And Skin

Finally, all those essential fatty acids and natural oils such as vitamin E are great for the hair and nails. Vitamin E boosts hair growth and leaves it looking healthy and shiny. Pine nuts are also great for the skin since they contain anti-aging components and skin-tightening oils. People with hair loss and other concerns have expressed positive results after using pine nut oil regularly on their hair and scalps.

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