Pine nuts come from pinecones that grow on pine trees. They are generally more expensive to buy than other nuts, because harvesting them is fairly labor-intensive since the cones need to be heated to help dislodge the nuts.
Pine nuts are rich in protein- they contain from ten to thirty-five percent protein. They are also rich in the immunity-boosting antioxidant mineral zinc, and contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, which help to promote a healthy heart. Pine nuts are a good source of Vitamin E, which helps to protect against the damage caused by pollution and other toxins, and is needed by the immune system's antibodies to fight disease. They are also a good source of magnesium, which helps to alleviate muscle cramps, tension and fatigue, as well as iron, fiber and vitamin K.
A University of Liverpool study investigated the effects of pine nuts on appetite. Results showed that pine nuts contain two important chemicals, endogenous cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that once consumed, contribute to individuals feeling satiated, and not wanting to eat further.
A further study in the Netherlands supports these findings, concluding that Korean pine nuts in particular, can work as "an appetite suppressant through an increasing effect on satiety hormones and a reduced prospective food intake".
Tips on Using Pine Nuts
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