Most sources suggest that pine cones have been around for over 6,000 years. They are grown in Europe, Korea, North America and Asia. The Native Americans are responsible for much of the pine nut production in the United States.
Benefits of Pine Nuts
Most people use pine nuts or pine nut oil for health reasons. Below are some of the potential benefits that can be reaped from pine nuts:
Consuming less food is one of the keys to weight loss. However, many people struggle to control their appetite. Studies have shown that pine nuts can help suppress appetite. One of the studies involved 18 women who were overweight. The women were given pine nut oil prior to eating a meal that was high in carbohydrates. Another group of women was given a placebo.
The women’s GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) and CCK (Cholecystokinin)levels were checked over the course of four hours. GLP-1 and CCK are two hormones that help control appetite. The women were also asked to rate their appetite. The results of the study showed that the women who took the pine nut oil had higher levels of GLP-1 and CCK. They also reported they did not feel as hungry after taking the pine nut oil.
Pine nuts are also a high-fiber food. In fact, one cup of pine nuts contains five grams of fiber. People who eat fiber-rich foods usually have an easier time losing weight. They also have an easier time maintaining a healthy body weight.
A Healthier Heart
Pine nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, copper, vitamin K and iron. All of these nutrients support heart health. Furthermore, pine nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is a healthy fat that helps reduce cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Therefore, pine nuts can potentially reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Slow Down The Aging Process
Everyone seems to be looking for the elusive Fountain of Youth. One of the simplest things that people can do to look and feel younger is to eat more anti-aging foods. Pine nuts have antioxidants that help fight aging. These antioxidants also help prevent free radical damage. Free radicals not only accelerate the process of aging, but they can also increase the risk of cancer and a host of other serious health conditions.
Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye condition that is very common in older people. In fact, 30 percent of people who are over the age of 80 have this condition. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. The good news is that diets that are rich in beta-carotene and lutein can help protect against age-related macular degeneration. Pine nuts are an excellent source of lutein and beta-carotene. Additionally, these nutrients can protect against cataracts, which are another eye problem that is very common in older people.
Boost Of Energy
You should have a cup of pine nuts the next time that you feel yourself struggling to get through your day. Pine nuts are high in magnesium and protein, which are two nutrients that your body needs for energy. Magnesium has also been shown to be very effective at alleviating muscle cramping.
Free Of Gluten
Celiac disease is a condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly digest gluten. Gluten is present in foods that contain barley, wheat or rye. It affects about 1 in 133 people in America. People who have celiac disease are required to follow a diet that is free of gluten. Pine nuts are one of the many healthy foods that people with celiac disease can consume because it is gluten-free.
Pine Nut Supplements
Most people eat pine nuts whole (raw or cooked). Pine nut oil is also available. This can be ingested and also applied to the skin as a very nice skin supplement.