Pine nuts are the edible nuts that come from pine trees (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus). The process of extracting the final version of what you buy at the store is a bit complicated, beginning with the maturation of the pine cone from which it’s taken. Depending on the species, that process can take nearly two years to complete. Once the cone has matured, it is harvested by placing it in a burlap bag and being exposed to a heat source (generally the sun) in order to dry out the cone. Drying is usually over after about 20 days, and then the cones are broken apart and the nuts separated out to be prepared for consumption.
As a tree nut, pine nuts aren’t a legume, such as the peanut, but rather a hardened fruit, like the almond. This means that after removing the nuts from pine cones, their outer shell also must be removed before they’re ready to eat.
Pine nut nutrition is no joke — these small nuts are packed with a ton of vitamins and minerals essential to the human body. And don’t be too concerned about the fat content – similarly to almonds, the healthy fat found in pine nuts actually helps improve satiety (the feeling of being full), and pine nuts are associated with weight loss and healthy weight management.
Some of the benefits of Pine nuts are-
- Lower bad cholesterol
- Help maintain healthy weight
- Lower blood pressure
- Support bone health
- Lower risk of certain types of cancer
- Improve eye health
- Stabilize mood