Pine kernels, also known as Pine Nuts or Pignolia Nuts are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce. They are not good to snack on but are delicious roasted and in savoury dishes.
Health benefits of PINE KERNELS
- Pine Kernels are a source of both monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s). Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats (such as MUFA’s and PUFA’s) in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
- Pine Kernels are a source of Thiamine (vitamin B1) (30 g serving). Vitamin B1 is necessary for normal carbohydrate metabolism, normal neurological and cardiac function, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal psychological functioning and normal functioning of the heart.
- Pine Kernels are a source of iron (30 g serving). Iron is necessary for normal oxygen transport, normal immune function, and normal neurological development in the foetus. It also contributes to normal energy production, normal blood formation and normal cognitive function.
- Pine Kernels are high in copper (30 g serving). Copper aids in the formation of bone. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and the nervous system.
- Pine Kernels contain about 200 mg potassium per 30 g serving. Potassium is necessary for normal water and electrolyte balance. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle function, normal blood pressure and regular heart rhythm.
- Pine Kernels are virtually free from sodium. A high intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium, together with a low sodium intake, is associated with protection against bone demineralization, arterial hypertension, insulin resistance, and overall cardiovascular risk.
- Pine kernels are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce.
- The nuts also used in salads; especially sprinkled over fruit/vegetable salads.
- Pine kernels are also used in desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream or confectionary based recipes.
- They frequently feature in meat, fish, and vegetable dishes.
DID YOU KNOW?
- It is thought that the first pines emerged somewhere in northern Asia around 180 million years ago. Humans started to utilize Pine Kernels in the Paleolithic era; the Food and Agriculture Organization reported the utilization of pine nuts as an edible food item starting from pre-historic times. Pine nuts are used in traditional recipes in many countries.
- Tree nuts can be defined as “dry fruits with generally one seed in which the overall wall becomes hard at maturity”. However, a pine nut is not a true nut because it lacks an outer carpel (though it is a tree nut). They are instead edible small-sized ivory-coloured nutritious seeds, which are collected from the cones of different pine species and are oil-rich.