Health Benefits Pine Nuts: Nutritional Facts, Culinary Uses

Pine nuts are delicious, crunchy and versatile. The health benefits of Pine nuts and the nutritional facts and data justifies listing pine nuts as a super food.

Pine nut or kernels are rich in essential minerals and vitamins and are a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

Pine nuts are simply the small edible seeds of certain species of pine tree. The nuts are extracted from the female pine cones each of which has spirally arranged scales bearing two seeds. The seeds are released when the cones mature. There are various varieties.

Pine nuts are a snack food and an additive to salads and baked goods. They have high levels of calories mostly due to their high fat content, which is mostly mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which are good fats that feature in the famous Mediterranean Diet which features monounsaturated fatty acids.

They are also rich in protein and dietary fiber. This article includes a summary nutritional facts for pine nuts including comparisons with other nuts and seeds to highlight the health benefits of pine nuts.

Health Benefits of Pine Nuts (Kernels)


► Pine or nuts contain the essential fatty acid pinolenic acid, which recent research has shown is beneficial for weight loss programs because it is a natural appetite suppressant. It may also have a role in controlling cholesterol.

► Like almonds and sunflower seeds, pine nut are rich in vitamin E, with about 9 mg per 100 g, which is equivalent to about 62% of the recommended daily allowance.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is also beneficial for the skin.

► Pine nuts are rich source of the various B-complex group vitamins such as thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin, niacin and folate.

► Pine nuts contain essential minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, magnesium and selenium.

They are a very rich source of manganese containing 8.8 mg per 100 g (well in excess of the daily allowance).

► Pine nuts are relatively rich in protein compared to other nuts and seed. There are about 14 g of protein in 100g of pine nuts.

► The protein level is much higher than sunflower and pumpkin seeds and most nuts (see the table below)

► Pine nuts also an excellent source of the vitamins K, E, and niacin, being higher than most nuts and seeds. The fiber level is relatively low compared with other seeds.

► In terms of minerals, pine seeds are an excellent source of potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus

► Pine nuts are also rich in a range of antioxidants.

► Pine nuts are a good source of unsaturated fats.

Nutritional Data Summary for Pine Nuts

Nutrient 100 gValue% of Recom. Daily Allowance
Energy 673 Cal 34%
Carbohydrates 13.08 g 10%
Protein 13.69 g 24%
Total Fat 68.37 g 228%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g 10%
Vitamins
Folates 34 µg 9%
Niacin 4.39 mg 27%
Pantothenic acid 0.32 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.09 mg 7%
Riboflavin 0.23 mg 17%
Thiamin 0.36 mg 30%
Vitamin A 29 IU 1%
Vitamin C 0.8 mg 1%
Vitamin E 9.33 mg 62%
Electrolytes
Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 597 mg 13%
Minerals
Calcium 16 mg 1.50%
Copper 1.32 mg 147%
Iron 5.53 mg 69%
Magnesium 251 mg 63%
Manganese 8.8 mg 383%
Phosphorus 575 mg 82%
Selenium 0.7 mcg 1%
Zinc 6.45 mg 58%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-beta 17 mcg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 9 mcg --

Culinary Uses for Pine Nuts

Best Ever Pine Nut Recipes

Basil Pesto Recipe with Pine Nuts

Ingredients

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Spread the pine nuts in a single layer over a baking tray and bake for about 5 minutes, until the pine nuts are well toasted. Remove the pine nuts from the oven and allow to cool. Next, place the basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. While running the processor gradually drizzle in the olive oil in a thin steady stream until the mixture is well combined.

Pine Nut Cookie Recipe with Almond Paste

Ingredients

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the pine nuts, almond paste, sugar and vanilla in a food processor in a blender and pulse until the mixture resembles the texture of fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and pulse to combine well. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until dough comes together. Remove the dough, mix well and take one tablespoon portions and roll into small balls. Roll the balls in the remaining 1 1/4 cups pine nuts, pressing into the outside. Place the balls onto greased and parchment-lined baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are golden brown in color (generally about 20 minutes). Let cool completely on sheets and then on wire racks.

Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts

Ingredients

Method

Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer the mixture until  the liquid is reduced by half. Then, add the spinach to pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until the spinach just starts to wilt. Mix through the sultanas and pine nuts. Season with salt and freshly ground back pepper and serve warm.

Chicken Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Spinach and Feta

Ingredients

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat a large, heavy, deep frying pan or Dutch oven over moderate to high heat. Add the spinach to pan and cook for 1 minute only until the spinach wilts. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess moisture and set aside. Wipe pan clean. Combine spinach, nuts, thyme, juice, cheese and garlic in a small bowl. Slice horizontal cut into the thickest portion of each chicken breast to create a pocket. Stuff 3 tablespoons of the cheese and pine nut filling into each pocket. Seal with wooden tooth-picks and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in pan over moderate to high heat. Add the chicken breasts, two at a time, and fry for 3 minutes on each side, until well browned. Add the chicken broth. Cover the pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-25 minutes, until cooked (test to ensure the chicken is cooked internally.

Comparison of Pine Nut Nutrients with Other Nuts and Seeds

► Pine nuts have the highest level of Vitamin K of any of the nuts and seeds included in the table below

► Vitamin B1 and B2 levels are higher compared with pumpkin and sesame seeds

► Vitamin E levels are also much higher than in pumpkin and sesame seeds but are less that found in sunflower seeds

► Saturated fat levels are lower than in most seeds

100 gCalTot. CarbFiberSat. FatMono FatProtein
Pine Nuts 671 13.2 3.6 5 18.9 31
Sunflower Seeds 586 20 8.6 4.3 18.6 23.4
Pumpkin Seeds 539 17.9 3.9 8.6 14.3 19
Chia Seeds 489 43.9 37.9 3.2 2.1 16
Sesame Seeds 571 23.6 11.8 6.8 18.9 22.3
Flax Seeds 536 28.9 27.1 3.6 7.5 18
Pistachios 557 27.9 10.4 5.4 23.2 20.6
Almonds 575 21.8 12.1 3.6 30.7 23.4
Brazil Nuts 657 12.1 7.5 15 24.6 15.5
Cashews 554 32.9 3.2 7.9 23.9 15.7
Chestnuts 214 45.7 8.2 0.4 0.7 2
Hazelnuts 629 16.8 9.6 4.6 45.7 15.4
Madadamia Nuts 718 14.3 8.6 12.1 58.9 8
Peanuts 568 16.1 8.6 6.8 24.3 28.5
Pecans 689 13.9 9.6 6.1 40.7 9.2
Walnuts 654 13.6 6.8 6.1 8.9 15.6

Comparisons of Vitamins in Seeds and Nuts

Nuts and SeedsVit CVit B1Vit B2NiacinPant. AcidVit B6FolateVit AVit EVit K
Pine Nuts 0.2 mg 0.10 mg 0.06 mg 1.24 mg 0.09 mg 0.027 mg 10 mcg 8 IU 2.65 mg 15.3 mcg
Pumpkin Seeds 0.5 mg 0.02 mg 0.043 mg 1.256 mg 0.162 mg 0.028 mg 16 mcg 2 IU 0.16 mg 1.3 mcg
Sesame Seeds . 0.071 mg 0.022 mg 0.406 mg 0.005 mg 0.071 mg 9 mcg 1 IU 0.02 mg .
Sunflower Seeds 0.4 mg 0.03 mg 0.07 mg 1.996 mg 1.996 mg 0.228 mg 67 mcg 3 IU 7.4 mg 0.8 mcg
Wild Rice 0.052 mg 0.087 mg 1.287 mg 0.154 mg 0.135 mg 26 mcg 3 IU 0.24 mg 0.5 mcg
Almonds . 0.06 mg 0.287 mg 0.96 mg 14 mcg 0.133 mg 0.041 mg . 7.43 mg .
Brazil Nuts 0.2 mg 0.175 mg 0.01 mg 0.084 mg 0.052 mg 0.029 mg 6 mcg . 1.62 mg 6.6 mcg
Cashews 0.1 mg 0.12 mg 0.016 mg 0.301 mg 0.245 mg 0.118 mg 7 mcg . 0.26 mg .
Chestuts 21.8 mg 0.204 mg 0.147 mg 1.127 mg 0.465 mg 0.417 mg 59 mcg 20 IU 0.42 mg 6.6 mcg
Hazelnuts 1.8 mg 0.182 mg 0.032 mg 0.51 mg 0.26 mg 0.16 mg 32 mcg 6 IU 4.26 mg 4 mcg
Pecans 0.3 mg 0.187 mg 0.01 mg 0.331 mg 0.245 mg 0.06 mg 6 mcg 16 IU 0.4 mg 1 mcg
Pistachios 0.7 mg 0.238 mg 0.045 mg 0.404 mg 0.145 mg 0.361 mg 14 mcg 74 IU 0.55 mg 3.7 mcg
Walnuts 0.4 mg 0.097 mg 0.043 mg 0.319 mg 0.162 mg 0.152 mg 28 mcg 6 IU 0.2 mg 0.8 mcg




Pine nuts are a heklthy choice for salads, snacks and as a topping for biscuits, cookies, slices and cakes
Pine nuts are a healthy choice for salads, snacks and as a topping for biscuits, cookies, slices and cakes
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Pine nuts can be used to make delightful feta balls
Pine nuts can be used to make delightful feta balls
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Pine nuts pair well with seafood and add color, flavor intrigue and boost the nutrients
Pine nuts pair well with seafood and add color, flavor intrigue and boost the nutrients
        Source: Arnold Gatilao [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pine nuts are delicious in salads providing crunch, flavor and nutrients
Pine nuts are delicious in salads providing crunch, flavor and nutrients
        Source: Saintfevrier [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Add pine nuts to pesto and other sources to boost the nutrients and provide a balanced flavor
Add pine nuts to pesto and other sources to boost the nutrients and provide a balanced flavor
        Source: thebittenword.com [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pine nuts are a delicious addition to stews and curries including vegan dishes. You can also add them to homemade pizzas and pasta sauces
Pine nuts are a delicious addition to stews and curries including vegan dishes. You can also add them to homemade pizzas and pasta sauce
        Source: Jonathunder [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Add pine nuts to baked goods to boost their nutrients. See all the details of the health benefits of pine nuts in this article
Add pine nuts to baked goods to boost their nutrients. See all the details of the health benefits of pine nuts in this article
        Source: Veganbaking.net [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons