A delicious dry fruit, chilgoza, or pine nuts are widely used in traditional medicine, aromatherapy, alternate medications, and of course in many diet and nutrition programs. Nutritionists spill the beans on its amazing health benefits which will instantly encourage you to add it to your diet routine
Widely known in India as chilgoza, the edible seeds of pines or pine nuts are called piñón in Spanish and pinoli in Italian, even pignoli, and without shells, they are another delicacy that has a very distinct taste as compared to other nuts and are packed with health benefits. Pine nuts are largely grown in Kashmir and in the Western Himalayan region of India and can be eaten raw due to their soft texture and sweet buttery flavor but toasting them brings out their flavor and adds a little extra crunch while they are especially good in salads and pesto sauce too.
Gushing about their amazing health benefits in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Certified Diabetic Educator and Founder of NutriActivania shared, “It is a delicious dry fruit that is widely used in traditional medicine, aromatherapy, alternate medications, and of course in many diet and nutrition programs because they are fully loaded with nutrients like monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, essential vitamins B1, B2, C and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc and manganese.”
She added, “The essential fatty acid found in pine nuts plays a crucial role in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body and promotes a healthy heart. While the right proportion of saturated fats like palmitic, arachidic, myristic and benzoic acid facilitated in lowering total cholesterol levels and improving the lipid profile. The long-chain fatty acids found in pine nuts stimulate the release of a hormone called CCK-8, which offers a feeling of fullness or reduces appetite. Thus, these nuts are an ideal snack weight loss diet.”
Pointing out that pine nuts also contain polysaccharides that help the body fight against flu and herpes viruses, nutritionist Avni Kaul revealed, “Along with polysaccharides, the nut also hosts a range of potent antioxidants like catechin, lutein, lycopene, and tocopherols that is beneficial in scavenging free radical damage of cells and combating oxidative stress. In addition, chilgoza nuts help in lowering inflammation triggers immunity and prevents the onset of chronic diseases.”
Echoing the same, Rubaina Adhikari, a dietician and fitness enthusiast, shared, “Pine nuts include protein, iron, and magnesium, which might help you feel more energized. Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties may aid in keeping your skin healthy and youthful in appearance. Furthermore, eating pine nuts or other seeds and nuts on a daily basis may help to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. This benefit could be attributed to the lipids found in seeds and nuts.”
She asserted that if you eat at least three servings of pine nuts or other tree nuts each week, you may lower your risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Dietician Rubaina Adhikari elaborated, “Eating at least one ounce of nuts per day may help to reduce your risk of heart disease nuts unsaturated fats help raise HDL, or “good” cholesterol while lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids may help minimize blood clotting and avoid arrhythmias (a condition in which your heart beats too quickly or too slow). Pine nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help develop and repair brain cells. Omega-3 has been linked to the better-thinking ability and blood flow to the brain in studies. Pine nuts’ antioxidants may also aid to reduce cellular stress and inflammation in the brain, which may improve overall cognition and lessen dementia risk.”