Pine nut

Pine nuts, oddly enough, are neither pine nuts nor nuts, but still this name is firmly attached to them. From the point of view of botany, these are the seeds of the cones of the Siberian cedar pine, which is also called the Siberian cedar. Peter the Great decided to name this tree because of its similarity with the Lebanese cedar, the wood of which was used in shipbuilding. It was very expensive to buy lumber from real cedar, so the king decided to look for similar trees in Siberia and found them in the form of Siberian cedar (cedar pine). Since this tree began to be called cedar, the name "cedar" has been attached to the seeds from its cones.

These mighty Siberian trees grow up to 50 m and live up to 300 years or more. From one such cedar, you can collect 10-12 kg of cones, each of which contains up to 150 nuts. One cone matures for about 15 months.

From cone seeds cedar pine trees squeeze out the fragrant and most useful cedar oil, which is the most expensive of all types of oils in the world. This is due to the high consumption of raw materials for its production. To get a liter of cedar oil, you need about 3 kg of peeled nuts.

Chemical composition

Kernels from Siberian cedar pine cones contain many chemical compounds that are involved in all metabolic processes in the human body: in the metabolism of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, electrolytes.

100 g of shelled pine nuts contains fats 68.37 g, proteins 13.69 g and carbohydrates 9.38 G . Cedar seed proteins are easily digestible. They contain 19 amino acids out of 26 known, including essential (essential): tryptophan, phenylalanine, valine, lysine, methionine, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, arginine, histidine.

The carbohydrate composition of pine pine seeds is represented by monosaccharides (glucose, fructose) and polysaccharides (sucrose, pentosans, dextrin, fiber and starch).

The fatty substances of pine nut oil are predominantly unsaturated fatty acids (FA). Cedar pine seed fats are sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K, which are contained in them, and also contribute to their better absorption in the human gastrointestinal tract.

Composition of fats
Name Content, g per 100 g of product
Saturated fatty acids 4.899
Monounsaturated FAs 18.764
Polyunsaturated FAs 34.071
Cholesterol 0

In terms of protein content, pine nuts are not inferior to duck meat, beef liver and heart, as well as many types of fish.

The vitamin composition of these nuts is rich: they contain both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin composition
Name Content, mg per 100 g of product
Vitamin A (retinol) 0.001
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 9.3
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.054
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.4
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.2
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 4.4
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.3
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.1
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 0.034
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 0.8

Nuts contain many useful minerals, without which the normal functioning of the body is impossible, including the following:

  • macronutrients : sodium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus;
  • trace elements : zinc, iron, copper, manganese, silicon, vanadium, molybdenum, iodine, nickel, tin, boron, titanium, silver, cobalt.
Significant minerals
Name Content, mg per 100 g of product
Potassium 597
Phosphorus 575
Magnesium 251
Calcium 16.0
Zinc 6.5
Iron 5.5

Pine nuts are high in calories:

  • 100 g of dried raw materials without shell contains 673 kcal;
  • in 100 g of kernel meal (after squeezing cedar oil from them) - 432 kcal.

Benefits

The unique composition of Siberian pine seeds explains their beneficial properties. Pine nut has a healing effect on various human organs: the heart, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lungs, skin, endocrine glands.

For the heart and blood vessels

Nut fatty acids bind cholesterol in the intestine, preventing it from being absorbed in large volumes. In the blood, they form complexes with this fat-like substance, removing it with bile acids in the bile. Thus, with the regular use of pine nuts in food, the level of cholesterol in the blood decreases.

In addition to hypocholesterolemic action, pine nuts:

  • increases vascular elasticity;
  • normalizes the conduction of nerve impulses through the cardiac conduction system;
  • contributes to the expansion of peripheral arteries, which has a hypotensive effect;
  • improves tissue microcirculation;
  • reduces capillary permeability;
  • has antioxidant properties.

For blood and immunity

Saturating the blood with vitamins, macro- and microelements, cedar pine seeds when taken orally:

  • have an antianemic effect;
  • exhibit an immunostimulating effect;
  • increase the body's resistance to infections;
  • improve blood clotting.

For metabolism

The biologically active compounds of pine nuts improve metabolic processes in the body, including:

  • are involved in the synthesis of steroid hormones;
  • have a hypoglycemic effect;
  • stimulate the production of thyroid hormones;
  • promote the synthesis of antiallergic factors;
  • normalize disturbed purine metabolism.

For the nervous system and sensory organs

Unsaturated fats, essential amino acids, B vitamins and minerals of Siberian cedar pine seeds have a beneficial effect on the nervous system:

  • restore the myelin sheath of the nerves;
  • normalize the blood supply to the brain;
  • improve the conduction of nerve impulses;
  • increase visual acuity;
  • promote restful sleep;
  • speed up the reaction and improve mental performance.

For the digestive system

The beneficial properties of Siberian cedar seeds for the digestive system include:

  • enveloping;
  • astringent;
  • hypoacid (acid-lowering);
  • normalizing intestinal peristalsis;
  • absorbent;
  • choleretic;
  • antiseptic;
  • anti-inflammatory.

For skin and mucous membranes

The use of cedar pine seeds improves the condition of mucous membranes and skin, providing many beneficial effects:

  • wound healing;
  • regenerating;
  • firming;
  • moisturizing;
  • anti-inflammatory.

For the reproductive system

Useful substances contained in cedar pine nuts have a positive effect on the reproductive system of both women and men:

  • relieve local inflammation in the genital organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes, prostate);
  • prevent degeneration and hyperplasia of glandular cells;
  • promote normal spermatogenesis and oogenesis;
  • improve the blood supply to the genitals, which affects the sensitivity and erectile function.

For the musculoskeletal system

Pine nuts are useful for the musculoskeletal system during the period of intensive growth and development, that is, in childhood, during childbearing and breastfeeding, as well as during recovery from injuries and operations. Useful substances of nuts contribute to:

  • the growth of bones and teeth;
  • muscle contractions;
  • maintaining the elasticity of cartilage, tendons and ligaments;
  • increase physical endurance.

Cedar pine seeds have the ability to stimulate the production of the hormone cholecystokinin, which induces satiety. This property of nuts is successfully used in dietary nutrition.

In the human body, from the essential amino acid tryptophan contained in the nuclei of these cones, melatonin is synthesized - a hormone responsible for healthy sleep.

Siberian pine cone kernel husk contains a high concentration of tannins, so it also has many beneficial properties:

  • astringent;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • antiseptic;
  • antimicrobial;
  • weak painkillers;
  • decongestant.

These properties are often used by traditional healers in the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract.

Possible harm

Pine nuts can only be consumed in strictly limited quantities. Their high calorie content in addition to the normal diet can lead to obesity. To avoid such consequences, with the regular use of these nuts, it is necessary to control the calorie content of the menu.

Damage to health can be caused by cedar seeds, which are already purchased in a purified form. A large number of unsaturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins react with oxygen and are easily oxidized. The rancid fat of nuts is not only unpleasant in taste, but also dangerous to health, as it can cause poisoning.

Regular consumption of large amounts of Siberian pine nuts (more than 30 g per day) can lead to allergic reactions and liver problems.

Application in medicine

The high content of useful substances explains the popularity of the use of pine nuts in folk medicine. They are used to treat many pathologies, as well as for general strengthening purposes and for the prevention of deficient conditions.

For the treatment of diseases of the circulatory system

Cedar pine nuts help in eliminating the following ailments:

  • hypertension;
  • arrhythmia;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • ischemic heart disease;
  • post-infarction condition.

For the treatment of endocrine pathologies and metabolic disorders

The seeds of the Siberian coniferous healer are indicated for use in the treatment of:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • adrenal insufficiency;
  • obesity;
  • gout.

For the treatment of diseases of the digestive system

Useful properties of pine nuts are used in the presence of the following pathologies:

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  • periodontitis, gingivitis;
  • gastritis with high acidity;
  • stomach ulcer;
  • cholelithiasis;
  • cholecystitis;
  • pancreatitis;
  • constipation;
  • dysbacteriosis;
  • hemorrhoids.

For the treatment of pathologies of the genitourinary system in women and men

Due to its anti-inflammatory and mild hormone-like action, cedar pine seeds are indicated for oral administration in the following diseases:

  • pyelonephritis;
  • cystitis;
  • urethritis;
  • prostatitis;
  • prostate adenoma;
  • impotence;
  • male and female infertility;
  • dysfunctional uterine bleeding;
  • adnexitis;
  • colpitis.

For the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system

Pine nuts can be prescribed as a bioactive supplement in the treatment of:

  • osteochondrosis;
  • tendovaginitis;
  • arthralgia and myalgia;
  • arthritis and arthrosis;
  • injuries to bones and joints.

For the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system

The rich chemical composition of oily seeds helps with nervous diseases and pathological processes in the structures of the eyes, including the following:

  • post-stroke states;
  • depression;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • keratomalacia;
  • macular degeneration;
  • impaired visual acuity.

For the treatment of pathologies of the hematopoietic system and increase immunity

Seeds of cedar pine cones are indicated for use in the following pathologies:

  • anemia;
  • immunodeficiency;
  • coagulation factor deficiency;
  • Hypo- and avitaminosis.

For the treatment of dermatological diseases

Pine nuts and oil from them are consumed internally and used externally if available:

  • eczema;
  • diaper rash;
  • bedsores;
  • trophic ulcers;
  • abrasions and wounds;
  • burns;
  • acne;
  • fungal infections of the skin;
  • furunculosis.

Regular consumption of whole, shelled cedar pine cone seeds is known to reduce the likelihood of neoplasms.

Infusions and decoctions are prepared from the shells of the seeds of these cones, which can be taken orally or applied externally for lotions, compresses, rubbing.

How to choose and store

You need to buy pine nuts during the picking season (September-October) or a little later. Shelled seeds are stored for a short time (several weeks) and only in the refrigerator. Therefore, when buying, you should give preference to unpeeled nuts.

The shelf life of unpeeled seeds depends on the storage conditions:

  • at a temperature of +2°C to +6°C (in the refrigerator) nuts can be stored up to six months;
  • at temperatures from -12°C to -18°C (in the freezer) - up to a year.

Culinary uses

Pine nuts are highly valued in cooking for their spicy pine flavor. Whole peeled kernels are often added both to main dishes (pilafs, cereals), and to vegetable and fruit salads, desserts, creams, ice cream. They are eaten with muesli, cottage cheese, honey.

Green salad with beets and pine nuts

To prepare this dish, we need boiled beets, a bunch of arugula, lettuce, a handful of pine nuts, one tablespoon of honey and unrefined olive oil, one teaspoon of French mustard with grains.

Boiled beets cut into strips, lettuce tear by hand, arugula divided into leaves. For dressing, mix olive oil, mustard and honey until a homogeneous consistency is obtained. Pour dressing over vegetables, sprinkle with Siberian cedar seeds on top.

In order for nuts to be not only tasty, but also healthy, they should be consumed only raw, and added to dishes only after they are cooked. Heat treatment not only reduces the useful properties of this Siberian product, but also leads to the appearance of carcinogens harmful to human health.

Conclusion

Seeds from cones of cedar pine (pine nuts) are a source of healing substances: fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The balanced chemical composition of nuts is successfully used in folk medicine for the treatment of pathologies: the digestive tract, nervous system, heart and blood vessels, endocrine organs, genitourinary system, bones and joints, skin and its appendages (nails, hair).

In cooking, pine nuts give a piquant taste to second courses, snacks, and confectionery. However, these kernels cannot be subjected to heat treatment, otherwise they will turn from a useful product into a dangerous product.

Buying and storing nuts in large quantities is not worth it: they quickly deteriorate. To extend the shelf life, they should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

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