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Pine nuts: see 5 benefits, care and how to consume seeds

The month of June is synonymous with June festival in Brazil . One of the highlights of the event are the typical foods of the time, such as pinion . Native to the southern region of the country and temperate climates, Araucaria seeds must be prepared correctly to avoid health problems.

A CNN talked to the nutritionist Durval Ribas Filho , president of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology (Abran), to understand the benefits — and possible harms — of pine nuts. He said that the food has potassium, omega-3 and omega-6, dietary fiber, low glycemic index, lutein, vitamin C and iron.

These nutrients help reduce blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular diseases, contribute to the digestive system, help with muscle relaxation and have a low glycemic index. Furthermore, they also improve the immune system.

The functional sports nutritionist Alice Paiva I told CNN that pine nuts are mainly composed of starch, fat and proteins. “Pine nuts are an excellent source of energy due to their high content of complex carbohydrates,” he said.

With a buttery flavor and a soft texture after being cooked, the seed also has B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.

1. Reduces blood pressure

With around 700 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams of pine nuts, the amount of mineral in the seed helps reduce blood pressure. The conclusion is from a study published in European Heart Journal in 2022.

Carried out with more than 11 thousand men and 13 thousand women, the research indicates that people with a higher concentration of the mineral in their urine tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The study also says that lowering blood pressure increases cardiovascular protection.

2. Protects the cardiovascular system

The nutritionist Raissa Vianna , from Hospital Sírio-Libanês in Brasília, explained that nutrients from pine nuts, such as omega-3 and omega-6, help prevent cardiovascular diseases. “Pine nuts have linoleic fatty acids, which help reduce cholesterol,” he said.

According to American Heart Association (AHA)increasing omega-3 intake helps prevent several heart diseases, such as recurrent heart failure, recurrent coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death in patients with CAD (coronary artery disease).

3. Contributes to the digestive system and satiety

Due to the abundance of fiber, pine nuts prevent constipation and help regulate the intestines. Furthermore, it also contributes to satiety.

“Another important aspect is the high amount of dietary fiber which, by reducing the speed of gastric emptying, promotes satiety”, explains nutritionist Ribas Filho.

4. Improves the immune system

Pine nuts have vitamin C, which, according to study published in the JRG Journal of Academic Studieshelps with the immune system.

Research states that the vitamin has antioxidant potential (which is the reduction of free radicals that can harm our body) and a positive effect on the immune system. This makes the vitamin recommended to prevent illnesses such as the flu.

5. More energy

Nutritionist Raissa also states that pine nuts are a great source of energy.

“Even though it is a high-calorie food, the release of glucose into the cell occurs more slowly, ensuring that energy is available for longer “, explains to CNN .

Can it pose health risks?

If it is not prepared correctly, in a pressure cooker for 30 to 40 minutes with water and salt, Ribas Filho says that pine nuts can be a threat to health .

“The biggest risk that pine nuts can pose is that, due to the humidity, a large amount of fungi can be present and be toxic to the human body”, he states.

Although pine nuts are a nutritious food, nutritionist Alice also warns against moderate consumption. The calorie content of the food — each 100 grams of cooked pine nuts has 175 kcal, mainly from carbohydrates — can contribute to weight gain.

Another substance that can cause problems is pinaine. , found in fresh pine nuts. When consumed in large quantities or raw, they result in gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomiting.

The experts consulted by the CNN still say that Patients with kidney overload should pay attention to their intake of pine nuts. . The seed has a high concentration of potassium, a mineral that is already high in the blood of these patients.

How to consume pine nuts?

Pine nuts are a versatile food and can be consumed in different ways, the most common of which is cooked in salted water. The nutritionist Lara Natacci communication coordinator of the Brazilian Food and Nutrition Society (Sban) tells CNN that pine nuts should be consumed in a balanced diet.

“If it is consumed in the main meal, it can be a source of carbohydrates, but it must be complemented with plenty of vegetables and proteins, whether vegetable or animal; when it is a snack, it should be complemented with fruit and some other protein source food”, he adds.

Is June festival food bad? See expert advice

Source: CNN Brasil

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