Seeds and Cereals

Health benefits of Pinhão

Crunchy, buttery textured, pleasantly sweet and delicious, pine nuts are small edible seeds of the pine cone. 

Pine seeds are, in fact, a superb source of tree-derived nutrients, essential minerals, vitamins, and “heart friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids that help lower blood cholesterol levels.

They belong to the Pinaceae family, in the Pinus genus. Pine trees mainly grow in the cold and taiga forests of the northern hemisphere, particularly in Siberia and Canada. They are huge, straight and erect trees with a large trunk that can reach up to 23 meters in height with a dense pyramidal or umbrella-like façade covering.

The two prominent pine species known for their large edible seeds include Pinus sibirica and Pinus koraiensis.

Western (stone) pines have long, thin almonds compared to eastern pines, in which the seeds are large, large and have a higher fat content.

Nuts have been cultivated over 10,000 years ago, mentioned in ancient Greek history and eaten by Roman soldiers as “field food” when they invaded Britain two millennia ago.

Egyptian doctors have been reported to prescribe pine nuts for various ailments, specifically coughs and chest problems. A philosopher and scholar from Persia, even recommended, ate to help treat bladder problems and increase sexual satisfaction.

As a tree, pine nuts are not a legume, like peanuts, but a hardened fruit, like almonds. This means that after removing the walnuts from the pine cones, the outer shell must also be removed before they are ready to eat. Pine nuts have been a popular source of nutrition since the Paleolithic.

The pine nut is known by several names like cedar nuts, pinon nuts, pinyon nuts and pignoli. It is called chilgoza in Hindi. It is commonly found in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The seeds are small and elongated, measuring one to two centimeters in length.

While pine trees are found on almost every continent, only 18 species from Europe, North America and Asia produce pine nuts large enough for human consumption.

Some of the main pine species and their cultivated areas are:

  • Korean pine (Pinus koreaiensis) in Northeast Asia.
  • Chilgoza pine (Pinus geradiana) in the Western Himalayas.
  • Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica) in Siberia
  • Stone pine (Pinus pinea) in Europe.
  • Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) in North America.
  • Mexican Pinyon (Pinus cembriodes) in North America.

The Mediterranean pine nuts are lower in calories, have almost 10 times higher content of omega-3 and omega-6. It has the highest levels of cholesterol that reduce phytosterols of all varieties and is about 2.5 times higher in protein value.


Let’s get an idea of ​​the many health benefits of cooked pine nuts.

  • Improves cardiovascular health – Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which help lower blood cholesterol. Regular consumption of pine nuts increases positive cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol in the body. The oleic acid in pine nuts helps the liver remove triglycerides from the body. It also favors a healthy blood lipid profile, preventing coronary artery disease and stroke.
  • Weight Loss – Eating a handful of pine nuts can help with weight management. One study found that switching from healthy unsaturated fats to saturated fats can help you lose weight without reducing your calorie intake. Pine nuts are very effective in quenching appetite. Pinolenic acid stimulates CCK (cholecystokinin), a hormone that signals the brain that the stomach is full. This limits your appetite, keeping you full longer. Pine nuts can decrease food intake by 37%.
  • Antioxidants – Nuts are extremely rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants kill free radicals that encourage the development of cancer and other types of illnesses. It also helps the body by developing resistance against infectious agents and viruses. Pine nut is known for its ability to slow down the aging process due to its high content of antioxidants.
  • Improves eye health – Pine nuts contain beta-carotene and antioxidants, which are very beneficial for eye health. Lutein in pine nuts helps the eyes to filter UV light, preventing macular damage. It also prevents our eyesight from deteriorating with age.
  • Energy – The pine nuts are an excellent option for snacking at night. Contains proteins that provide an instant source of energy. It also helps repair and build muscle tissue. Protein is a slow-burning fuel and provides a long-lasting energy boost that doesn’t result in depletion. It also helps improve the body’s use of oxygen by increasing energy levels.
  • Skin Health – Vitamin E in pine nuts is necessary to maintain the integrity of cell membranes. It also protects your skin from harmful UV rays. The moisturizing properties of pine oil keep your skin well hydrated.
  • They are nutritional potentials – A single serving of small pine nuts can provide you with up to 14 grams of protein, depending on the species. Pine nuts are from 10 to 34% protein. They are also an excellent source of fiber, as well as vitamins E, K and niacin. In terms of minerals, they are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure.
  • Prevents constipation – Good levels of dietary fiber prevent constipation and other digestive problems, prevent cancer risks, lower risk of diabetes and heart problems.


Through the nutritional information, you can see that a serving of pine nuts (about 28.4 grams) contains:

  • 191 calories;
  • 19 grams of fat;
  • 169 milligrams of potassium;
  • 3.7 grams of carbohydrates;
  • 1 gram of fiber;
  • 3.9 grams of protein;
  • 1.6 milligrams of iron;
  • 71 milligrams of magnesium;
  • 163 milligrams of phosphorus;
  • 1.8 milligrams of zinc;
  • 1 milligram of thiamine;
  • 06 milligrams of riboflavin / Vitamin B12;
  • 1.2 milligrams of niacin;
  • 2.7 milligrams of vitamin E;
  • 15.3 micrograms Vitamin K;


Many note its texture and have no idea what or how to make pinion. They fail to enjoy a tasty delicacy because they don’t know how to prepare it. After cooking, other more creative destinations can be given to the pine nuts, such as the cake or even the paçoca de pine nuts.

Start by selecting the pine nuts: prefer the ones with the brightest skins, in different shades of brown and without imperfections, discarding the ones that don’t have such a good composition.

Wash thoroughly and then cut off the pine nuts to see if the pulp is white. Throw away the pine nuts that have the darkest pulp, as time has passed.

Place the pine nuts in a pressure cooker, cover them with water and cook. When the pan starts to “squeak”, allow the walnuts to cook for 30 minutes. Put out the fire, wait for it to cool and then drain. Peel and just serve!



  • 2 1/2 kg of cooked and peeled pine nuts
  • 1 kg of pork
  • 1 kg of rump
  • 500g of bacon
  • 1 kg of pepperoni sausage
  • 200 g of head onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 spoons of soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 6 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 500 g of tomato
  • Green seasoning to taste

Way of doing:

Chop all ingredients and place in an iron pan. Add all the meat, oil and salt and cook for approximately fifteen minutes. Add all other ingredients and cook for another fifteen minutes. Again, always stirring.


Among the benefits and harms of the pinion, it has many more advantages than contraindications. However, it is good to be aware of certain signs that may appear in some cases.

There are several reported cases of altered flavor perception (pine mouth) after consuming pine nuts.

It appears a few days after eating the pine nuts and can persist for up to a week. However, pine mouth is a passing condition, it does not hurt and resolves on its own without any sequelae.

Pinion allergy can occur in some sensitive individuals. Symptoms of the reaction can range from simple itchy skin (hives) to severe forms of anaphylactic manifestations, including difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Cross-reactions can also occur with some other nuts and fruits, especially members of the Anacardiaceae family such as mangoes, cashews, pistachios, etc.

People who are known to have allergic reactions to these nuts can therefore be careful when eating.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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