Pine nuts are the seeds of pine cones. China and Portugal are the largest exporters of pine nuts, and they are also grown in the United States. Most of the pine nuts grown in the United States are from one of three pinyon pines—the Colorado, Mexican, or Single-Leaf pinyons. There are more than 20 varieties of pine trees that produce an edible seed, and the nutritional value varies somewhat among them, but most pine nuts can be counted on to provide protein, fat, and the B vitamins thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. They are also a source of magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. More than half of the carbohydrate in pine nuts is dietary fiber.
Pine nuts also contain pinolenic acid, which appears to stimulate the production of two hormones that suppress appetite.Nutritional Facts
One ounce of dried pinyon pine nuts provides 178 calories, 5.5 g carbohydrate, 3.3 g protein, 17.3 g fat, 3 g dietary fiber, 8 IU vitamin A, 1.2 mg niacin, 16 mcg folic acid, 178 mg potassium, 20 mg sodium, 10 mg phosphorus, 2 mg calcium, 66 mg magnesium, 1.21 mg zinc, and 1.23 mg manganese.