Chilgoza, commonly known as pine nuts are grown on a pine tree (Pinus Gerardiana). These edible nuts with a crunchy, nutty and buttery flavour are clad by other names pignoli, pinyon, pinon nuts, cedar nuts and are largely grown the Western Himalayan region. Though there are more than 30 different species of pine nuts available, only 3 types are used for consumption.
Chilgoza is covered in a hard shell, the outer covering should be removed before consuming. For an extended shelf life always store the pine nuts with the shell.
Chilgoza is small and pleasantly delicious nut loaded with a dense nutrient profile such as monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants. The wealth of nutrients in chilgoza also includes essential vitamins B1, B2, C and minerals potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and a moderate amount of iron, calcium, zinc and manganese.
The host of healthy plant compounds present in chilgoza play a crucial role in lowering cholesterol, scavenges free radicals, lowering risk of heart disease and promoting weight loss.
Nutritional Benefits Of Chilgoza
Good Source Of Essential Fatty Acids
Nuts are believed to be a great source of fats, chilgoza pine nuts contain close to 90% of healthy unsaturated fatty acids of which 51% linoleic acid and 37% is oleic acid. This composition of healthy fats in chilgoza plays a vital role in guarding the heart, preventing the onset of heart-related ailments and thereby promoting a healthy heart. The right proportion of saturated fat in chilgoza includes palmitic, stearic, lignoceric, arachidic, myristic and benzoic acid facilitated in lowering total cholesterol levels and improve the lipid profile.
The long-chain fatty acids in chilgoza nuts stimulate the release of a hormone called CCK-8, a satiety hormone that offers a feeling of fullness and curbs appetite. Thus, chilgoza nuts are an ideal snack for all weight watchers that help in losing weight.
Power-Packed With Protein
Chilgoza pine nuts are a great source of plant protein and the right choice of nuts to be added in a vegetarian’s diet plan. A well-balanced proportion of essential amino acids in chilgoza nuts makes it an abundant source of protein. Lysine an essential amino acid present in chilgoza is minimal in all cereals, thus chilgoza nuts added to all cereal-based flour is beneficial in enriching the nutrient value of cereals. In addition, the protein isolates present in chilgoza assists in lowering blood pressure.
Powerhouse Of Antioxidants
Chilgoza comes with a myriad of potent antioxidants which include gallocatechin, catechin, lutein, lycopene, carotenoids and tocopherols. The strong antioxidant properties in chilgoza nuts are beneficial in scavenging free radical damage of cells and combat oxidative stress. In addition, chilgoza nuts help in lowering inflammation triggers immunity and prevents the onset of chronic diseases.
Source Of Energy
Chilgoza is a great source of energy as compared to almonds, cashews, pistachios and peanuts thus providing an instant source of energy which keeps you satiated and curb the hunger pangs. These nuts can be an ideal addition for patients who need energy-dense diets and for undernourished children who want to gain healthy weight.
Chilgoza /Pine Nut oil
Chilgoza pine nut oil has a mild aroma with a sweet flavour and is used widely in traditional medicine. The potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and expectorant properties are beneficial in treating various ailments. In addition, it is also used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy and beauty products.