pine-nutsPine nuts have long made up a part of the American diet; they were staple foods in many Native American cultures. They were eaten as far back as 10,000 years ago, according to Michelle Hansen at the University of Oregon. At 191 calories per ounce, pine nuts pack a fairly hefty caloric punch. However, they still make worthwhile additions to your diet because they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Pine nuts provide generous amounts of the essential vitamins E and K. Both of these nutrients have an effect on your cardiovascular system — vitamin K allows you to form clots to prevent bleeding after injury, while vitamin E helps you produce red blood cells essential for oxygen transport.

Incorporate pine nuts into your diet to reap the benefits of their manganese and zinc content. Manganese helps maintain your body’s hormone balance and connective tissue strength, while zinc supports your immune system and aids in wound healing.Pine nuts’ iron and magnesium contents also offer health benefits. Iron plays a key role in helping your body transport and store oxygen, and it also helps your cells produce useable energy. Magnesium also contributes to energy production, and it makes up a part of your teeth and bones.

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