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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pine Nuts

I always loved pine nuts as a kid growing up in Ukraine.  When I moved to the US, I was pleased to learn they are available here as well.  Most pine nuts come from China. They are delicious and a great addition to a raw food diet.  However, there is good and there is bad about these nuts.

The Good:
Pine nuts are packed with a long list of great vitamins and minerals.  One cup has at least 10-20% of our daily dietary value of each of the following: healthy fatty acids, protein, fiber, iron, Vitamin E, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Copper, and especially Manganese.  They are also a great appetite suppressant, thanks to penolenic acid that stimulates hormones sending a message to our brain that we are full.

The Bad:
They spoil fast!  Unshelled nuts become rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions. So it’s important to buy them in a store with a quick turnover rate and store them in the fridge with a tightly sealed container.

Be aware of Pine Mouth!
Ever since I’ve been experimenting with raw/vegan lifestyle, I occasionally notice a bitter taste in my mouth that lasts for about four days.  Unsure of what was happening inside my body (I was afraid of possible liver or digestive problems), I began research online. I found out that a lot of people who eat pine nuts get an unpleasant bitter/metallic taste in their mouth a day after that and it lasts from three days to a few weeks.  Interestingly, everyone complains that sweets and wine are especially terrible in taste during those weeks. There is even a term now – pine mouth. What a revelation! 

There have been a lot of cases of pine nuts over the last ten years, but unfortunately, there is no scientific research to explain the taste and the harm it does to the human body.  There are people in the US, Europe, South Africa, and other countries who have experienced the same problem.
If you had the same problem please share where are you from and where you bought your pine nuts? Were they organic or not? How long did the bad taste last?

It’s sad to leave such a tasty food item out of my diet but I’ll have to until I find the source of fresh nuts!



  1. Oh my goodness, I am so glad you posted about this.

    A few months ago, I did have a metallic taste in my mouth, and did not associate it with the pine nuts! They have been so expensive lately, I have not had any, or the metallic taste! From now on, I will pay close attention if this happens after eating pine nuts.

    I do not remember where they were from, but I do tend to buy in bulk from the health food store. Thanks so much for posting this info.

  2. I am so glad I am not alone! Now we need to figure out where to buy fresh pine nuts.

  3. what happens if you eat spoiled pine nuts? i didn't realize they were spoiled until i started to toast and little critter worms started crawling!!! yuck i had picked some out of the bag prior and ate them - maybe i ate some worms

  4. this is terrible, especially that you don't even see those little crittes before toasting them. I wish I new where we could buy fresh pine nuts. I love them and I am scared to buy them now :(
    Did anyone have any experience with pine nuts from Whole Foods?

  5. i can provide fresh pine nuts $10 a pound , email for more info