Pine nuts are exactly what they sound like: the seeds of pine trees. Part of living a Paleo lifestyle is eating nuts and seeds, so you can feel free to include pine nuts in your Paleo diet.
Paleo and PUFAs
Pine nuts are composed mostly of fat and protein, so a handful can make a great snack. Most of the fat is polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), though, so if you roast your pine nuts, beware of roasting them at too high a temperature. PUFAs are unstable and tend to oxidize when exposed to heat and light. Consuming oxidized fat has a nasty tendency to lead to oxidized lipids in our blood, and is a precursor to heart disease.
The Benefits of Anti-oxidants
There’s more to the story, though. Pine nuts are also rich in vitamin E, which is a potent anti-oxidant. It can protect the fat from oxidation, and also conveys a number of health benefits for our immune system.
Mark Sisson wrote a post on why we do not need to be overly concerned with the PUFAs we get from whole foods, like nuts.
In addition to vitamin E, pine nuts are also excellent sources of B vitamins, choline, vitamin K, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc.