Pili nuts are fruits from a Pili tree. As mentioned in the journal, these are tall trees cultivated in the Philippines for these nuts. Its shape is like a teardrop.
They look like smaller versions of avocados. They are dark in colour and crunchy in texture. These nuts have a size of around 1-3 inches. They have a hard outer shell that protects the nut, like a walnut. The scientific name of the Pili tree is Canarium ovatum. These trees grow in Northern Australia and Southeast Asia.
Nuts are a high source of many nutrients. Also, these Nuts are no less than nutritious dry fruit. Moreover, these nuts remain edible for an extended period, just like dry fruits. And they contain a lot of nutritional value.
There are a lot of ways you can consume pili nuts. You can make trail mix with almonds, cashew, raisin, pistachio and pili nuts. You can easily take a handful of Pili nuts for a snack. If you like, you can roast it and add salt or seasonings of your choice. You can also get a large variety of options in the market for flavoured pili nuts. It is also very popular in Filipino recipes.
Nutritional Properties of Pili Nuts
As per USDA, 100 grams of Pili Nuts hold the following nutritional values:
- Energy: 719 kCal
- Water: 2.77g
- Protein: 10.8g
- Total lipid (fat): 79.6g
- Carbohydrates: 3.98g
- Manganese: 2.31mg
- Calcium: 145mg
- Iron: 3.53mg
- Magnesium: 302mg
- Phosphorus: 575mg
- Potassium: 507mg
- Sodium: 3mg
Health Benefits of Pili Nuts
Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels
As recommended by the USDA, the National Academies’ recommendation includes consumption of trans fat and dietary cholesterol to be as low as possible without compromising the nutritional adequacy of the diet. Taking this into consideration, it makes it very important for all of us to plan our diets in such a way as to lower cholesterol or fat intake. Pili Nuts, having cholesterol as low as 3.98g in 100g, is a very safe amount.
Improves Bone Health
The element magnesium is responsible for the amount of vitamin D and calcium regulation in our bodies. As we can see in the chart, pili nuts contain a good amount of magnesium, making them extremely healthy. In addition, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus are responsible for good bone health. Fortunately, these nuts are abundant, making them beneficial for bone health.
Good for Heart Health
Pili nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This component helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Due to unhealthy food and sedentary lifestyles, heart problems are pretty standard. It would help if you took things under control.
Due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, it offers various benefits. For example, it reduces the risk of abnormal heart rhythm and prevents blood clotting.
Helps Improve Immune System
The presence of adequate minerals and vitamins makes it rich in antioxidants. The presence of antioxidants improves the body’s ability to fight free radicals. It helps the immune system in fighting off any foreign particles. Finally, it helps protect the body from any infection. So, if you are very prone to getting sick, this is because you have low immunity. It would be helpful to start including controlled portions of healthy nuts in your diet.
They are high in fibre. Studies suggest that fibre makes it significantly helps improve your digestive system. So intake of Pili Nuts can help in conditions like constipation and haemorrhoids.
The HealthifyMe Note
Pili nuts offer a lot of health benefits. There are a variety of nutrients and benefits that make it ideal for adding to your diet. In addition, the pili nuts work as a significant energy source. Therefore, including these nuts in your diet can improve or prevent multiple conditions or diseases. Although it contains a good amount of fat and very high energy, it still can be included in the diet if you have a strict dietary routine.
Simple Homemade Recipes Using Pili Seeds
Here are some of the Filipino cuisines. First, it gives you an idea of how traditionally the cuisine uses it. Then, you can customise it according to your taste palette.
Pili Nut Chicken
You can make a delicious pili nut chicken recipe with a few ingredients. The recipe below will only take 30-40 minutes.
- Chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally: 3
- Pili Nuts, raw & preferably unsalted: 1½-2 cups
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Fresh cilantro: 2 tbsp
- Cassava flour: 1 tbsp
- Eggs, Room temp: 2
- Fish Sauce (Optional): A splash
- Oil for cooking
- Lime wedges for serving, a MUST!
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, season with a salt sprinkle on both sides and set aside.
- Chop pili nuts, cilantro and ½ tsp salt together until you have a nice small chop. Next, add the cassava flour and toss the chicken in it.
- Whisk up eggs and fish sauce until well combined, and set aside.
- Dip a piece of chicken in the egg/fish sauce mixture, then place in the pili nut mixture and press to ensure the whole piece is well coated. Carefully place on a plate and repeat with the remaining five pieces of chicken.
- Heat oil in a pan. Carefully place chicken in the pan and cook until pili nuts are golden brown. Flip carefully and cook until the other side is golden brown and the chicken is done—cook on low to medium flame.
- Serve hot with lime wedges.
Deviled Eggs with Pili Twist
Follow the given steps to make the delicious egg dish with pili nuts.
Ingredients (For Pili Nut Pesto)
- Basil Leaves: 2 cups
- Spinach: A Handful
- Parsley: ½ cup
- Garlic Cloves: ½ cup
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice: 1 lemon
- Avocado/Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
- Hard Boiled Eggs: 6
- Green Onion: For Garnishing
- Add pesto ingredients to a blending jar, and pulse together until well combined and almost smooth. Use as required, and rest store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- Cut all your eggs in half and gently scoop out the egg yolks. Add the yolks to a large bowl.
- Add the pesto to scooped yolks and use a fork to mix. Mash until the mix is well combined and smooth.
- Use a small spoon to add the green yolk mix to the egg’s cavity.
- Top with chopped green onions, and enjoy.
The HealthifyMe Note
There are various ways of consuming Pili seeds. Of course, eating it raw as a snack is an option. However, you can try a few simple recipes in which Pili seeds can work exceptionally well.
Potential Side Effects and Usage Tips
When trying something new for the first time, please be sure about your allergies. For example, if you are allergic to some food, it doesn’t matter how nutritious it is. However, it can make you uncomfortable. If you are unsure about it, you can find out by an oral test with an allergist. Furthermore, If you are allergic to it, you might get symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, or sudden itching in the mouth or eyes. If such a situation occurs, immediately contact your doctor, as it might sometimes become serious.
Also, it is essential to note if you are generally allergic to dry fruits or tree nuts, you should avoid the consumption of Pili Nuts. If you are unsure about it, consult your doctor.
Pili nuts are very healthy nuts. It is one of the most nutritious varieties. The health benefits of this nut are immense. Pili Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin A and provide a large amount of energy that boosts the body. Apart from that, there are various health benefits. It may help reduce cholesterol levels, improve bone health, and be suitable for heart health. It also is beneficial in enhancing digestion and the immune system.
Pili nuts have a hard outer shell that protects the nut, just like walnuts. The scientific name of the Pili tree is Canarium ovatum. These trees are native to the Philippines. However, you must be careful before consuming the pili nut. First, you must be sure you are not allergic to the nut. If you are allergic to it, you might get symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, or sudden itching in the mouth or eyes. If such a situation occurs, immediately contact your doctor, as it might sometimes become serious.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are pili nuts healthy?
A. Yes, It have a lot of health benefits. Pili Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin A and have a large amount of energy that boosts the body. Apart from that, there are various health benefits. For example, it may help reduce cholesterol levels, improve bone health, and be suitable for heart health. It also is beneficial in improving digestion and the immune system.
Q. Are pili nuts?
A. Pili nut is not a nut. On the contrary, it is a seed in the Pili Fruit. It has the shape of a teardrop. They look like small avocados. They are dark in colour and crunchy in texture.
Pili nuts are around 1-3 inches long. They have a hard outer shell that protects the nut, like a walnut. The scientific name of the Pili tree is Canarium ovatum. These trees grow in Northern Australia and Southeast Asia.
Q. What does pili nut taste like?
A. When pili nut is consumed raw, it gives a slight flavour resembling sunflower seeds. It is a little mild and has a nutty flavour. If you roast them, it provides a more chewy texture to the these nut and is more buttery in taste. It melts in the mouth quickly.
Q. Are pili nuts inflammatory?
A. Pili nuts are rich in antioxidants, making them a natural anti-inflammatory substance. Inflammation occurs in the body due to the oxidative stress generated by the free radicals. The antioxidants produced by pili seeds eliminate these free radicals. It, in turn, reduces the inflammation in the body.
Q. Are pili nuts better than cashew nuts?
A. Pili nuts are generally healthier than most nuts. But for a specific comparison, we need to get into the various components.
Pili nut has more calories than a cashew nut, while the cashew nut has more protein. However, the quantity of vitamins and minerals is higher in pili nuts, whereas cashew contains fewer fats. So depending on an individual’s requirement, one can choose the most suitable nut.
Q. Are pili nuts the same as pine nuts?
A. No, pili nuts and pine nuts are different. Pine nuts get extracted from pine trees, mainly in Asia, Europe, and North America. In contrast, pili nuts come from pili trees that come from Northern Australia and Southeast Asia.
Q. Are pili nuts an allergen?
A. A nut allergy is developed in the body when our body tends to have some reactions due to specific proteins. In this case, our body’s immune system becomes overly sensitive to that protein. That is why you are allergic to a particular nut; you will likely be allergic to all nuts.
Q. Is pili native to the Philippines?
A. Yes, pili trees naturally grow in volcanic regions of the Philippines, mainly in Bicol. The scientific name of the Pili tree is Canarium ovatum. As it is widely available in the Philippines, many cuisines use these nuts as an ingredient.
Q. Are pili nuts Brazil nuts?
A. No, pili nuts and brazil nuts are entirely different. However, they have very similar tastes. Brazil nuts can easily substitute pili nuts.
But please note that Brazil nuts are generally more allergic than pili nuts. So be very careful before choosing brazil nuts. You must consume brazil nuts only if you are 100% sure you are not allergic to them.
Q. Is pili nut expensive?
A. Yes, pili nuts are more expensive than most other nuts. Also, this is due to the difficulty and time it takes for the pili nut to come to your table. The pili trees are long, and one pili fruit contains only one pili seed. Therefore, it makes it a challenging task to extract the seed.