Pecan health benefits are exceptional! Tasty, buttery yet rich-flavored pecans are some of the most popular edible tree nuts. They are enriched with numerous health benefiting nutrients, vitamins, minerals, which are vital for optimum health.
Pecan is a large sized deciduous tree from the hickory family, Juglandaceae. This tree is native to southern and central parts of the United States of America. Now, however, it’s being cultivated in various regions of the world as a significant commercial tree-nuts crop. 1
Being a tasty, protein-rich food, it does not take much to incorporate pecan into your diet. Pecans are a perfect addition to a plethora of nutritious and delicious dishes. Pecans health benefits are really impressive! Here are the possible health benefits of pecans:
- Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Pecans contain monounsaturated fats as oleic acid accompanied by phenolic antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease. Adding a handful of pecans in your diet can decrease LDL ( bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) that in turn prevent coronary artery disease and stroke, according to the National Pecan Shellers Association. 2 3
- Improve Digestion
According to the nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat, pecans are rich in fiber that facilitates regular bowel movements and promotes colon health 4 . Pecans can prevent constipation and decrease the risk of colitis and hemorrhoids by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system.
- Support Weight Loss
Eating nuts increase metabolism and enhance satiety, research has shown that a diet comprising pecans helps in losing weight 5 . Pecan nuts are also rich sources of several essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, thiamin, and folates that together help increase the metabolic rate.
- Reduce the Risk of Cancer
One of the most significant pecans health benefits are the gut-cleansing abilities and the prevention of certain types of cancer. Due to their powerful antiproliferative properties of ellagic acid that inhibit DNA binding of some carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines, pecans can protect the body from cancer 6 . These nuts contain oleic acid, a fatty acid that has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer. Since these nuts can help clean the gastrointestinal system, they also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Pecan nuts are rich in magnesium that is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Scientists have found that increased magnesium intake decreases inflammatory indicators in the body, and also decreases inflammation in the arterial walls, hence reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and inflammatory ailments. 7
- Boost Immunity
Adequate intake of manganese is crucial for brain function and nerve conduction, and pecan nuts are a great source of manganese that is an amazing antioxidant, which protects the nerve cells from free-radical damages, therefore improving immunity and protecting the body from infections, diseases, etc. 8
Hair Benefits and Skin Benefits of Pecans
Pecans are an incredible source of Vitamin-A, Vitamin-E, phosphorus, folate, and zinc, which play a significant role in maintaining good skin. Following, we present you the skin benefits of pecan nuts:
- Prevent Hair Loss
Lack of iron in the human body can lead to anemia that is one of the most common causes of hair loss. But pecan nuts are a good source of iron and thus, fight hair loss.
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- Stimulate Hair Growth
Pecan nuts are an amazing source of L-arginine, an amino acid that when applied topically can treat male pattern baldness plus can encourage the growth of healthy and beautiful hair. L-arginine can improve the flexibility of the artery walls and avoid blood clots 9 . This consecutively increases the rate of blood flow through the hair roots that is essential for healthy scalp and hair growth.
- Prevent Skin Issues
The toxins inside the human body cause excess oil, dullness, and breakouts. Pecan nuts are packed with fiber and help in eliminating waste and toxins from the body, thus improving the appearance of the skin. Pecans also contain zinc and vitamin A which helps protect against skin infections and achieve a clear complexion.
- Anti-aging Benefits
Pecans contain many great antioxidants including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and ellagic acid, which fight and remove the free radicals that are actually responsible for causing premature skin aging 10 . Hence, pecan nuts can prevent the occurrence of pigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Pecans Nutrition Facts
Native to the USA, pecan nuts offer a unique combination of qualities to the diet, unlike any other food. Further, the minerals alone are remarkable: 245% of the daily value per serving of manganese, as well as zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Really high in fiber, which keeps your digestive system well-regulated, these nuts offer exceptional antioxidant power.
Phytochemicals like zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin E, and beta carotene, neutralize free radicals and protect the body from various diseases and infections, including certain cancers. 11
|Pecan Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams)
|Calories from Fat||602|
|Total Fat||72 g||111%|
|Saturated Fat||6 g||31%|
|Total Carbohydrates||14 g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber||10 g||38%|
|Vitamin A1%||Vitamin C||2%|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie
How to Toast Pecans?
The best way to get the incredible pecans health benefits is to incorporate them into delicious, healthy recipes. You can simply toast the pecan nuts in order to give them a more intense taste and an extra crunch. Here are 2 methods of toasting pecans you could try:
Toast the pecans in an oven:
- Place the nuts on a baking sheet, sprinkle with some Himalayan salt and cover with coconut oil. Bake in a preheated oven (350°F/180 °C/Gas Mark 4) for about 5 minutes, stirring them occasionally. You need to watch them really carefully, as they could easily burn.
Toast the pecans in a pan:
- Melt some coconut oil in an iron skillet, which will prevent the pecans from sticking. Add them and lower to medium heat. Stir the pecans with a spoon to ensure that they are toasted equally. Once you smell a nutty smell, it means your pecan nuts are ready.
You can add toasted pecans to salads and many other recipes. A handful of pecans makes an ideal snack!
Just be careful to keep an eye on them while toasting them, as they could burn or dry out quickly.
Check out this delicious pecan pie recipe: Pecan Pie Recipe (Healthy Choice Pie)
Pecans allergy is a type-1 (Ig-E mediated) hypersensitivity reaction in some individuals to food substances prepared with this kind of nuts. Generally, the allergic reaction can be more commonly encountered in individuals with a history of prior contact with the tree pollen and, thus, developed antibodies.
Pecans are one of the healthiest nuts. Actually, after looking at 277 different foods and nuts, USDA researchers claim pecans are the most antioxidant-rich nut around. Furthermore, pecans offer more oleic acid than olive oil, has 90% unsaturated (heart-healthy) fats, are cholesterol free, low sodium, contain important vitamins and minerals, and have significant alpha and gamma-tocopherol forms of vitamin-E.12
All of the above-stated properties are responsible for the impressive pecans health benefits. Incorporate pecan nuts in your diet to boost immunity, prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, and improve the appearance of your skin and hair.