Often used in desserts such as the pecan pie, pecans, with their contoured structure, crunchy texture, and buttery flavor, are quite popular. Related to the walnut, pecans grow enclosed in a brownish-red oval shell. The benefits of pecans are not just limited to taste. There are also many health benefits of pecans. According to the USDA, they rank among the top 15 foods with the highest level of anti-oxidants. They have various vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Are pecans healthy? Of course. Here’s the Pecans nutrition value
An ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains roughly:
|Vitamin E||2% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||8% of the RDI|
Are pecans good for you? Yes, they are.
The health benefits of pecans are
1. Good for your heart
Pecans contain mono-saturated fats such as oleic acid, as well as phenolic antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Adding a handful of pecan nuts in your daily diet may help decrease LDL, i.e bad cholesterol, and increase HDL, i.e good cholesterol. This, in turn, may prevent stroke and coronary artery disease(1).
2. Aids in better digestion
Fiber-packed and nutritious, pecans aid in facilitating healthy digestive systems. They promote colon health and facilitate regular bowel movements. They may also prevent constipation and reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and colitis by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system.
3. Helps in weight loss
Pecans in particular and nuts, in general, may help you feel full after eating a handful. Thus, this increases the feeling of ‘fullness’ and helps increase metabolism. A diet compromising of pecan nuts may help you lose weight. Also rich in many important vitamin B’s like riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and other folates, which together, may help increase the rate of metabolism(2).
4. Mitigates the risk of certain cancers
Pecans may help protect the body from cancer, thanks to their anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid, which may prevent DNA binding of some carcinogens, like nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Pecans also contain oleic acid, a fatty acid that is associated with lowered risks of breast cancer. As pecans cleanse the digestive system, they may also help keep away colon cancer(3).
5. Anti-inflammatory properties
Rich in magnesium, pecans may help inflammatory indicators in the body. It may also help reduce inflammation in the arterial walls, thus reducing the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and other inflammatory ailments.
6. May boost immunity
The high content of manganese in pecans may help nerve conditions and brain functions. This powerful antioxidant and trace mineral protects our nerve cells from free-radical damage, thus boosting our immunity, and protecting our body from diseases and possible infections.
7. May prevent skin problems
There are toxins in our body, that cause breakouts, dullness, and secretion of excess oil. Packed with fiber, pecans help in eliminating toxins and waste from the body, thus improving the texture of your skin. Pecan nuts are also a good source of vitamin A and zinc, which help you get a clear complexion and also protect against skin infections.
8. Slows down aging
Pecans have many antioxidants. Some of these are ellagic acid, vitamin A and vitamin E, which may help fight and eliminate free radicals that may be responsible for causing premature skin aging. Pecans may thus prevent the occurrence of wrinkles, pigmentation, and fine lines.
9. Stimulates hair growth
Pecans are an excellent source of L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps treat male pattern baldness and encourages the growth of healthy hair. L-arginine also helps increase the flexibility of the artery walls, making them less prone to blood clots. This, in turn, may increase the rate of blood flow throughout the body and to the hair roots, which is important for healthy scalp and hair.
10. Prevents hair loss
The lack of iron in the body leads to anemia, which happens to be one of the most common causes of hair loss. A good source of iron, pecans may help combat hair loss.
How to consume pecans?
Pecans may be consumed standalone or may be used in various recipes. Popular pecan recipes include pecan cupcakes, candied pecans, and pecan pie. To prepare pecans, boil water and add pecans to the water, leaving them to boil for 5-10 minutes. Then, drain the pecans and leave them to cool before cracking them open. Alternatively, you may place one cup of water and two cups of pecans in a microwaveable bowl and heat it on high for 5 to 6 minutes. Whatever way you choose to consume them, pecans are incredibly tasty and make a great addition to any dish.
Myths and side effects
The main one is that pecans are fattening. Well, are pecans fattening? Not if you consume in moderate amounts. Nuts are high in fat. But there is more than one kind of fat. You need to stay away from saturated fats. Nuts are high in unsaturated fats. In fact, moderate consumption of unsaturated fats may help lower cholesterol levels. There are no side effects of pecans. However, check if you’re allergic to nuts or specifically pecans.
In conclusion, pecans are extraordinary for health. With a number of antioxidants and essential minerals and vitamins, it is imperative that you add a generous serving of nuts to your meal if you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle. However, try consuming pecans that are minimally processed. And, always check with your physician if you have a histamine allergy before you choose to add pecans to your diet.
1. Can We Eat Pecans Every Day?
Yes, you can. But ensure to eat in moderate amounts.
2. Are Pecans Good for the Brain?
Well, there is no study currently that specifically concludes this statement. But nuts are often considered as a food that improves memory.