Pecans nuts are delicious nuts with a buttery and rich flavor that are enjoyed all around the world. Not only are they tasty, but they also come packed with numerous health benefits. This article will explore the nutritional profile of pecans, their health benefits, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet.
What are pecan?
Pecans are brown-colored nuts with edible kernels. These are similar to walnuts. Pecans are native to North America and Mexico. These come from large deciduous trees belonging to the Hickory family. Hickory is a fuelwood species, which is used in making furniture and also yields high amounts of charcoal that have an economic value.
Interestingly, pecan comes in various sizes such as mammoth, extra-large, large, medium, small, and midget. They are also obtainable in several forms such as whole pecans, pecan halves, pieces, granules, and meals.
Nutritional Values of Pecans
Pecan carry energy, fiber, amino acids, starch, and sugars. These nuts have the best source of plant-based protein. Other nutrients in this fruit include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, folate, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Among the minerals, pecan is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. It carries no sodium and is, therefore, helpful for people with high blood pressure and other dangerous diseases.
These nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and 70% of a single nut comprises of these fats. This percentage is the highest among all the nuts, which gives you all the benefits listed below.
Pecans are a great source of many essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. Here is a breakdown of the nutrients found in 1 ounce (28 grams) of pecans:
- Calories: 193
- Protein: 2.6 grams
- Fat: 20 grams (18 of which are healthy unsaturated fats)
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2.7 grams
- Manganese: 60% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 15% of the DV
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 12% of the DV
- Zinc: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
Pecans also contain small amounts of other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, iron, and potassium.
14 Health Benefits of Pecans
Pecans contain Oleic acid, polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It is found that these compounds help in the prevention of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Pecan constitutes about 12.1% of manganese per 100 grams. Manganese known to be a powerful antioxidant supports the fact that pecans can boost your immunity. This trace mineral helps in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals in the human body.
The manganese and calcium in pecans help women in staying healthy and also in fighting the symptoms of menstruation like cramps and mood swings.
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Bone and Teeth Health
The phosphorus and calcium present in the pecans can help in maintaining bone health. The bones and teeth contain about 85% of phosphorus and calcium and the rest is found in cells and tissues. Hence, a diet that includes pecans helps to improve bone density.
Pecan carries constituents like flavan-3-ol monomers and tocopherol that support in inhibiting oxidation of lipids that exist in the blood which in turn gives protection against heart diseases. The research was conducted to study the effect of pecan on postprandial antioxidant capacity and catechins and decrease LDL oxidation in humans and the findings suggest that bioactive composition may contribute to the postprandial antioxidant defenses.
Regulate Blood Pressure
When appropriate care is not taken, high blood pressure leads to heart attacks. Pecans have Vitamin E and antioxidant properties that help in maintaining a healthy heart, which prevents the risk of hypertension.
Pecans have dietary fibers that promote colon health and maintain regular bowel movements. These encompass their benefits in the prevention of constipation.
Pecan have antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E, ellagic that help in removing the free radicals from our body. These antioxidants help in preventing the signs of aging like pigmentation, lines, and wrinkles.
Stimulates hair growth and Controls Hair loss
Pecans constitute amounts of L-arginine and amino acids that are known to improve blood circulation throughout the body, thereby helps strengthening the roots of the hair follicles. Pecans are widely known to treat male pattern baldness. The iron in these nuts helps in treating anemia, which in turn helps in controlling the control of hair loss.
Vitamin E-rich pecan nuts are a great addition to the diet. They are often associated with decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, thus helping in keeping the eyes healthy even while you are aging. These nuts are also highly recommended for the prevention of the occurrence of cataracts.
At this point in the article, we have established the point pecans have many health benefits mainly due to the amount so of manganese present in them. This trace mineral also helps in the prevention of inflammation. It reduces the inflammation in the arteries, and therefore, lowers the risk of arthritis, heart disease, and atherosclerosis.
The nutrients like manganese, copper, and thiamine, in pecans, are linked to the healthy functioning of the brain. Thiamine is administered to patients with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is a brain disorder occurring in alcoholics. Copper and manganese, on the other hand, prevent the damage caused by free radicals in the brain.
Consumption of pecans is also associated with a reduced risk of gallstones. Findings of the research carried out to study the effect of the consumption of nuts on the risk of gallstones suggest that frequent consumption of pecans may reduce the risk of gallstone diseases in men.
Pecans are a high-fat food, but they can still be included in a healthy diet. The healthy fats and fiber found in pecans can help you feel full and satisfied, which can prevent overeating and promote weight loss.
In conclusion, the nutritional profile of pecans is impressive, and the health benefits they offer are numerous. Including pecans in your diet can help support heart health, brain function, digestive health, immune system function, and weight management. And with so many delicious ways to enjoy them, there’s no reason not to make pecans a regular part of your diet. So go ahead and add some pecans to your next salad, baked good, or savory dish, and enjoy the rich flavor and nutritional benefits they offer!
Q: Are pecans high in calories?
A: Pecan is a calorie-dense food, with around 200 calories per ounce. However, they are also high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which can help you feel full and satisfied for longer.
Q: Can eating pecans help me lose weight?
A: While there is no magic food that will cause you to lose weight on its own, including pecans in your diet, can be a helpful tool for weight management. The protein and fiber in pecans can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking between meals.
Q: Are pecans a good source of protein?
A: Pecans are a good source of plant-based protein, with around 3 grams per ounce. While they may not be as high in protein as some other nuts or animal-based sources, they are still a valuable addition to a balanced diet.