For many people, the thought of pecans evokes images of mom’s homemade pecan pie during the holidays, or maybe a delicious bag of pralines. While pecans are excellent ingredients for sweets, the perception that this is their only use is false. At Pecan Nation, our goal is to spread the truth about the pecan. It’s a nutritional powerhouse packed with plenty of great health benefits and is good for so much more than just sugar-filled indulgence.
Pecans are Rich in Antioxidants
Pecans have the highest antioxidant capacity of any nut. In fact, they rank near the top of all antioxidant-rich foods along with apples, blueberries, and certain types of beans. Antioxidants fight oxidation in your cells, which can:
- Slow signs of aging: Vitamins. Minerals. Pecans are full of so many attractive nutrients and antioxidants. Did you know that heart-healthy pecans can even help keep you looking younger? One powerful attribute of antioxidants is that they keep away wrinkles such as “smile lines.”
- Reduce your risk of cancer: Many people eat tree nuts to lower their chances of being diagnosed with different types of cancers. What makes pecans especially good for your health in this category is that the presence of ellagic acid may protect your body against DNA changes associated with cancer development.
- Lower chances of cognitive disease: n addition to helping your system naturally fight against cancer, pecans may also keep diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s from developing as quickly.
- Contribute to heart health: Here’s another reason to love America’s native nut: It loves you back. Pecans are healthy for you and your heart. Eating a few pecans per day as part of a nutritious diet can lower cholesterol levels and boost levels of “good” fats.
Pecans are a Great Source of Magnesium
Magnesium is a key mineral in the human body, playing a significant role in building strong bones and allowing nerves to function properly. Magnesium provides anti-inflammatory benefits, reduces blood pressure, and reduces risk of stroke. A single serving of pecans contains nearly 10% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Pecans Contain Plenty of Fiber
Just one ounce, or about eight pecans, can provide 11% of your daily fiber intake. Diets that are high in fiber promote a healthy colon allowing it to work more efficiently. With regular fiber and a healthy colon, you can reduce your risk of colon cancer, colitis, and other related issues. Fiber is also crucial for heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Pecans are High in Unsaturated Fats
As research in recent years has shown, not all fat is bad fat. Unsaturated fats are considered “good fats” – they fight cholesterol, improve heart health, and are good for your skin. Pecans are very high in unsaturated fats, which account for around 90% of their total fat content. These good fats are primarily found in fish and nuts, making the pecan an excellent option for this key part of a healthy diet.
With health benefits like these, it’s obvious why pecans should be consumed regularly. They provide the human body with plenty of nutrients necessary for optimum health. The best part, however, is that they’re also delicious! A bag of pecans is a fantastic, health-conscious snack choice for you and your kids. Rather than filling your body with processed foods loaded with cholesterol and saturated fats, you can enjoy pecans for both their flavor and many health benefits.
Other Health Benefits of Pecans
At this point, we’ve established that pecans are good for you. In fact, we would go so far as to say that pecans are great for you, and they taste fantastic, too! But we’re not quite finished talking about why you should switch to snacking on this wonderful nut.
Check out a few other health benefits of pecans. You’ll be amazed at how wholesome the pecan is. It’s a food packed with healthy nutrients, and it belongs in your daily meal lineup. Some more advantages include:
- Benefits for your brain: Your brain works hard all day sending pings to the rest of your body and making decisions (like which pecans to eat from Pecan Nation!). Pecans deliver plenty of nutrient-packed fuel to keep your brainpower going 24/7. The mere presence of so many antioxidants helps keep your body’s inflammation low and immunity high, which is great for your brain. The fewer resources your brain has to send to deal with health issues, the higher your overall intellectual and physical performance will be.
- Ease for your digestion: No one likes to deal with problems such as chronic indigestion, heartburn or constipation. The healthy fat and fiber in pecans help keep your digestive tract cleaner and more efficient. Worrying less about digestion allows you to focus on other areas, such as spending time with family. Plus, you won’t have the discomfort that can come from digestive concerns.
- Increase in metabolism: Do you struggle with a sluggish metabolism? Pecans could be a healthy way to encourage your metabolism to hit its stride. Instead of snacking on foods that contain too many saturated fats and too few nutrients, reach for all-natural pecans. Swapping out empty calories for a handful of pecans each day can rev up your metabolism and keep your body processing foods consistently. Additionally, the fiber content in pecans will keep you feeling satisfied longer than other snacks.
- Prevention of skin problems: Skin problems like dry skin and dandruff can be more than just irritating. They can be embarrassing and painful, too. The oil, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients in pecans can help keep your skin moisturized. Pecans may even reduce inflammation, which can lessen the impact and length of a dry skin breakout.
- Hair growth stimulation: Having trouble with hair loss? Stimulate new growth with the help of the humble pecan. Doctors and scientists have linked some hair loss situations to a lack of iron in the body. Incorporating pecans into meals and snacks increases your intake of iron, warding off anemia and potentially stimulating hair growth.