Pecans also called Pecan Nuts are native to central and southern United states. Technically they are not nuts but are fruits(drupes). They come from the hickory tree which has the botanical name – Carya illinoinensis. Native Americans used it as part of the diet for centuries before the advent of European colonists. It was first commercially cultivated in Mexico. These trees require temperate climate and a lot of care. The nuts belong to the Juglandaceae family just like walnuts.
We take a look at some of the health benefits of eating Pecans.
Helps in preventing female osteoporosis
Recent research has found out that daily Pecan consumption boosted bone mass and reduced bone loss among women. This is because the nuts are rich in copper, zinc and manganese.
Helps in reducing weight and waistline
Scientific studies have observed that the regular consumption of these nuts reduced the waist circumference as well as resulted in weight loss in most individuals. Large waists are a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the nuts contain 0% cholesterol. So, they can be consumed by individuals suffering from high cholesterol. While the nuts contain fats, they are overwhelmingly of the unsaturated variety which promote heart health. Pecans contain very little saturated fats and absolutely no trans-fats. For your information, the latter type of fats is dangerous to health. Pecans supply more than 50% of the daily requirements of manganese which is useful for weight loss.
Reduces blood pressure
Pecan nuts don’t cure hypertension but eating them lowers blood pressure. People who are risk for blood pressure such as the obese and those with a family history of hypertension should include these nuts in their daily diet. This way they can ward off or delay the onset of high blood pressure. Also, remember pecans are 100 % sodium free nuts and can be safely consumed by hypertension patients.
While it can’t be claimed that the consumption of Pecans can cure Cancer, the dreaded disease’s risk can certainly be reduced. The nuts are rich in fiber which decreases the risk of Cancer. The former has the highest antioxidant content among all nuts and is one of the top 15 foods containing antioxidants in the world. These nuts are rich in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins, flavonoids as well as phenolic acids. Antioxidants get rid of the free radicals present in the body which are a major cause of cancer.
A Final Note
A word of caution. Some people may have Pecan allergy. They should avoid consuming Pecans. As with other nuts Pecan nuts are high in calories. So, eat them in moderation. The nuts are a great addition to salads as well as desserts.
If you have experienced any other health benefits of consuming pecans, please share your inputs so that others may benefit.