Succulent, rich tasting pecans are not only the perfect complement to almost any meal, but they are also very nutritious. Pecan nuts contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellbeing. They fit perfectly into the healthy lifestyle and can be taken almost anywhere for those who are constantly “on the go”.
The Nutritional Facts
It has been said that eating about a handful of pecans each day may play a role in protecting the nervous system. Researchers suggest that added pecans to your diet will have lasting health benefits. Other health facts include:
- Antioxidants: Pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity, meaning pecans may decrease the risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Pecans contain different forms of the antioxidant vitamin E—known as tocopherols, plus numerous phenolic substances, many of them with antioxidant abilities. Eating a handful of antioxidant-rich pecans each day may even play a role in protecting the nervous system.
- Cholesterol-lowering: Pecans contain plant sterols, which are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability. For most people, pecan-enriched diets lower total cholesterol by 11.3 percent and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels by 16.5 percent.
- Heart healthy: Nearly 60 percent of the fats in pecans are monounsaturated and another 30 percent are polyunsaturated, leaving very little saturated fat in pecans. In addition, pecans contain zero trans fats.
- Weight control: Pecan consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety. A one-ounce serving of pecans (approximately 20 halves) contains 196 calories, 20.4 grams total fat (1.8 saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 0 grams sodium, 2.7 grams dietary fiber and over 19 vitamins and minerals.
- Nutrient dense: Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also naturally sodium-free, making them an excellent choice for those on a salt- or sodium-restricted diet.
It’s obvious that pecans are a tasty treat enjoyed by many, but the fact that they are healthy makes them taste even better. Their versatile, filling and even has a beneficial effect on the waistline- what more could you want? So, eat pecans every day and your body will thank you for it!