Nuts are becoming increasingly popular as a crunchy and
nutritious snack. Pecans are one of the most popular
edible nuts native to North America and Mexico. The pecan
tree is a large deciduous tree belonging to the hickory
family. A typical pecan has a buttery rich shell which is
golden brown outside and beige inside. The kernel occupies
40% to 60% of the space inside the shell. This kernel has
a grooved surface but is slightly more oval in shape. The
pecan has a sweet, rich and buttery flavor and texture
which can be attributed to its high levels of
monounsaturated oils. Pecans have a fat content of over
70% which is the highest among all the nuts.
Shelled pecans are available all year round while
unshelled pecans are available in autumn.
Pecans come in various sizes such as mammoth, extra-large,
large, medium, small and midget. They are also available
in several forms such as whole pecans, pecan halves,
pieces, granules and meals. Their rich buttery flavor
makes them suitable for both savory and sweet dishes. The
famous “pecan pie” is a classic South American dish which
uses pecan as a primary ingredient. Raw pecans can be
salted or sweetened and make for a delicious snack. They
can be sprinkled over desserts, particularly sundaes and
ice creams. They are also widely used in confectionery as
an addition to biscuits, sweets and cakes. Pecan nut
butter is a popular spread for breads, toast etc.
So here are the benefits of eating pecans:
Health Benefits of Pecans:
Like most other nuts, pecans contain various nutrients,
minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that offer some
wonderful health benefits.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Pecans are rich in fiber which boosts the health of your
heart by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and
preventing some forms of cancer. It also contains
monounsaturated fats like oleic acid along with phenolic
antioxidants that are healthy for your heart and help
prevent coronary artery disease and strokes. As per
research, pecans may help prevent coronary heart disease
by inhibiting unwanted oxidation of blood lipids.
2. Digestive Health
The fiber contained in pecans promotes colon health and
facilitates regular bowel movements. It enables the colon
to work at greater levels of efficiency by cleaning out
the gastrointestinal system. Besides, it prevents
constipation and reduces the risk of colitis, colon cancer
3. Helps in Weight Loss
Research has indicated that a diet comprising of nuts such
as pecans helps in losing weight. This is because nut
consumption enhances satiety and increases metabolism.
4. Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer
Pecans contain oleic acid, a fatty acid which has been
found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. It has been
shown to promote an increase in breast cancer cell
invasiveness by promoting migration and proliferation in
breast cancer cells.
5. Bone and Teeth Health
Phosphorus is one of the most abundant minerals in the
body after calcium. Nearly 85% of phosphorus is found in
bones and teeth while the other 15% is found in cells and
tissues. Besides cleansing the waste from the body,
phosphorus, along with calcium, promotes the health of
your bones and teeth. This mineral is also vital for the
growth and repair of cells and tissues as well as
production of DNA and RNA. Lastly, it prevents muscle pain
that can occur due to exercising.
6. Anti-inflammatory Benefits
Pecans are rich in magnesium which is known for its
anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have proved that
increased magnesium intake reduces inflammatory indicators
in the body such as CRP (C-reactive protein), TNF (tumor
necrosis factor alpha) and IL6 (interlukin 6). It also
reduces inflammation in the arterial walls, thus reducing
the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s
disease and other inflammatory ailments.
7. Reduces Blood Pressure
Magnesium in pecans has been shown to help lower blood
pressure. Though pecans cannot cure hypertension, they do
help lower it.
8. Reduces the Risk of
Studies have proved that consuming 100 milligrams of
magnesium per day reduces the risk of stroke by 9%. Pecan
being a good source of magnesium can form part of your
diet to reap this benefit.
9. Anti-cancer Properties
Pecans are rich in phytochemical substances such as
polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E,
beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds
play an important role in removing toxic oxygen-free
radicals, thus protecting your body from diseases, cancer
and infections. Ellagic acid possesses anti-proliferative
properties which inhibit DNA binding of certain
carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic
hydrocarbons, thus protecting the human body from cancers.
10. Strengthens the
Pecans are a rich source of manganese which is a powerful
antioxidant. This trace mineral helps boost your immunity
and protects your nerve cells from free-radical damage.
Adequate intake of manganese is vital for nerve conduction
and brain function.
Skin Benefits of Pecans
Pecans, like most other nuts, are rich in nutrients like
zinc, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate and phosphorus, which
play an important role in maintaining good skin. The
various benefits of pecans for skin are as follows:
11. Prevents Skin Problems
The outside appearance of our skin depends upon how we
treat it from the inside. Thus, adequate nutrition is
inevitable for maintaining a healthy skin and preventing
skin problems. The toxins inside your body can make your
skin suffer by causing breakouts, dullness and excess oil.
Pecans are a good source of fiber which can do wonders for
your health and hence, for your skin. It aids in the
elimination of toxins and waste from the body, thereby
improving the appearance of your skin.
12. Helps Maintain Clear Complexion
Pecans contain zinc which helps in maintaining skin health
by guarding against infections. Vitamin A on the other
hand is an antioxidant which gives you a clear complexion.
13. Anti-aging Benefits
Pecans contain numerous antioxidants including ellagic
acid, vitamin A and vitamin E. These antioxidants fight
and eliminate the free radicals which are responsible for
causing premature skin aging. Thus, pecans can prevent the
occurrence of signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles
Just like our skin, healthy hair is also a reflection of a
healthy body. Thus, our hair follicles require adequate
supply of vital nutrients to maintain their health and
prevent hair problems. The nutritional value of pecans
makes them beneficial for your hair.
14. Stimulates Hair Growth
Pecans are an excellent source of L-arginine, an amino
acid which, when applied topically helps treat male
pattern baldness as well as encourage the growth of
healthy hair. Vibrant blood flow throughout the body and
to the hair roots is vital for healthy hair growth and
scalp. L-arginine is beneficial in this regard as it
improves the health of the artery walls by making them
more flexible and less prone to blood clots which can
block the flow of blood.
15. Prevents Hair Loss
Anemia is one of the common causes of hair loss. It is
caused by iron deficiency in the blood. Pecans, being a
good source of iron, can be included in your diet to
improve your blood iron levels and hence, combat hair