The Power of Pecans – Health Benefits and Nutritional Value
Nuts have been praised as a superfood in recent years and have become the star of the nutrition conscious-population of our world. It is not surprising that these little super crunchers are so popular, considering the health benefits associated with them. Eating nuts is an upward trend. Pecans come with a long list of health benefits and are one of the healthiest nut(s) out there: containing many vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients, plant protein, healthy fats and fibre. Many clinical nutrition studies and the public health sector agree on the health benefits of nuts and their potency, which sometimes is regarded as internal medicine. The pecan is a complex whole food packed with various health-promoting nutrients and bioactive compounds that are important for our health and diet diversity. Each delicious pecan nut is a nutrition powerhouse not to be missed!
In the days of hunter and gathers, indigenous tribes and even our direct ancestors, nuts were an important food and were a source for health and longevity. Nowadays, pecans can be found in most shops and have varying qualities and versions. When looking at raw organic pecans, we can notice their nutritional value and appreciate the nuts’ extensive health benefits in a heartbeat. Because they are healthy for your heart! Pecans have been certified by the American Heart Association as a “heart-healthy food”. Supporting heart health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, non-specific heart disease, and bad cholesterol is one of their magic tricks.
Pecan nuts assist the body’s own mechanism on its way back to equilibrium and, in particular, decrease the risk of having and lower the effects of metabolic syndrome, which manifests in our bodies in many ways. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, impaired fasting glucose, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels. A diet consisting of whole foods, lots of plants, and healthy fats is best for avoiding or helping with the consequences of metabolic syndrome.
Pecans are a rich source of dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B 6, Vitamin B1 and are low in saturated fat. In fact, pecans are full of healthy fat, with their fatty acids being unsaturated fat and omega 3 fatty acid that should be part of a healthy diet and healthy eating. Consuming nuts means high consumption of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may significantly lower our risk of dying and increase our quality of life. Pecans are one of the few plant foods rich in ALA. Our bodies can’t make omega-3 fats themselves, and so instead, we must get them from our food sources. Because of this, these fats belong to the category “essential fats” in the same way some nutrients are classified as essential. ALA comes mostly from plant-based foods, like nuts, seeds and plant oils such as pecans. When it comes to fibre, most Australians and any other nation in the world, for that matter, fall short of their daily fibre needs. Dietary fibre is vital for digestive health. A fibre-rich diet supports bowel regularity and can help prevent gut issues, such as bloating or constipation. A lack of fibre promotes an unhealthy digestive system, leading to many other health challenges and symptoms such as food intolerances, skin issues, or mental health concerns. Studies also show that fibre helps keep us feeling fuller for longer, can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and assist in preventing certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and bowel cancer.
Adding nuts to your diet and eating pecans will support your nutrition and healthy eating in many ways: Bodyweight and weight loss or weight gain, intake of beneficial macro and micronutrients, stabilised energy levels and fighting inflammation. Nut consumption has increased a lot in recent years. People find new ways of enjoying tree nut(s) such as pecan, macadamia, Brazil nuts or almonds and their legume related counterparts such as cashew(s). Whether eating raw nut(s), nut butter or roasted nut(s), use as a salad topper, in granola, pecan pie, baked goods or as a smoothie add-on – the options are endless and yummy. Check out this article for further general information on pecans and how amazing they indeed are!