9 Interesting Health Benefits Of Pecans

Neha Ghosh

In Thanksgiving, pecan pie is considered a speciality dish. The pie is made by using pecan nuts, which has a crunchy texture and buttery flavour that make them for a wonderful ingredient in a variety of dishes. Not only do they look pretty on the plate, but also pecans boast a bevy of health benefits which we are going to discuss in the article.

There are over 500 different types of pecans that come in various sizes such as small, medium, extra-large, mammoth and midget.

Pecans are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. According to a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, pecans along with walnuts and chestnuts have a high antioxidant content [1].

Nutritional Value Of Pecans

100 g of pecans contain 3.52 g water, 691 kcal energy and it also contains:

  • 9.17 g protein
  • 71.97 g fat
  • 13.86 g carbohydrate
  • 9.6 g fibre
  • 3.97 g sugar
  • 70 mg calcium
  • 2.53 mg iron
  • 121 mg magnesium
  • 277 mg phosphorus
  • 410 mg potassium
  • 4.53 mg zinc
  • 1.2 mg copper
  • 3.8 mcg selenium
  • 1.1 mg vitamin C
  • 0.66 mg thiamin
  • 0.13 mg riboflavin
  • 1.167 mg niacin
  • 0.21 mg vitamin B6
  • 22 mcg folate
  • 40.5 mg choline
  • 3 mcg vitamin A
  • 1.4 mg vitamin E
  • 3.5 mcg vitamin K

Health Benefits Of Pecans

1. Promote heart health

Pecans are rich in monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants that help in the proper functioning of the heart. This further helps in decreasing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, which in turn prevents heart disease [2].

2. Aid in losing weight

Consuming pecans daily will enhance satiety and increase metabolism, thereby helping in losing weight. A study showed that a pecan-rich diet improved cardiometabolic risk factors in obese or overweight adults [3].

3. Reduce inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of diseases like autoimmune disorders, heart disease or stroke. Pecans contain antioxidants, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help in lowering inflammation [4].

4. Control Diabetes 

Pecans are beneficial in stabilizing blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and hence, it is necessary to have a healthy diet which includes pecans [3].

5. Lower cancer risk

Pecans contain folate, phenolic compounds and other antioxidants that have been shown to lower the risk of cancer [5]. Phenolic compounds and antioxidants are capable of scavenging free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.

6. Improve brain function

The abundance of minerals and antioxidants found in pecans contribute to the proper functioning of the brain. Thiamin, copper, magnesium, and folate are necessary for proper brain function, as it impacts brain pathways involving dopamine, a feel-good hormone [6].

7. Boost immunity

Pecans are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can stop the damage caused by free radicals in your body. This in turn prevents the body from infections and diseases by boosting your immune system.

8. Increase energy

The presence of fibre, protein and carbohydrates in pecans have the ability to maintain high energy levels in the body. The more your body is energetic, the less stressed out you will feel.

9. Prevents skin and hair problems

Pecan nuts are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, manganese, and phosphorus that plays a major role in maintaining good skin and hair.

Risks Of Consuming Pecans

If you are allergic to tree nuts, you should avoid eating pecans as upon consumption it may lead to hives, swelling, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Pecan Recipes

Pecan pesto salmon [7]

Ingredients:

  • 2 Alaskan salmon fillets
  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 1 ½ cups basil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pecorino cheese
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • In a pan, place the salmon and season it with sea salt and pepper.
  • Bake the salmon for 20-22 minutes.
  • Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor to make the pesto.
  • Serve the salmon on a plate and pour the pesto on it.

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