Nuts are an important nutrient source in the nutritarian lifestyle. Though they are small, they are mighty.
The options for nuts are much like beans. There are quite a few to choose from and many flavors to entice the taste buds. Don’t let their size fool you though, nuts are a powerhouse and pecans don’t disappoint in this respect.
Pecans have a rich, sweet and buttery flavor and crunchy texture which is attributed to its high levels of monounsaturated fat levels. Pecans boast the highest fat content of any nut at over 70%. Like most other nuts, pecans are loaded with many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.
As with many natural plant foods, the benefits list often seems so silly because they just go on and on. So it is with Pecans.
Pecans are high in fiber which reduces the risk of some forms of cancer as well as heart disease. The monounsaturated fats and antioxidants contained in pecans are also known to help keep hearts healthy and prevent coronary artery disease and strokes. Some research suggests that the antioxidants inhibit the oxidation of blood lipids which aids in the prevention heart disease.
As stated above, pecans are high in fiber which helps facilitate healthy bowels and colon health by creating regularity. The fiber enables the colon to work at peak performance and the efficiency of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system prevents constipation and reduces the risk of colitis, colon cancer and even hemorrhoids.
Remember that oleic acid we mentioned above, that aids in heart health? Well, that fatty acid has also been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. So far we’ve got heart, digestive and now breast benefits. Time to add pecans to the next shopping list or salad.
Pecans are also a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have shown that a higher intake of magnesium reduces the inflammatory indicators in the body including TNF (tumor necrosis factor alpha). Inflammation in arterial walls has also been shown which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Ready to crunch and munch those nutritious pecans yet?
Magnesium has been proven to reduce the risk of stroke when at least 100 milligrams per day is consumed. Pair pecans with other high magnesium foods like dark leafy greens and you’ll be well on your way to stroke prevention.
Now, moving on to another powerful component of the pecan is its anti-cancer substances such as polyphenolic antioxidant ell agin acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds act like sponges and grabbers and move toxic free radicals out of the body.
Honestly, pecans are tiny tasty powerhouses. There are even more benefits to list like strengthening the immune system, benefits to skin, hair and nails as well as anti-aging benefits given by the antioxidants contained in these tiny crunchy treats . . . but we don’t want to delay your rush out to get them, so get a move on it and add a mighty little pecan power to your life.