Nuts offer many advantages for the body. So much so that we can eat them alone, in various dishes, accompanying seconds… Among these, pecans are perhaps less known in the United States, but we find them in more and more places.
They come from North America, which is the world’s largest producer, accounting for more than 60% of annual production. Pecans look like the nuts we all know but are a little more elongated.
This nut usually has a cinnamon exterior color, the surface is smooth and shiny, and has an ovoid shape. It should be noted that its shell is smooth, unlike common walnuts. They have similar benefits to the nuts we usually eat and also some differences.
Nutritional properties of pecans
High fiber content
When it comes to highlighting the benefits of these nuts, it should be said that, like many other nuts, they contain a lot of fiber, making them ideal for regulating the intestine and digestion.
While this is also good for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, especially for people who may have it more delicate.
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Pecans are rich in healthy fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids. This makes them perfect for lowering high cholesterol (especially LDL cholesterol). They also help prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease and are recommended, above all, in the nutritional treatment of patients with breast cancer.
Vitamin E contribution
Vitamin E is essential in our body. And some foods, like certain nuts and pecans, provide it. On the one hand, it acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from toxic compounds that penetrate the body and fighting free radicals that cause tissue degeneration.
This vitamin also helps us to have proper healing. It is beneficial when we have suffered from sunburned skin. But there’s more because vitamin E also acts on the heart to help prevent heart problems. It is also a good diuretic and protects our bodies from oxidation.
Pecans contain vitamin B1, which is basic for the proper functioning of the nervous and muscular systems. Some studies, such as the one by the University of Maryland Medical Center establish that the also called thiamine is anti-stress because it strengthens the immune system and improves the ability to endure stressful conditions.
If eaten correctly, it helps prevent diseases such as type 1 and 2 diabetes and protects cells when we encounter high blood glucose levels.
Rich in magnesium
Among the minerals that pecans carry, we can highlight magnesium. A source of calcium and strength in bones and teeth. This prevents problems such as caries, growth, or osteoporosis, which can arise from the age of 50 onwards.
With copper and phosphorus
On the other hand, the contribution of the minerals copper and phosphorus is interesting. Copper is an essential anti-infectious agent, which acts immediately and effectively; while it also has an important anti-inflammatory effect. Phosphorus helps when there are gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and constipation. It is also very good for memory, so it is usually indicated for people who are studying.
Zinc and Selenium
Other minerals in pecans are zinc and selenium. The former relieves allergies and increases natural immunity against bacterial infections. And the second helps strengthen the immune system and improves the response to cardiovascular diseases.
Moderate amount of protein
Pecans, in turn, have a moderate amount of protein, which is very important so that the body does not have more than the right amount of protein per day.
How many do you eat?
It is always recommended to take a handful of nuts a day. In particular, as far as pecans are concerned, it is advisable to take 4 to 5 pecans a day or the equivalent of 75 grams a day.
Nutritional benefits of pecans, in summary
- A high content of healthy fatty acids (especially monounsaturated fatty acids)
- Vitamins: it’s content in vitamin E and vitamin B1 stands out.
- Minerals: especially rich in magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
- A moderate amount of proteins.