Pecans, this name may sound strange, but you must have eaten it at some point of time. Pecan is a type of dried fruit, which contains a rich amount of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, potassium and vitamin A. You can consume it to avoid many health related problems. This article explains 12 proven benefits of pecans as well as its side-effects. In addition, you will also know how to use pecans.
WHAT ARE PECANS?
Pecan belongs to the Juglandaceae family and its scientific name is Carya illinoinensis. It is native to the southern United States and northern Mexico. The tree is cultivated in the southern United States, primarily in the New Mexico, Texas, Georgia and Mexico, which produces almost half of the world total.
Pecan tree is shaped like a pyramid, grows 20 to 40 meters (66–131 feet) in height. It looks like a walnut, but is completely different from it. Its outer shell is very hard.
PECAN NUTRITION FACTS:
According to Nutrition Data, per ounce (28g) serving of raw pecans contains:
- Calories: 193
- Protein: 2.6 g
- Carbohydrate: 3.9 g
- Calcium: 19.6 mg
- Iron: 0.7 mg
- Magnesium: 33.9 mg
- Phosphorus: 77.5 mg
- Potassium: 115 mg
- Zinc: 1.3 mg
- Copper: 0.3 mg
- Manganese: 1.3 mg
- Selenium: 1.1 mcg
- Fluoride: 2.8 mcg
- Fat: 20.2 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
- Vitamin A: 15.7 IU
- Vitamin C: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
- Vitamin K: 1.0 mcg
- Thiamin: 0.2 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.0 mg
- Niacin: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Folate: 6.2 mcg
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.2 mg
- Choline: 11.3 mg
- Phytosterols: 28.6 mg
- Water: 1.0 g
- Cholesterol: Zero
- Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 276 mg
- Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 5777 mg
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PECANS:
Nutrients and medicinal properties present in pecan fruit make it beneficial for health in many ways. The benefits of pecans may include:
1. FOR HEART HEALTH:
In today’s times, cardiovascular diseases are increasing worldwide day-by-day. It may be due to obesity and oxidative stress. Pecan fruit can help in this regard. According to scientific study, pecan has antioxidant effects, which may show a positive effect on oxidative stress.
In addition, bone marrow may also help protect against the risk of heart disease by reducing cardiometabolic risk factors, such as obesity. If you consume 2 to 4 whole pecan nuts daily, then it may help protect against the risk of heart diseases caused by being overweight.
2. PECANS FOR WEIGHT LOSS:
The benefits of pecans can also be seen when it comes to reducing weight. According to a scientific research, consumption of nuts along with low-fat diet can help in weight loss. Here; it is also important to note that along with pecans and balanced diet, regular exercising is also necessary to lose weight.
3. HELPS PREVENT CANCER:
The benefits of pecans can also be seen here. It has cancer-fighting effects. According to a research, pecan shell extracts contain phenolic acid. These can help prevent tumor cells from growing and may help in the treatment of cancer.
At the same time, an another research states that pecans have anti-tumor properties, which may play a vital role in fighting against tumors. Keep in mind that cancer is a fetal disease and it is important to seek emergency medical treatment while having this condition.
4. REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE:
High blood pressure (hypertension) can be harmful to the heart. To avoid this condition, consumption of pecans can be beneficial. According to a study, pecan nuts contain a rich amount of fiber. At the same time, fiber is also considered beneficial for controlling blood pressure.
In addition, it also contains magnesium and according to a study, consumption of magnesium can help in reducing blood pressure. So, it would not be wrong to say that pecans can be beneficial in controlling blood pressure problem.
5. IMPROVE DIGESTION:
Pecans can help in keeping the digestion process right. It contains fiber in plenty and consuming fiber can be beneficial for the gut health, which can also help improve digestion. In addition, fiber present in pecans, can also work eliminate the problem of constipation to a great extent.
6. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECT:
Inflammation can be a main cause of heart related problems. Pecans have anti-inflammatory properties and they can be eaten to avoid inflammatory problems. Due to this quality, it can be included in the diet along with other nuts. It may help reduce inflammation in the body.
7. BENEFITS OF PECANS FOR SKIN:
Along with many health benefits, pecan nuts can also be beneficial for keeping the skin healthy. According to a research, it can be used to overcome the problem of skin eruptions.
In addition, an another scientific research has found that the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids present in nuts are beneficial for the skin.
8. IN DIABETES:
Pecan fruit can help in this regard. According to a research, pecans contain fiber in plenty. Fiber is beneficial for health in many ways. At the same time, it can also be helpful in controlling diabetes.
9. BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM:
A strong immune system can help protect against many diseases. For this, the pecan fruit can be used. In fact, according to a scientific research done on several nuts, the lipophilic isomers of vitamin E (tocopherol and tocotrienol) found in nuts have antioxidant properties.
This property can help boost immune functions by preventing the damage of free radicals. In addition, polyphenols present in nuts can also positively affect immune-modulation.
10. FOR BRAIN HEALTH:
Consuming pecan nuts can also be beneficial for keeping the brain healthy. A research has revealed that pecans are rich in vitamin E.
At the same time, vitamin E shows neuroprotective effect, which is beneficial for the brain health. In addition, the antioxidants present in it may play an important role in keeping the brain healthy.
11. BENEFITS OF PECANS FOR HAIR:
Consuming pecan nuts can also be beneficial when it comes to hair growth. Today, many people are suffering from the problem of hair loss. This can be due to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency causes hair loss as well as other health related problems. At the same time, pecan nuts have been considered a good source of iron, which can help prevent hair loss.
12. KEEP EYES HEALTHY:
The benefits of eating pecans can also be seen for eye health. Pecans are rich in vitamin A. According to a study, vitamin A intake can help improve eye vision. For this, you can consume it every morning with breakfast.
HOW TO USE PECANS:
Pecans can be used in many ways; including:
- Pecans can be consumed with milk.
- It can be eaten like other dry fruits.
- It can also be used with oatmeal.
- Can also be consumed as a snack.
- It can be consumed by grinding it in banana shake or any other shake.
HOW MUCH TO EAT:
Consumption of pecan nuts depends on the age, gender and health of a person. However, you can consume 10 to 15 pecans throughout a day. Before consuming pecans, it is also important to consult a doctor or dietitian first.
SIDE EFFECTS OF PECANS:
Pecans not only have benefits, consuming it in excessive amounts can also cause some health side-effects; including:
- It contains phosphorus in plenty. Consuming phosphorus in large amounts (more than 1000 mg a day) may trigger the risk of death, along with adverse effects on the kidneys, bones and heart disease.
- Pecans contain a high amount of vitamin A. It can increase the risk of birth defects in the unborn baby. If you are a pregnant, then consume it on the advise of a doctor.
- If it is consumed in excess, there may be problems like burning in the chest and stomach.
- Pecans are also rich in potassium. In such a situation, its excessive intake can negatively affect the functioning of the heart.
- Do not consume pecans, if you are allergic to it.
After reading this article, you must have understand the benefits and side-effects of eating pecans. Avoid consuming it if you are allergic to nuts. Also consume it in moderate amounts, because its excessive intake can cause several side-effects.
- 9 Surprising Health Benefits of Almonds
- Walnut: Benefits, Side-Effects, Nutrition and More
- 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Peanuts
- Brazil Nuts: Nutrition, Benefits and Side-Effects
- Beta Carotene: Benefits, Side-Effects, Deficiency and Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene
- Isolation and Characterization of Three Chalcone Synthase Genes in Pecan (Carya illinoinensis); Chengcai Zhang, Xiaohua Yao, Huadong Ren, Kailiang Wang and Jun Chang; PMCID: PMC6627513. PMID: 31216753.
- Nuts, pecans Nutrition Facts & Calories; Nutrition Data.
- A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial; Diane L. McKay, Misha Eliasziw, C. Y. Oliver Chen and Jeffrey B. Blumberg; PMCID: PMC5872757. PMID: 29534487.
- Fiber; Medline Plus.
- Health Benefits of Nut Consumption; Emilio Ros; PMCID: PMC3257681. PMID: 22254047.
- Nuts and seeds; Better Health.
- Pecan Nuts; Science Direct.
- Pecans: A Healthful New Mexico-grown Food; Revised by Richard Heerema, Raquel Garzon, and John Hartley; Guide E-138.
- Aqueous extract from pecan nut [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch] shell show activity against breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and Ehrlich ascites tumor in Balb-C mice; Josiane Hilbig and Priscila de Britto Policarpi; PMID: 28807853.
- Potassium; National Institutes of Health.
- A scientific peak into the health benefits of pecan nuts; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics; University of the Free State.
- Magnesium; National Institutes of Health.
- Health Benefits of Nut Consumption in Middle-Aged and Elderly Population; Marius Emil Rusu, Andrei Mocan, Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira, and Daniela-Saveta Popa; PMCID: PMC6719153. PMID: 31409026.
- Vitamin A; Medline Plus.
- Nut Oils and their Dietetic and Cosmetic Significance: a Review; Michalal Monika; 2019 Volume 68, Issue 2.
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use; Emily L. Guo and Rajani Katta; PMCID: PMC5315033. PMID: 28243487.
- Phosphorus; National Institutes of Health.
- Antioxidants in Pecan Nut Cultivars [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]; Authors: Ana G. Ortiz-Quezada, Leonardo Lombardini and Luis Cisneros-Zevallos; Research Gate.
- Aqueous extract from Pecan nut [ Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch] shell show activity against breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and Ehrlich ascites tumor in Balb-C mice; Josiane Hilbig and Valdelucia Grinevicius; Research Gate.