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 health benefits of pecan nuts as well as its side-effects. In addition, you will also know how to use pecans.
WHAT ARE PECANS?
Pecans are a type of tree nut that is native to the southern United States and northern Mexico. Pecan nuts belongs to the Juglandaceae family and its scientific name is Carya illinoinensis.
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.
These nuts are known for their rich, buttery flavor and their versatility in both sweet and savory dishes. Pecans are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E.
Additionally, pecans contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease. It’s not just what’s inside pecans that make them so good; they also taste great!
When roasted or boiled, they have a delicious caramelized texture with an earthy taste. One favorite way to enjoy them is roasted with cinnamon and honey or as part of a pie crust or salad dressing recipe.
You can even find them in many raw food recipes such as raw brownies and granola bars.
Pecans are also commonly used as a topping on salads, waffles, oatmeal and yogurt. They may be small but these tiny nuts pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition!
ARE PECAN NUTS GOOD FOR YOU?
Are pecan nuts healthy? Yes!
Pecans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. They’re also a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy diet.
In addition, pecan nuts have been shown to promote the release of ghrelin — the hormone that signals hunger in the brain. In other words, they can help you feel fuller faster!
While the pecan tree may look much like its nutty cousins, the hickory and the walnut, there’s one big difference between pecans and other nuts — Pecans have one of the highest concentrations of fats and protein among all nuts.
This makes them incredibly filling, which can be very helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.
Pecans are also rich in nutrients like vitamins B6 and E, as well as magnesium, riboflavin, phosphorus and thiamine.
PECAN NUTRITION FACTS (NUTRIENTS IN PECAN NUTS)
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:
If you love pecan nuts but don’t know much about them, you’re in luck! In this section of the article you will know the surprising benefits of eating pecan nuts. 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:
Pecans are not only a delicious snack, but they may also help with weight loss. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that pecans can help increase satiety and reduce hunger.
Additionally, pecans are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein, all of which can help you lose 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.
Just be sure to eat them in moderation, as they are high in calories.
If you’re looking for something sweet, try using pecan butter in place of peanut butter or any other nut butter when making desserts or baking. You’ll get the flavor without all the added sugar!
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 are a great source of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health.
In addition, pecans contain vitamins and minerals that can help keep your digestive system functioning properly.
However, like all nuts, pecans are high in fat and calories, so they should be eaten in moderation.
Additionally, some people may be allergic to pecans, so it’s important to know your own allergies before eating them.
One other thing you need to watch out for with pecans is their sugar content. They’re higher than most other types of nuts, meaning they might not be the best choice if you’re trying to eat less sugar.
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.
Pecans are an excellent source of antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, pecans contain essential fatty acids, which are necessary for maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier.
Furthermore, pecans are a good source of zinc, a mineral that is important for wound healing. Lastly, pecans contain vitamins E and C, which can help reduce inflammation and promote collagen production, respectively.
Finally, those with nut allergies should be cautious when consuming pecans. Peanuts and other tree nuts can be cross-contaminated in processing facilities or during transportation, so people with allergies should always avoid them altogether or seek out a brand they know is safe.
If you do eat pecans, wash your hands before touching any food that isn’t fully cooked.
8. PECANS FOR DIABETES:
The benefits of eating pecan nuts can also be seen here. Pecans are a good source of fiber which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Additionally, pecans contain magnesium, a mineral that helps with insulin resistance.
While pecans are a healthy snack for people with diabetes, it’s important to remember that they are still a high-fat food and should be eaten in moderation.
Diabetics who want to add pecans into their diet should use them as an occasional treat rather than making them the basis of their diet.
They also need to remember not to overindulge on other foods like sweets or fried foods when eating pecans.
They may also find it helpful to incorporate other diabetic friendly snacks such as low fat yogurt or whole grain crackers into their daily diet in order to make sure they get enough protein and essential nutrients.
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. PECANS FOR ENERGY:
If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your energy levels, look no further than pecan nuts. Pecans are an excellent source of energy, thanks to their high levels of healthy fats and proteins.
Plus, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that can help keep your energy levels up all day long.
11. 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.
12. BENEFITS OF PECANS FOR HAIR:
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.
13. 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.
PECAN VS WALNUTS:
Which is healthier pecan or walnuts?
When it comes to nuts, pecans often get overshadowed by their more popular cousins, like almonds and walnuts. But pecans are actually a nutritional powerhouse, packing more fiber, vitamins and minerals than most other nuts.
Pecan has two types of nutrients that help improve heart health, alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and oleic acid (omega-9).
It also has one of the highest antioxidant levels among tree nuts. And despite being high in fat, there’s no need to worry about weight gain since pecans have been shown to aid in weight loss as well as reduce cholesterol levels in blood cells.
If you’re not a fan of eating raw pecans, try adding them to your breakfast cereal or yogurt. You can also sprinkle them on salads or bake with them for an added crunch.
Another idea is to mix chopped pecans into fruit salad for some added flavor and texture. To avoid overeating, portion out individual servings before grabbing a handful from the jar.
PECAN VS ALMONDS:
When it comes to nuts, there are a lot of different options out there. But if you’re looking for a nutritious option that’s also delicious, you can’t go wrong with pecans. Here’s a look at the benefits of this mighty nut.
- Pecans are rich in many vitamins and minerals including protein, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, iron and magnesium.
- Pecans have been found to have high antioxidant properties due to their polyphenols content — another reason why they may be beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- They are cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, making them a heart-healthy choice.
- Finally, these tasty nuts are high in oleic acid which is known to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
So when you’re choosing between almonds or pecans, don’t forget about all the benefits that come with adding pecans to your diet!
Of course, both nuts are great sources of nutrition and contain numerous vitamins and minerals but they differ in other ways as well.
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:
While pecans are generally safe for most people, there are a few potential side effects to be aware of. Some people may experience digestive issues like bloating or gas after eating pecans.
Others may find that their skin becomes more sensitive after coming into contact with the nuts. And in rare cases, people may have an allergic reaction to pecans.
If you experience any negative side effects after eating or touching pecans, it’s best to avoid them in the future.
However, if you enjoy the benefits of pecan nuts without experiencing any problems, then it’s perfectly fine to continue consuming them as part of your diet.
One way to enjoy pecans is by cracking open and eating the inside kernels, which can be done by pressing on one end of the nut until it splits open.
You can also roast whole pecan halves on a pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes and eat them as is. Or you can sprinkle some chopped up pecans on top of oatmeal or cereal in place of sugar and milk.
Other side-effects of eating pecan nuts may include:
- 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.
If you notice side-effects like nausea or vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea or constipation after eating this food, then it’s possible your body is having trouble digesting it.
These symptoms may be a sign of food intolerance or allergy and should be evaluated by your doctor as soon as possible.
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.