Pecans are one of the most popular edible nuts native to North America and Mexico. The walnut tree is a large deciduous tree that belongs to the walnut family. A typical nut has a butter-rich shell that is golden brown on the outside and beige on the inside. The core occupies 40% to 60% of the space within the shell. This grain has a grooved surface but has a slightly more oval shape. The nut has a sweet, rich and buttery taste and texture that can be attributed to its high levels of monounsaturated oils. Pecans have a fat content of more than 70%, which is the highest among all nuts. Pecans without shells are available year-round, while pecans without shells are available in autumn.
Walnuts are increasingly popular as a crispy and nutritious snack. Pecans come in various sizes, such as mammoth, extra large, large, medium, and small and dwarf. They are also available in various forms, such as whole pecans, pecan halves, pieces, granules and meals. Its rich butter flavor makes them suitable for both savory and sweet dishes. The famous “pecan pie” is a classic South American dish that uses pecan nut as the main ingredient. Raw pecans can be salted or sweetened and are a delicious snack. They can be sprinkled on desserts, especially ice cream and ice cream. They are also widely used in confectionery as an addition to cookies, candy and cakes. Pecan nut butter is a popular variety for breads, toasts, etc.
History of Pecans and Interesting Facts:
Pecans first appeared on the food scene in the history of Native Americans around the year 1,500, its name comes from the Algonquins. The word “pecan” actually means “a nut that requires a stone to break.” Settlers in North America made pecan nut tree plantations since the 17th century, with the first walnut plantation recorded in the United States documented in 1772. At the beginning of the 17th century, the French recognized the financial potential of exporting this delicious treat and began sending crops to the West Indies. Since then, nuts have been an important and common food in American culture, finding their way into recipes for everything from salads to desserts. Texans are especially fond, since they called the nut tree as their state tree in 1919.
The “correct” pronunciation of the word pecan is a highly debated topic, although technically there is no “correct” way of saying it. More commonly within the United States, you will hear the “a” that is spoken with a long sound, as in the word “father.” However, in Britain and in certain regions of the United States, pecan lovers insist on a brief “a” sound, such as “bad.” Regardless of what you prefer, they are still just as delicious. And July 12 is recognized as the National Pecan Day Standing, and that is a cause for which I believe we can all be behind.
The Nutrients of Pecans:
Pecans have 11 vital nutrients that are useful in many processes within the body. Although they are high in fat, nuts are part of a healthy diet and rich in antioxidants.
“You can eat pecans to lower your risk of heart disease, increase energy levels and improve brain function, among other amazing benefits”.
Some of the nutrients found in large quantities in pecans are manganese, copper and zinc, which play an important role in reducing inflammation, brain health and even the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Pecans are grown since the 16th century by Native Americans and are produced exclusively in Mexico and the United States.
Pecan Nutrition Facts:
Pecans grow on lush and green trees in the Southeast / South Central regions of the United States and Mexico. This variety of North American nuts, Carya illinoinensis, has been cultivated for several centuries and, surprisingly, is not technically a nut at all. Pecans, like the other walnuts in the walnut family, are botanically grown from fruits known as “drupes” or “stone fruits.” The drupes contain a small seed inside, a shell of some kind that surrounds the seed and an outer »fleshy component. The variety available in walnut nutrition is quite impressive, with 11 vitamins and essential nutrients in a small portion. Pecans are rich in fat, but you should not worry: they are healthy fats that help your body in many ways, including maintaining a healthy weight and good heart function. (If you are concerned about fat content, remember that there are several risks to the low fat diet if you do not consume healthy fats.) In addition to good and healthy fats, nuts also offer several minerals that serve as protection against dangerous mineral deficiencies, the symptoms of which vary from anemia to the risk of brain diseases.
A one-ounce serving of pecans (about 28 grams) contains approximately:
- 193 calories
- 9 grams of carbohydrates
- 6 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fat
- 7 grams of fiber
- 3 milligrams of manganese (63 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams of copper (17 percent DV)
- 2 milligram thiamine (12 percent DV)
- 9 milligrams of magnesium (8 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams of zinc (8 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams phosphorus (8 percent DV)
- 7 milligrams of iron (4 percent DV)
- 1milligrams of vitamin B6 (3 percent DV)
- 115 milligrams of potassium (3 percent DV)
Pecan trees grow fiercely large and provide many of these delicious sweets that have been shown to help lose weight, protect the body from diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and diabetes, and even improve brain health. Although many people claim that a low-fat diet is the best way to live a healthy lifestyle, healthy fats from nut nutrition are powerful in antioxidant production, inflammation reduction and simply provide a great added flavor to Almost any dish.
10 Benefits of Pecans for Health:
1. Helps Maintain High Energy and Lose Weight:
- Contrary to what many popular figures can tell you, consuming a low-fat diet in the diet is really not very beneficial for you.
- One reason for this is the way a high-fat diet helps you feel satisfied, but the complex response is even more encouraging.
- For example, healthy fats (such as those found in nut nutrition) affect the grehlin hormone, which is a vital part of weight maintenance.
- High levels of grehlin in the brain are associated with high levels of stress and a constant feeling of “biting” or the desire to eat a lot.
- In addition to its prestige as a food high in healthy fats, nut nutrition contains more than half of the daily amount of manganese required, which is useful in a variety of ways, including weight loss efforts. While it is not entirely clear why, manganese, especially combined with other supporting nutrients, helps reduce weight in obese or overweight men and women.
- One of those supporting nutrients is copper, which is also found in significant amounts in the nutrition of pecans. Copper is essential in more than 50 different metabolic enzymatic reactions necessary to maintain a rapid metabolism and in the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s energy source.
- Copper is not the only nutrient necessary for the production of ATP. Your body also needs other nutrients to complete this task, including thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Thiamine not only helps increase energy levels in the production of ATP, but also in the red blood cell production process, which your body also uses as energy fuel.
2. Prevents Oxidative Stress:
- Nuts, like many other foods high in healthy fats, have a very high antioxidant load.
- Because many environmental and dietary problems promote oxidative damage within your body, it is important to consume foods high in antioxidants to counteract this damage.
- Damage due to oxidative stress is commonly combined with high incidence rates of cancers, heart disease and many other diseases in which cells mutate.
- A study from Loma Linda University in California found that eating pecans sharply increased antioxidants in the bloodstream within 24 hours of consumption.
- These effects tend to accumulate with each other, as is the case with free radicals that form in the body, so nuts can be a useful addition to a diet rich in antioxidants.
- Another study examined the effect of nut consumption, including that of nuts, and how it relates to the formation of degenerative diseases. People who ate more nuts per week had markedly minor cases of some common and often fatal diseases.
- In an evaluation of the specific antioxidant loads of different nuts, the pecans’ nutrition came especially high in phenols, proanthocyanidins, hydrolysable tannins, flavonoids and phenolic acids.
3. Contributes to a Healthy Heart:
- Due in large part to its extensive list of antioxidants, nut nutrition is a key ingredient in a healthy heart diet.
- It is known that pecans and other tree nuts reduce systolic blood pressure in patients without diabetes. They can be considered part of the high-fat Mediterranean diet that has long been known to significantly reduce blood pressure in all areas, and also decreases heart-related deaths.
- Another study from Loma Linda University found that nut-rich diets were related to a reduction in “serum lipids” or the amount of fat in the bloodstream.
- This is an indicator of risk and occurrence of high cholesterol. The scientists conducting this study specifically recommend a diet high in monounsaturated fats for those at risk of high cholesterol and other heart-related conditions.
- That’s why nuts like pecans are considered foods that lower cholesterol.
4. Reduce Inflammation:
- Many functions in the body depend on an adequate amount of inflammation as a defense of the body against damaged cells. However, chronic inflammation, when the body is no longer able to keep it under control, is at the root of most diseases, as it leads to cell mutation and undue stress in various parts of the functional systems.
- While inflammation, inflammation reduction, the role of antioxidants and the processes that affect these conditions are extremely complicated, there are many parts of the puzzle that we can affect in a limited way.
- For example, it is understood that superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that controls the distribution of the superoxide radical, has an important role in inflammation and protection against oxidative stress. The production and function of superoxide dismutase are important to reduce the risk of heart disease, and also help reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis.
- One of the forms of superoxide dismutase, or “SOD,” depends largely on the high presence of manganese to operate, which means that pecans can help meet the manganese requirement necessary for this form of SOD.
- Copper in pecans also contributes to its anti-inflammatory properties, especially for pain and stiffness common in arthritis. This is why the nutrition of pecans and other nutrients from anti-inflammatory foods make great additions to an arthritis diet treatment plan.
5. It Can Prevent Bone Loss Related to Osteoporosis in Women:
- Along with other nutrients, manganese, copper and zinc (all found in nut nutrition) have been used to help treat osteoporosis symptoms.
- Early research has found that these nutrients are particularly useful when treating women who suffer bone loss by helping to increase bone mass and decrease bone loss.
6. Help to Improve and Maintain Maximum Brain Function:
- Many of the minerals found in pecans contribute to the proper functioning of the brain. Thiamine is given to patients with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a common brain disorder in alcoholics due to thiamine deficiency, which affects between 30 and 80 percent of people who abuse alcohol.
- Copper is another necessary nutrient for good brain function, since it affects the brain pathways that involve dopamine and galactose. It also helps prevent damage from free radicals in the brain that contributes to degenerative damage and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Synaptic brain processes also depend on manganese, which is crucial for rapid reactions and brain signaling. Manganese deficiencies are closely related to mood problems, problems concentrating, learning problems, mental illnesses and possibly epilepsy. Since all these compounds are provided by nut nutrition, it is not surprising that nuts and other nuts are considered brain foods.
7. It Can Reduce the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome:
- The presence of manganese is another benefit of eating pecans if you want to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as mood swings and cramps.
- Dietary manganese, when consumed with calcium, seems to have a significant impact on these symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
8. Help in The Treatment of Diabetes:
- Although research in this area is minimal at this time, there are early findings that suggest that supplementing your diet with manganese-rich foods, such as pecans, may help in the treatment of diabetes symptoms.
- Higher manganese levels are associated with better insulin secretion and greater glucose tolerance.
9. Stimulates Hair Growth:
- Pecans are an excellent source of L-arginine, an amino acid that, when applied topically, helps treat male pattern baldness and stimulates healthy hair growth.
- Vibrant blood flow throughout the body and hair roots is vital for healthy hair and scalp growth.
- L-arginine is beneficial in this regard, as it improves the health of the artery walls making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.
10. Prevents Hair Loss:
- Anemia is one of the common causes of hair loss.
- It is caused by deficiency of iron in the blood.
- Pecans, which are a good source of iron, can be included in your diet to improve iron levels in the blood and, therefore, combat hair loss.
Possible Side Effects of Pecans:
As is the case with many nut cultivars, it is possible to suffer a nut allergy. The most common symptoms occur within the first hour after consuming pecans and can range from hives and swelling to vomiting and loss of consciousness. If you suspect that you or your child may be allergic to pecans, it is important to get tested at an allergist before trying them. Whenever you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to pecans, you should stop them immediately and consult a doctor.
How to Select and Cook Pecans?
When selecting pecans, it is best to look for walnuts of uniform size and feel heavy. Many people choose to buy only shelled pecans, which reduces the amount of work involved in cooking. However, if you are of the variety that wants the freshest-tasting nuts you can find, you may want to buy pecans in their shells and learn how to peel the pecans. The beauty of these drupes is that they do not have to cook to eat, but they are delicious when prepared in almost any method. Some recipes ask you to first comb the pecans before adding them to your plate, which gives them a slightly richer flavor. But be careful: they singe easily and should be watched carefully.