Health Benefits of Pecans
Aside from making a wonderful buttery and rich-flavored low carb snack, there are some noteworthy health benefits of pecans. In fact, I discovered an article entitled, “Pop a Pecan, Not a Pill.” While not recommended as a substitute for your daily multivitamins, pecans contain over 19 vitamins and minerals!
There are over 500 different varieties of pecans. It is a species of the hickory tree family. This large deciduous tree grows in southern parts of the United States and Mexico. Although often categorized and sold as nuts, pecan are not really nuts. It is a drupe fruit!
Texas is having a really good pecan crop this year, which inspired this post. Tree owners are reporting that some of their pecan tree branches are so loaded with pecans that branches have fallen to the ground. Normally, just the pecans fall to the ground, not the entire branch. Experts are saying that the Texas pecan crop could hit 70 million pounds this year! Historically, on average, the pecan crop has been much less.
One of the friends who told me about the good pecan crop this year gave me a few pecans. Planning to get more, I wanted to know the health benefits of pecans. After researching, I used the pecans to make this low carb chocolate covered pecan recipe. So, lets talk about the pecans nutrition and health benefits.
One of the main health benefits of pecans is that it is an excellent source of plant-based fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As a plant, low carb pecans provide beneficial dietary fiber that promotes good digestion and well-being. Some additional nutrients found in pecans include folic acid, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. As an excellent source of minerals, pecans are rich in magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, and calcium. Pecans are a low carb, low sodium snack
. Therefore, low carb pecans
are an excellent snack to include in your low carb diet plan.
1. Help Weight Loss
One of the health benefits of pecans is that it can help you lose weight. As a low carb, high fat food with protein, pecans can help you stay energized and feel full. In this way, it can help you stay the course and avoid carb-filled junk foods. If you are following a strict low carb diet, you may be interested in the Macadamia and Pecan Nut Butter
. But otherwise, eating pecans in moderation can help you lose weight and keep it off. However, there is more…
Some of the health benefits of pecans are a result of it being a rich source of a variety of B-complex vitamins
! B vitamins are mostly known for increasing blood flow and providing us with a surge of energy. So, pecans can help speed us
up with energy to burn more calories. However, they can also speed up the reactions that take place inside the body. So, pecans can help speed up your metabolism! This means that you will burn calories faster! This indicates that a calorie is not a calorie. Some low carb calories are much more beneficial than other low carb calories.
2. Control Diabetes
Pecans can help you control your diabetes in a similar way that it helps with weight loss. Because pecans are low carb (low sugar) they will cause your pancreas to work hard at producing insulin (the transporter for sugar). Therefore, your blood sugar levels should not spike after eating low carb pecans for a snack. Then, being high in fat and protein, eating pecans will actually make you feel full.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
Organic raw pecans are excellent low carb, low sodium snacks! Just as insulin is needed to transport sugar to help regulate blood sugar levels, potassium is needed to transport sodium to help regulate blood pressure. However, unlike insulin, potassium is not produce in the body! We must eat enough potassium each day to counteract the amount of sodium we consume. Raw foods like unsalted low carb nuts, low carb fruits, and low carb vegetables are lowest in sodium.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans
reports that the average American eats a shocking 3.440 mg of sodium each day! While the recommended upper limit of our sodium consumption should only be about 1500 mg per day. And this is assuming that you active and losing sweat during the day.
4. Improves Digestion
Fiber often gets credit for keeping us regular. This is definitely a good thing where weight loss is concerned. However, many people do not realize that fiber helps lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels effectively. It does so by reducing the amount of sugar and salt absorbed into the blood stream. In this way, fiber reduces your net intake of sugar and salt (assuming unsalted, unsweetened fiber is eaten). So, one of the health benefits of pecans is that it can reduce the load of transporting sugar and sodium around the body.
5. Reduce Risk of Age-Related
One of the health benefits of pecans is that it is high in antioxidants like vitamin E
. Antioxidants are free-radical scavengers that can help us feel and look more youthful. Its interesting to note that vitamin E is often used as a preservative in skin care oils and balms
to prevent them from going bad. Normal reactions in the body produce byproducts (trash) that the body must get rid of. Our body produces some antioxidants to get rid of byproducts, but with age, “trash” can build up in the body and lead to inflammation and age-related diseases like cancer and heart disease. So, in this way, pecans can help minimize stiff joints and your risk for heart disease and cancer.
6. Improve Bone Health
Pecans contain phosphorous and calcium. Both are needed to maintain and improve bone health. So eating low carb pecans can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. If this is a concern, you may enjoy using this Butter Pecan Cookie Whey Protein Powder
. It can be added to your milk for a flavorful homemade calcium supplement.
So, while I am not suggesting that you “Pop a Pecan, Not a Pill” pecans really are like a multivitamin. It is one of the many multivitamins that grows on trees that have been provided by our creator. So, boost your health and immune system with a low carb pecan snack! Eat your daily dose of raw organic pecans
this fall. You might enjoy eating some of them with this low carb chocolate pecan recipe (available soon)
. There are many healthy low carb nuts
to write about, but that is all for now! I hope you take advantage of some of the health benefits of pecans.