Not only are pecans good for you, but they are also a natural, nutrient-rich superfood. According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, these heart-healthy nuts can lower LDL, or “bad cholesterol” when you enjoy just a handful a day. Not only that, but according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pecans boast more antioxidants than any other tree nut! And it only takes about 15 pecan halves to give you ten percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber which can help lower cholesterol and prevent diabetes and heart disease, as well as aid in digestion. Pecans contain over 19 different vitamins and minerals your body needs. There are several important B-complex groups of vitamins found in pecans that team up to increase your metabolism, which could result in weight loss. The magnesium in pecans have anti-inflammatory benefits, and manganese found in this healthy nut helps boost immunity. If that’s not enough, pecans help prevent certain types of cancer. Because they contain oleic acid, they lessen the risk of breast cancer, and the fiber in pecans can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Talk about health benefits!
If you are looking for more ways to get your nutrients naturally from the food you eat instead of from supplements, adding pecans to your diet is a great way to start. There are myriads of delicious uses for pecans including as a topping for hot or cold cereal or yogurt, an ingredient in heart-healthy trail mix, and as a crunchy addition to salads or even stir-fries. They can be toasted or eaten plain. Pecans add flavor to green beans, baked fish, or even pasta dishes. Of course, many sweets contain pecans such as butter pecan ice cream and pecan pie. Be sure to look for low-sugar and low-fat versions of these recipes, or just enjoy them in moderation. There is no shortage of tasty recipes that use pecans!