If you are one of those who believe that hunger is a mind thing but still crave for some good snack, that wouldn’t interfere with your weight loss regimen and keep you healthy, it’s time to grab a fistful of Pecans. Nuts of all kinds are a great source of good fats, fibre, protein, Omega -6, Omega-3 fatty acids, but what makes Pecans’ outstanding is its impressive nutritional profile loaded with various other vitamins and minerals.
Pecans that go with the botanical name Carya illinoinensis are nuts that are from hickory trees native to Northern Mexico and Southern United States. The Pecan trees are found most commonly in Georgia, Texas, New Mexico in the United States where more than half of the world’s produce is cultivated.
Pecans are grown on a huge deciduous tree that grows up to 20-40 metres in height with its trunk spreading up to 2 metres in diameter. Though referred as a nut, Pecan is actually a drupe with a single stone or pit, covered by husk that is produced from exocarp tissue of the flower. The outer husk which usually presents in 3-4mm in thickness, starts green but turns brown as it matures. This later splits into four sections for releasing the thin-shelled seed. Pecans have been part of Western culinary delights for since 1800s and were consumed widely by the native Americans and this was later introduced to Europeans by the Spanish explorers. Initially, Pecans were confused to be walnuts owing to its acorn-like shape, but various botanists revealed that the species of these both nuts is vastly versatile.
Health Benefits of Pecans:
A fistful of raw Pecans packs a punch of fibre, healthy fats and protein. Eat these amazing, tasty nuts for deriving the following nutritional benefits.
Pecans are an amazing source of calcium, potassium and magnesium that play a major role in maintaining blood pressure. Loaded with monounsaturated fats, Pecans keep the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol under check thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attack. Include Pecans in your regular diet for also increasing the levels of good cholesterol and maintain the heart health.
Controls Blood Sugar:
Heart disease is a common health condition found in diabetics and sudden trigger in blood sugar can cause unprecedented and acute health complications. Low on glycemic index at just 10, Pecans not only prevent sudden spike in the levels of blood sugar but also keep you satiated for longer hours thus helping to avoid mid-day unhealthy snacking.
Bone health is crucial for overall wellbeing and performing day-today activities without any hindrances. Pecans are a powerhouse of Omega -3 and Omega – 6 fatty acids which help in easing the pain that is associated with chronic conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis. If you are above 40, feeling that little pain in the bone joints, it’s time to consume Pecans regularly for preventing bone related ailments.
In these and times of various infections and Coronavirus lurking around, all we need is robust immunity to fight against. Pecans provide you with your daily dose of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc and a wide range of antioxidants that shield the body from bacterial and viral invasions, thus providing overall health.
Healthy gut is happy you and it can be achieved only with nutritious eating habits packed with fibre, intake of nutritious vegetables, fruits and also by avoiding deeply fried and sugar loaded items. If you are suffering from constipation, make it a habit to eat few Pecans daily in the morning along with a glass of water for regulating bowel movements and cleansing the colon. Adding Pecans to your regular diet slowly reduces the occurrence of haemorrhoids and ulcerative colitis.
Aids In Cancer Prevention:
These dark brown, thin shaped acorn shaped nuts possess anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid that hinder the DNA binding of certain carcinogens and prevent various types of cancer. Research reveals that these nuts rich in oleic acid, a fatty substance play a crucial role in preventing breast cancer.
Inflammation in the body can cause unforeseen health complications that may turn chronic over time. Rich in magnesium, Pecans exude anti-inflammatory benefits, prevents clogging of arteries, thus preventing the risk of various bone related disorders, cardiovascular conditions, muscle pain and severe fatigue, besides other ailments caused due to inflammation.
Beautiful, glowing skin is often an indication of our inner health. Getting rid of toxins plays an important role in maintaining skin health by preventing sudden breakout of acne and dullness. The high amount of fibre in these nuts cleanses the system by flushing out toxins. The vitamin A, zinc present in these nuts make the skin glow from within by providing a clearer complexion.
Promotes Hair Growth:
L-arginine, an amino acid which plays a crucial role in preventing baldness is found in copious amounts in Pecans. This amino acid provides flexibility to the artery walls, prevents blood clots and returns the rate of blood flow to the hair follicles. This not only triggers hair growth but also prevents excessive hair fall. Another component iron in pecans also aids in growing thick and long hair.
Avoids Cognitive Decline:
It is a well-known fact that consumption of nuts promotes brain health. Doctors recommend nuts as a part of a child’s dietary plan from a young age to boost cognitive thinking. The antioxidants in Pecans are extremely important for preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and dementia. Ranked at 20 in the list of top 100 foods rich in antioxidants, Pecans are your ultimate snack for overall wellbeing.
Pecans Vs Walnuts:
Well, Pecans and Walnuts are often mistaken to be the same owing the similar colour, texture and for those crunchy bites in the salad or a smoothie. And the similarities end there. There are quite a few differences in the appearance, taste, how they are cooked and most importantly nutritional profile.
- Walnuts are covered by light brown, round, hard shell whereas Pecan shells are oblong in shape, tougher and hard to break open.
- Walnuts resemble the shape of a human brain while Pecans are half their size, with one central fissure.
- When it comes to taste, Walnuts are slightly bitter while Pecans have nutty yet sweeter taste.
- Walnuts have a longer shelf life compared to Pecans
- However, the nutritional profile of these both nuts is quite comparable. Pecans are more on fibre, whereas walnuts are rich in protein.
- Owing to its impressive amounts of Vitamin E, Pecans top the list of anti-inflammatory foods.
- Both nuts are heart healthy, thanks to great amounts of unsaturated fats albeit cholesterol.
In Western world, Pecans are that quintessential ingredient in baked goodies, smoothies, desserts and even salads. We bring you two amazing Pecan recipes you can stir up in a jiffy.
Honey Roasted Pecans:
200 grams plain Pecans
50 ml organic honey
¼ cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Dry roast or bake Pecans till they turn aromatic
In a pan, pour honey and add brown sugar. On low flame, keep stirring till it melts
Add salt and some water if the mixture is too thick
Stir in roasted Pecans and coat it in the honey mixture
Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!
Plain pecans are an amazing source of fibre, vitamins A, E, Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids, manganese, magnesium and other major components required for overall wellbeing. Honey is a rich source of antioxidants and has impressive antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in healing wounds at a faster pace. Brown sugar is low on calories and unlike refined version, it doesn’t cause sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Eat these Honey Roasted Pecans as a part of your mid-day snack to kill hunger pangs.
Super Easy Pecan Butter:
Just like Peanut Butter, Pecan Butter too is a popular item that goes well on your bread, rotis, sandwiches. Extremely easy to make, this one can be whipped in a trice and stored for a month in refrigerator.
500 grams plain Pecans
½ tsp pure vanilla essence
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon powder
Pinch of salt
Toast Pecans in a dry pan till they turn aromatic. You can also toast them for 10 minutes at 180 degree Celsius for 8 minutes
Add toasted Pecans into a food processor and blend it at regular intervals for several times, till Pecans get crushed and turn buttery and creamy to touch
Add vanilla essence, cinnamon powder and salt. Give it a good stir
Store in an airtight container in a refrigerator
Pecan butter is a healthy option for breakfast or as an evening snack and it can be paired with rotis, dosa and bread. Make it a part of your daily meal plan to protect heart, build immunity and improve cognitive function. Pecans can reduce inflammation and the plethora of nutrients including various vitamins, minerals and other components offer immense health benefits. Vanilla offers good amount of protein, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium. Cinnamon powder exudes rich antibacterial, antifungal and antifungal properties, reduces blood pressure, lowers blood sugar and regulates digestion.
Though Pecans are an amazing source of all-natural nutrition, doctors do not recommend more than 20 kernels a day. Grab just a fistful to derive benefits and do not exceed the limit. Excessive intake of Pecans may cause weight gain, high levels of cholesterol, dizziness, shortness of breath and nausea. If you are allergic to nuts, stay away from Pecans.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor on the right amounts of Pecan to be included in the daily diet.
Pecans are nuts that are native to Northern Mexico and Southern United States are from the family of hickory trees. The oblong shaped nuts have been a part of Western culinary delights, especially desserts since 1800s and are often mistaken to be walnuts. Though these both nuts share a similar nutritional profile, they differ at length when it comes to appearance, colour, texture and even taste. Pecans are a rich source of fibre, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, Omega -3, Omega -6 fatty acids. Daily consumption of this super nut keeps heart healthy, brain functioning at its optimum level and keeps blood sugars under control. Touted as an anti-inflammatory nut, Pecans reduce inflammation and bring down bad cholesterol.
However, consume with caution to avoid weight gain, nausea and other nut related allergies.