Did you know that pecans (19 halves, 193 calories per serving) contain more antioxidants than any other tree nut? Pecan nuts, in fact, rank among the top 15 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants according to the USDA. They are also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, offering some wonderful health benefits.
1. Good for the Heart
Pecan nuts contain monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid along with phenolic antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, adding a handful of pecan nuts in your diet helps decrease LDL i.e. ‘bad cholesterol’ and increase HDL i.e. ‘good cholesterol’, which in turn prevents stroke and coronary artery disease.
2. Good For Weight Loss
Consuming nuts enhances satiety and increases metabolism, research has indicated that a diet comprising pecan nuts helps in losing weight. The nuts are also very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates which together help increase the rate of metabolism.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Pecans are rich in magnesium which is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have proved that increased magnesium intake reduces inflammatory indicators in the body, and also reduces inflammation in the arterial walls, thus reducing the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and other inflammatory ailments.
4. Improves Digestion
Since pecan nuts are fiber-packed, they promote colon health and facilitate regular bowel movements. Pecan nuts prevent constipation and reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and colitis by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system.
5. Low in Sugar
Not only do they contain very little sugar, but pecans may also help improve blood sugar levels overall by slowing down the rate of absorption from the bloodstream into peripheral tissues. This helps maintain energy levels and prevent blood sugar spikes, which ultimately leads to major crashes later on!