The Health Benefits of Eating Pecans
The pecan tree is a species of hickory tree. Pecan trees are large deciduous trees that grow to heights of up to 40 meters. Their fruits are called pecans. These are like oval or oblong nuts, dark brown in color and with a rough-textured husk. The husk is initially green
but turns brown in maturity.
Pecans are not actually nuts; they are drupes. They are edible and have a rich, buttery flavor. They are often eaten fresh or used in various cooking and baking applications, whether desserts or savory dishes.
Aside from being a food source, pecans are also known for their medicinal values.
Benefits of Pecans
- Pecans do not have cholesterol. They contain plenty of nutrients that improve the efficiency of different systems of the body.
- Pecans contain beta-sitosterol, a compound that lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body. This results in a lowered risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. The compound also strengthens the heart and the other parts of the circulatory system.
- Pecans are rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid found in olive oil. Oleic acid helps prevent many types of cancer.
- The drupes also contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of Vitamin E that can kill prostate cancer cells. Many male prostate cancer patients are advised to add pecans to their diet to supplement the treatment that they are receiving for the condition.
- Pecans also have antioxidants that can delay or prevent early aging. These help in cell regeneration and renewal as well as in repairing damaged tissues.
- Pecans added to cereals or oatmeal make for a power-packed breakfast or snack. Pecans have plenty of B vitamins that provide the body with increased energy levels.
~ Ajeet Khurana