Pecan fans rejoice as more studies reveal the surprising health benefits that a small nut can offer. The crunchy, textured structure and smooth flavor make it the perfect choice to add to desserts or for topping off your salads. It’s also great for adding a little pizzaz to your breakfast bowl or main dinner dish.
Whether you are an athlete looking for better nutritional choices or a pecan enthusiast who simply wants vindication, just take a look at the list of health benefits. You won’t need much convincing.
What are the health benefits?
Pecans can find a delicious home anywhere, from nutritious snacks to delectable desserts. Eating more pecans and other nuts is a great way to keep your glucose levels balanced because it’s a great source of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The following is just a short outline of some of the health benefits pecans have to offer.
Supports Healthier Skin and Hair
Pecans contain folates, iron, phosphorus, protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc. This is a mix of important nutrients needed for promoting new cell growth and repairing damaged ones. Your hair and skin are constantly exposed to the elements but are not as vulnerable as one might think. With the help of these vitamins and minerals, you can look and feel healthier.
Calcium helps support bone health, which includes your teeth. Having strong teeth means you get to eat more of the delicious foods you love. Zinc is important to cell durability and growth, which plays a role in healing damaged cells. Iron is essential to oxygen-balanced red blood cells and blood flow. Proteins are needed to produce and promote cell growth. If you have low iron or protein levels, it could lead to thinning hair and brittle nails. You may even notice bruises or wounds healing more slowly. These minerals along with phosphorous, vitamin A, and vitamin E help repair and promote clear skin and healthy hair growth.
Improves Immune System and Cardiovascular Health
Pecans are an abundant source of antioxidants. It contains copper and manganese, which are important nutrients that help support brain function, bone health, blood vessels, nerve cells, and the overall immune system. What more could the immune system ask for? It’s a perfect snack to have when your body and immune system have to acclimate to the changing of the seasons.
Worried about your cholesterol levels? Pecans contain monounsaturated fats which help to decrease bad cholesterol levels. High cholesterol could lead to blocked coronary arteries and cause a stroke. Pecans can help support a better functioning heart thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Promote Healthy Digestion and Weight Management
Fiber is a necessary nutrient for healthy digestion. A lack of enough fiber in your regular diet can wreak havoc on your gut, leaving you in metabolic discomfort. Pecans contain an excellent amount of fiber as well as complex B-vitamins to boost your metabolism.
Pecans contain niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (vitamin B1), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). This group of B-vitamins helps support nerve, muscle, heart, cell, bone, and brain function. Well, did you know they also help give you energy? Pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine all help metabolize the foods you eat. These B-vitamins convert all the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the food into energy. This is the essential fuel for all the activities you like to do.
If you prefer to stay active, meeting all your nutritional needs is vital to having enough energy. It’s a necessity for looking and feeling healthy. Pecans pack the proteins, calcium, and antioxidants you need to have energy, strong bones, and a tough immune system. Weight lifting and cardio training impact your bones and muscles. Low protein and calcium levels could mean weaker bones and low muscle endurance. Pecans are the perfect post-workout snack to have for recovery.
Eating Habits: Where To Begin
Changing your eating habits to include more nutritional value does not have to be difficult. Making a regular practice of eating more nuts, such as pecans can truly make a change in your overall health. The aforementioned benefits of pecans are simply the tip of the iceberg.
Sometimes, hearing the word “diet” can carry negative connotations. Who wouldn’t struggle to change everything they eat? Instead of making a complete overhaul, merely include a small, habitual change. When you feel like having a snack, have a handful of pecans.
Prepare the Pecans
Some of the easiest recipe ideas include crushed up pecans over your oatmeal, yogurt, or salads. Add some pecans to your favorite ice cream or over a slice of cheesecake for a healthy twist on dessert. Don’t forget the main dish. Including pecans on the dinner menu means expanding your horizons. Check out a variety of dinner ideas like popular pecan burgers and savory pecan chicken recipes.