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Pecan-nuts Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

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What is Pecan-nuts?

Pecan-nuts  are known as one of the most popular tree nuts around, pecans come from a large deciduous tree native to North America and Mexico. The nut can be found in hundreds of different varieties, and can be enjoyed fresh, roasted, or added in various recipes . Best of all, the health benefits of pecans can be experienced all year round.

Health Benefits of Pecan-nuts

Helps in Weight Loss: Research has indicated that a diet comprising of nuts such as pecans helps in losing weight. This is because nut consumption enhances satiety and increases metabolism.

Bone and Teeth Health: Phosphorus is one of the most abundant minerals in the body after calcium. Nearly 85% of phosphorus is found in bones and teeth while the other 15% is found in cells and tissues. Besides cleansing the waste from the body, phosphorus, along with calcium, promotes the health of your bones and teeth. This mineral is also vital for the growth and repair of cells and tissues as well as production of DNA and RNA. Lastly, it prevents muscle pain that can occur due to exercising.

Prevents Hair Loss: Anemia is one of the common causes of hair loss. It is caused by iron deficiency in the blood. Pecans, being a good source of iron, can be included in your diet to improve your blood iron levels and hence, combat hair loss.
Reduces Blood Pressure: Magnesium in pecans has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Though pecans cannot cure hypertension, they do help lower it.

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Strengthens the Immune System: Pecans are a rich source of manganese which is a powerful antioxidant. This trace mineral helps boost your immunity and protects your nerve cells from free-radical damage. Adequate intake of manganese is vital for nerve conduction and brain function.

Reduces the Risk of Stroke: Studies have proved that consuming 100 milligrams of magnesium per day reduces the risk of stroke by 9%. Pecan being a good source of magnesium can form part of your diet to reap this benefit.

Cardiovascular Health: Pecans are rich in fiber which boosts the health of your heart by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and preventing some forms of cancer. It also contains monounsaturated fats like oleic acid along with phenolic antioxidants that are healthy for your heart and help prevent coronary artery disease and strokes. As per research, pecans may help prevent coronary heart disease by inhibiting unwanted oxidation of blood lipids.

Digestive Health: 
The fiber contained in pecans promotes colon health and facilitates regular bowel movements. It enables the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system. Besides, it prevents constipation and reduces the risk of colitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer: Pecans contain oleic acid, a fatty acid which has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

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Uses of Pecan-nuts

A handful of toasted pecans makes a great snack, or can be added to salads and other recipes.Simply toast the pecans to give them a more intense flavor and an extra crunch. If you do not know how to toast pecans, here are two methods you can try:Toast the pecans in a pan: In an iron skillet, melt some coconut oil, which will prevent the nuts from sticking. Add the pecans and lower to medium heat. Use a spoon to stir the pecans to ensure that they are toasted evenly. Once you smell a nutty, toasting smell, it means the pecans are ready.

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Toast them in the oven: Place the pecans in a baking sheet, cover with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for five minutes, stirring them occasionally. Watch them carefully, as they can easily burn.

Just be careful to keep an eye on them while toasting them, as they can dry out or burn quickly.

Nutritional value of Pecan-nuts

Composed predominantly of fat – with a fat content of 70+ percent – pecans contain more fat than just about any other nut. But don’t let fat content fool you; these large, buttery flavored nuts are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals known for promoting various aspects of health.

Outlined below are some of the most prominent nutrients found in pecans.

Fiber – 2.7 grams. 11% RDA.
Manganese – 1.3 milligrams. 64% RDA.
Copper – 0.3 milligrams. 17% RDA.
Thiamin – 0.2 milligrams. 12% RDA.
Magnesium – 34.2 milligrams. 9% RDA.
Phosphorus – 78.2 milligrams. 8% RDA.
Iron – 0.7 milligrams. 4% RDA.
Protein – 2.6 grams. 5% RDA.
Fatty Acids, Total Polyunsaturated – 6.128 grams.
Carotene-ß – 29 µg.
Crypto-xanthin-ß – 9 µg.
Lutein-zeaxanthin – 17 µg.