Let’s Make Tasty Healthy Pecans A Part of Our Diet!
Have you included pecans in your diet yet? If you thought that pecans only added to the taste quotient of special dishes, here is some information that would have you thinking again. Pecans are healthy nuts, full of protein and healthy unsaturated fats. They are also rich in antioxidants which offer the disease fighting power that our body requires. Pecans further have the potential to reduce the bad cholesterol i.e. LDL and generate a more favorable lipid profile. Pecans, with their superlative nutrient composition, enjoy a nutrition rank of 48.
The Multiple Health Benefits of Pecans –
1. They act as a concentrated energy source.
2. They form a high–quality protein source, with relatively less carbohydrates and zero cholesterol.
3. These are rich in healthy fats like MUFA’s i.e monounsaturated fatty acids eg. oleic acid which has a positive impact on the blood cholesterol levels.
4. These are packed with valuable antioxidants such as polyphenolic compounds like ellagic acid apart from lutein, xeaxanthin, beta carotene and Viatmin E. These shield the system from free radical damage and maintain healthy cells and tissues, thereby protecting the body from infections as well as diseases. Studies report that the Vitamin E component, gamma tocopherols, naturally occurring in pecans, effectively fight Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.
5. Owing to their high fiber content, pecans could aid in weight loss by increasing satiety value of dishes to which they are added.
6. These are an important source of B-complex vitamins, [thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and folates] which together ensure the normal functioning of the body’s metabolic processes.
7. These are very good sources of important minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc and selenium. Additionally, being naturally sodium free, these make for an excellent option in a hypertensive, sodium or salt restricted diet.
While the most popular pecan dish is undoubtedly the pecan pie, these nuts are commonly used as dessert toppings in sundaes, puddings and ice creams. Their nutty buttery taste and crunchy texture, makes them a delightful addition to cakes, muffins, fudges, cookies, biscuits and more. Healthier alternatives would be to include them in fresh salads, dips or as stuffings. They may also be used in yogurts, shakes and smoothies for added richness. As such, they form a perfect snack when had in small amounts in their natural form, unsweetened and unsalted. Therefore it is recommended that this highly nutritious nut be made an integral part of your diet, so you can enjoy its numerous health benefits.
A word of caution:-
Certain people exhibit a hypersensitivity reaction to pecan nuts, a condition commonly known as ‘pecan allergy’. This condition should not be ignored as it demands immediate medical attention.
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