Archive for October, 2015

Pecans nutrition facts

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

 

Delicious, buttery yet rich-flavored pecans are one of the popular edible tree-nuts known to American aborigines since centuries ago. They are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients, minerals, vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

Pecan is a very large sized deciduous tree belonging to the member of hickory family, Juglandaceae. The tree is native to central and southern parts of the United States of America. Today, however, it is being cultivated in many regions of the world as an important commercial tree-nuts crop.

Each fruit features dark-brown, oval to oblong shape, measuring 1 to 3 inches long and 0.5–1 inch broad. Its rough, outer husk or involucre is 3-4 mm thick. The husk splits off into four sections at maturity to release an edible kernel lying inside. Pecans are generally harvested from October through December. Raw nuts are then subjected to dehydration, the process which is essential to remove moisture and to improve their keeping quality.

 

Health benefits of Pecans

  • Pecan nuts are rich source of energy, carry 690 calories/100 g and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness.
  • The nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants. Regular addition of pecan nuts in the diet helps to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in dietary-fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants would help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • Pecan nuts are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help the body remove toxic oxygen-free radicals and thus, protect the body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.
  • Anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid is because of its ability to inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, thus, offering protection to human body from cancers.
  • Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; provide about 25 g per 100 g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • The nuts are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Together, these vitamins work as co-factors for the enzyme metabolism inside the human body.
  • The nuts are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

Add a hand full of pecan nuts in your diet to keep your diet meter complete with sufficient levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.