When you think of pecans, there are several dishes that come to mind. Pecan pie and roasted sugar pecans are just a few of the most famous recipes shared by millions that feature this special nut. Despite the many succulent desserts featuring pecans, the pecan, all by itself, has many health benefits:
The pecan is packed with healthy fats. According to the American Heart Association, saturated fats should be limited to less than 7 percent of total daily calories. Trans fats should consist of less than 1 percent of total daily caloric intake. Pecans fall into the category of foods that contain unsaturated fat to promote lower cholesterol.
Pecans also appear to lower blood pressure, and are an important component of the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet.
Prostate health and breast cancer are on the minds of many men and women today. According to recent research, pecans may suppress cells that trigger cancer activity in the breast or prostate. In addition, pecans are packed full of fiber, which can help to maintain healthy bowel movements and promote colon health.
The pecan contains a substantial amount of protein. Up to 9 grams of protein are in a single nut. Many pecans can be used for recipes that call for meat replacements, or as a source of natural fat that the body can use readily for energy. The energy found in nuts differ greatly from the fast (but empty) calories found in sugar. The sustainable energy gained from eating nuts can last throughout the day. This may reduce weight gain and temper the effects of hypoglycemia.
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Nuts and Your Hearth: Eating Nuts for Heart Health; Mayo Clinic; accessed March 17, 2014
Fats and Oils: AHA Recommendation; American Heart Association; accessed March 17,2014