Snack Time: Attack of the Pecans
By Sara Butler
Nuts have a bit of a reputation. They’re known as a snack that adds fiber, vital vitamins, and much-needed minerals to your diet. They’re full of good fats and antioxidants, too. Unfortunately, pecans often get overlooked because they’re not as popular as some of their other nutty cousins. The truth of the matter is that pecans have some unique nutritional advantages that are worth emphasizing. So, here are a few good reasons why you should consider pecans in your life.
The Potent Antioxidant in Pecans
Pecans are a great source of polyphenol antioxidants, more specifically flavonoids, which have been tied to good heart health. Pecans happen to have two times the flavonoid content of the more popular almonds, pistachios, and cashews. And they’ve got about seven times the amount of flavonoids found in walnuts. They also have the highest levels of a particular form of Vitamin E, another healthy antioxidant for your heart that may help ward off heart disease.
They’re Mineral Marvels
Pecans are a great source of zinc thiamin, copper, and manganese. About 19 pecan halves provide 60 percent of your daily value for manganese and 40 percent of your daily value for copper. Manganese is useful in the regulation of blood sugar and is also a key mineral for healthy bones. Copper helps your body to absorb iron in order to form red blood cells and supports immunity, too.
One ounce of perfect pecans has just a single gram of sugar, but they tend to taste a bit sweeter than other nuts. This means they can help to satisfy your sweet tooth without unwanted extra sugar.
Pair pecans with fruit or try blending some into your morning smoothie. You can also add them to your oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt to give them a nutritional boost.
The next time you’re in the market for something to snack on, don’t pass by the pecans. Even if they’re known for being in sweet treats (pecan pie and pralines), they’re a treat all on their own for your health and continued wellness. They can be used in savory dishes, sweet dishes, and as a snack. They’re versatile and good for you -- just make sure to find unsalted pecans. Buy them in bulk or go pick some in the fall at a pecan plantation near you!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Long Beach, Calif.