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Health Benefits of Pecans

By Paul Rothbart


Nuts are popular as a snack and generally versatile. Pecans are one of the tastiest. They grow in Mexico and the Southern U.S. on a variety of hickory trees. You can eat them as is, use them in both savory and sweet dishes, and they make an excellent pie. Pecans are filling and provide energy as well as several health benefits. If you need a snack, this humble nut is a very good choice.

Nutrition

Pecans are loaded with many essential nutrients. A one-ounce serving contains 196 calories, three grams each of fiber and protein, and four grams of carbohydrates. There is also one gram of sugar for those who like a little sweetness. That single serving contains 39 percent of the recommended daily allowance of copper, 16 percent of the recommended thiamine, and 12 percent of the RDA of zinc. Pecans also contain significant amounts of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Less Risk of Diabetes

Pecans have a low glycemic index which means eating an ounce of them when you crave a snack will fill you up without creating a blood sugar spike. Substituting pecans for snacks with a higher sugar content can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, eating pecans with higher glycemic index foods can lessen the impact they have on your blood sugar.

Improved Heart Health

The fat content in pecans is mostly monounsaturated. This type of fat helps lower the LDL or bad cholesterol levels in your blood. This improves heart health and reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Pecans contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure, another important factor in heart health.

Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Pecans help support your immune system by providing Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and zinc. All of these nutrients improve immune system response so your body is stronger when fighting illness. Pecans also have folate and antioxidants. These compounds fight molecules called free-radical which attack the body's cells. They can damage the cells, causing them to mutate and inflicting cancer and other diseases. Eating pecans will reduce your risk.

Relieve Arthritis

Another nutrient that pecans contain a fair amount of is omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds are excellent for reducing inflammation throughout the body which can ease arthritis pain. The Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and zinc content of pecans also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Nuts in general make delicious and healthy snacks. Pecans are among those with the most health benefits. Next time you need a crunchy snack, grab some pecans and leave the chips in the cupboard.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Midland, Tex.

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