Pecans are hickory nut species that are native to northern Mexico and southern parts of the United States.
Despite their diminutive size, they are packed to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals.
So, if you’re thinking of adding some delicious pecans into your diet, treats, or dessert, read on as I discuss the benefits of pecan nuts and what makes them good for you.
Pecan Nuts Benefits
Besides tasting good, pecans are a powerhouse of proteins, fibers, and essential saturated fats to keep you reinvigorated and healthy.
They also help in the development of healthier teeth and bone density, with research even linking pecans to improved brain development.
Here are more key health benefits of pecan consumption.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Pecan nuts are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium ions, all of which are great for lowering blood pressure and mitigating heart conditions.
A study conducted by AHA Journals found that of all the 16,217 participants that ate pecan nuts, few displayed a 14% lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
In comparison, other subjects exhibited a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease during the experiment.
This astounding phenomenon is due to monounsaturated fat found within the nut, which helps lower bad LDL cholesterol, thus minimizing the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.
Pecans are also rich in amino acids and arginine, essential in producing nitric oxide responsible for relaxing constricted blood vessels and promoting blood flow and heart health.
Pecans Provide Optimal Diabetic Relief
Studies show that because pecan nuts contain a low glycemic index value, gobbling an ounce of them aids in preventing insulin spikes in blood sugar, which is commonly seen in people with diabetes.
Thus, diabetic individuals can regulate their blood sugar levels and still feel full at the same time.
This will help prevent binge eating enabling them to avoid high carb foods and excessive sugar, which are detrimental to their health.
Provide Arthritis Relief
Pecan nuts help ease pain caused by arthritis due to their anti-inflammation abilities, which are found in nutrients such as:
- Vitamin E
Another reason pecan nuts are good for you is that they contain plant-based compounds, known as phytonutrients, that are rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants such as lycopene, lutein, and vitamin C play a vital role in preventing macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and other autoimmune diseases.
Both growing children and adults can also benefit from the nut’s vitamin E, vitamin A, and zinc nutrients, which facilitate the development of a robust immune system fighting infections effectively.
Moreover, pecans contain folate, protecting your body against carcinogens and DNA alterations, such as tumors leading to cancer.
Promote Weight Loss
Pecan nuts can be consumed as a staple ration to promote weight loss as a handful of raw pecan contains roughly:
- 196 calories
- 20 grams fat
- 1 gram sugar
- 3 grams fiber
- 4 grams carbs
- 3 grams protein
Pecan nuts’ low carbs and sugars encourage optimal calorie maintenance without accumulating fat.
Eating pecans three to four times a day between meals can also help make you feel fuller for longer.
Moreover, there are more wholesome perks of chowing plant-based meals moderately as they are devoid of unhealthy junk and saturated fats, thus preventing weight gain.
Pecan nuts are stacked with fibers that encourage optimal colon function and ease bowel movements.
They saturate stool and prevent constipation and hemorrhoids by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system effectively.
Eating a few handfuls can also help alleviate bloating by maintaining stomach gas levels and preventing water retention, keeping your tract and organs hydrated.
Prevent Skin Ailments
Breakouts, acne, and pimples are all caused by trans fats in greasy junk foods and desserts.
However, pecan nuts comprise healthy fats alternatives, which help reduce acne and blackhead formation.
They also contain vitamin A and zinc, which are essential in preventing skin infections, promoting clearer and fairer skin complexions.
Increase Brain Power
Like most nuts, pecans are a significant source of copper, manganese, and thiamine, vital for healthy brain development.
These minerals prevent free radicals from damaging the brain and are known to delay Parkinson’s disease. On that note, manganese helps stabilize the brain’s cognitive and synaptic processes, preventing manganese-reliant ailments such as:
- Mood swings
- Oxidative stress
- Learning disabilities
Pecan nuts can also help prevent chronic mental fatigue and even help combat depression in rare cases.
Aid Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Osteoporosis
Phosphorous is an essential mineral found in pecans that lowers the risk of Osteoporosis.
Moreover, athletes and bodybuilders can gain from the nut’s pain-reducing features, easing muscle aches and cramping caused by physical activity.
The same pain relief can aid cramping women as phosphorus alleviate symptoms of PMS, which include:
- Digestive disturbances
Combat Anti-Aging Effects
These wholesome nuts are exceptional free radical destroyers due to their rich antioxidant qualities that diminish symptoms of fine lines, crow’s feet, stretch marks, discoloration, and wrinkles across the face, cheeks, and forehead.
Their zinc and fiber content also helps detoxify the body, leaving it toxin-free while promoting vibrant and youthful skin.
Stimulate Hair Growth
If you suffer from early hair loss symptoms, consider pecan nuts to prevent the condition from worsening.
Their rich amino acid content stimulates optimal hair growth, improving hair density across the scalp and face.
Moreover, many cosmetic products use pecan oil for hair moisturizers and conditioners as it keeps the hair smooth, straight, and less susceptible to breakage.
How Many Pecans Should You Eat a Day?
The recommended number of pecans one can eat should be at least 15 kernels a day.
This provides sufficient stomach room for heavier meals, which you’re bound to eat throughout the day.
You could increase your uptake to one or two handfuls provided that you’re skipping a few meals or you’re eating based on a dietary keto or intermittent plan.
Like most foods, consuming more than necessary can prove detrimental to your health.
Besides gaining weight, overeating pecan nuts can lead to the following side effects:
- Weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Increased cholesterol
Do Pecans and Walnuts Taste the Same?
Pecans have a rich and buttery flavor compared to walnuts.
They also taste sweeter than the accustomed bitterness of bland walnuts, contributing to their preferred use as natural sweeteners in many treats and pastries.
On the other hand, walnuts have a saltier taste, which can be dissipated when fried.
Moreover, their crunchy texture is why they’re fancied in culinary dishes like desserts, granolas, oatmeal, and salads. So, the next time you’re served a plate of assorted fruit and nut salad, you’ll be able to differentiate the two hickory species effortlessly.
Is Eating Pecans Everyday Bad for You?
In moderation, pecans can enhance your hair, skin, and overall health.
Doctors also recommend eating a soluble fiber source, such as fruits and nuts, daily to improve gastrointestinal health.
You can maximize nutritional value by eating pecans raw or cook them for more flavor.
If you’d like to know more about eating raw pecan nuts, here’s a YouTube video you can watch:
However, peeling the shells every day can be exhausting, which is why I recommend the Anwenk Heavy Duty Pecan Walnut Plier from Amazon.
Not only does its handle protect you from palm injury, but it also features strong enameled aluminum casting jaws perfect for cracking the toughest of pecan nuts.
Do Pecans Make You Poop?
Nuts, in general, are excellent fiber sources, which are significant in alleviating constipation.
More specifically, the soluble fibers in pecans bind with water in the digestive tract, causing thinner stools and relaxed bowel movements.
While this may not trigger instantaneous excrement, it certainly improves stool quality, especially if you’ve been bloated or have a hard time passing wind.
Furthermore, pecans comprise insoluble fibers which help the digestive tract stay healthy while enhancing optimal tract function and responsiveness.
Insoluble fibers achieve this effect as the indigestible carbohydrates present in pecan nuts pass through the colon without being absorbed into the body.
Because the carbs still retain their solid form, they move through the intestines cleaning up biowaste along the way until excreted.
This, in turn, adds more structure and firmness to stool, allowing you to pass sizable bowel movements easily, especially if you experience diarrhea symptoms.
Suppose you’re looking to add a unique ingredient to your recipe or try out something new.
In that case, pecan nuts offer excellent nourishment and great taste for any culinary enthusiast or gourmet lover to enjoy.
Furthermore, there are many ways you can indulge yourself in pecan consumption to enjoy both their taste and nutritional value.
Besides cooking them, consider raw and unsalted pecans for increased health benefits, especially if you’re aiming to lose weight or regulate blood sugar through a healthy vegan diet.