New research, published in the August 2006 issue of Nutrition Research, shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may be help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent heart disease. The researchers suggest that this positive effect was in part due to the pecan’s significant content of vitamin E – an antioxidant. Pecans contain different forms of vitamin E, which protects blood lipids from oxidation.
In addition, landmark research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (June 2004) found that pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity, meaning pecans may decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
.Numerous other studies have also shown that phytochemicals, like those found in pecans, act like antioxidants and may have a protective effect against certain diseases, such as various cancers and heart disease.
nutrition information from National Pecan Shellers Association
90% of the fats in pecans are unsaturated (about 60% monounsaturated/30% polyunsaturated)
A serving of pecans (30g) provides about 25 percent more oleic acid than a serving of olive oil (one tablespoon)
Valuable plant protein source
More than 19 vitamins & minerals
Excellent source of gamma tocopherol, an important type of vitamin E
Concentrated amounts of natural plant sterols, touted for their cholesterol-lowering ability
A variety of phytochemicals
Nuts are recommended by the American Heart Association and U.S. Dietary Guidelines as a desirable source of heart-healthy unsaturated fat