Pecans vs. Pills

May 3, 2017
Three ways to practice healthier food habits
May 22, 2017
 

Why Pecan Nuts are Essential to a Healthy Life

Our bodies take a hammering every day. Whether it's work, home or sport – if you're moving it means you're draining your body's battery.

 
If you want your body to give its best every day (cue the Duracell bunny), then you need to refill with only the best - and while doing so why not fill it with something that contains more nutrition than you could find in a capsule. Instead of popping a handful of pills, why don't you pop a few pecan nuts? Here are four reasons why pecans are superior to pills:

 

1. Pecan nuts are nature's multi-vitamin

When you eat a pecan nut, you're eating a little power bomb of vitamins and minerals. These nuts are rich in B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates and contains minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients are essential in combatting stress and illness as well as aiding athletes in post-sport recovery. Pecan nuts are also high in dietary fibre which helps your body to process and absorb these highly essential nutrients, so no need for expensive pills if you are already eating a handful of pecans.

 

2. Pecans help to develop a happy heart

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that tree nuts, like pecans, can aid in lowering blood pressure. Pecan nuts are high in oleic acid, the blood pressure lowering fatty acid that gives olives their healthy food fame. This monounsaturated Omega-9 fatty acid also supports general heart health, blood circulation and is linked to the prevention of type-2 diabetes.  The high amount of monounsaturated fats in pecans help to reduce LDL (the bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (the good) cholesterol, and thus pecans are a natural cholesterol fighting food. The high fibre found in pecans may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol and cholesterol overall.

 

3. Pecans may prevent cancer

Our modern processed diets are filled with hidden toxins that are difficult to avoid and this causes oxidative stress which links to higher occurrences of cancer and other diseases. Pecans are super high in antioxidants which fight against oxidative damage and so helps to maintain a healthy body in a stressful environment. One of these antioxidants, called gamma-tocopherol, is a powerful form of Vitamin E that has been proven to protect men against prostate cancer and possibly protects against lung cancer too.

 

4. Pecans helps to maintain a healthy weight

Pecans are often included in popular weight-loss diets like the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet focuses on dietary fibre from plants, foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids and lean protein, which makes pecan nuts perfect for this style of eating. Research indicates that a diet which includes healthy fats promotes more weight-loss than when compared to low-fat diets. A diet rich in healthy fats also promotes sustained energy release which balances your blood sugar and sustains a healthy body.

 

So, next time you're strolling through the pharmacy looking for the next miracle pill – walk on by and go to the nut aisle. Pills are much harder for your body to digest than natural unprocessed foods which means that natural foods will give you more bang for your buck. Pecan nuts, when taken as part of a balanced diet, will help you to maintain a healthy body that is ready to take on life.

 

Research

1. Dr. Axe. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2017, from https://draxe.com/pecan-nutrition/
2. Dr. Edward Group. (2015, December 7). Global Healing Center. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-pecans/
3. Mohammadifard N, S.-A. A.-S.-F. (2015, March 25). PubMed.gov. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25809855
4. National Pecan Shellers Association. (n.d.). I love pecans. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.ilovepecans.org/nutrition-in-a-nutshell/
5. Pecans South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.pecannut.co.za/health-benefits/#Antioxidant
6. Rudrappa, U. (n.d.). Nutrition and You. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pecans.html

Mohammadifard N, S.-A. A.-S.-F. (2015, March 25). PubMed.gov. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25809855

National Pecan Shellers Association. (n.d.). I love pecans. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.ilovepecans.org/nutrition-in-a-nutshell/