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26 November, 2019 News

Eat Pecans! Your Heart Will Thank You for It



A diet high in saturated fat, considered an unhealthy fat, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke [1]. Eating pecans may help you to keep your heart healthy. Want to know how?


Bites of Health

Pecans are high in thiamin [2,3], also known as vitamin B1, which contributes to the normal function of the heart [4]. They are also high in fiber, minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. Pecans are also high in monounsaturated fat, which may help you to reduce the risk factors of cardiometabolic disease, such as hyperlipidemia, dyslipidemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, nephropathy, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc [5]. In addition, they are a source of vitamin B6, iron and potassium. Not only are pecans considered a healthy-heart food, they are also one of the richest plant sources of total polyphenol antioxidants, known for their ability to combat cell damage.

Facts & Figures

Also, did you know that pecans are native to the Mississippi river basin. Long before the arrival of Europeans to the New World, the pecan served to enrich the diet of the tribes in the central and southern regions of the United States. The United States and Mexico are by far the largest producers of pecans, accounting for 92% of world production, followed by South Africa and Australia.

Pecans are marketed in shell or shelled and can be eaten raw or roasted. They are used as a snack, salad topping, in chicken and fish dishes, as well as in the baked goods, confectionary and dairy industry and in chocolate and ice cream.

George Washington frequently carried pecans in his pockets and Thomas Jefferson dedicated part of his time to their cultivation [6]. Besides, Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919 [7].

[1] World Heart Federation: https://www.world-heart-federation.org/resources/risk-factors/
[2] USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release April, 2018.
[3] Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods.
[4] Commission Regulation (EU) Nº432/2012 of 16 May 2012.
[5] McKay, D. L., Eliasziw, M., Chen, C. Y., & Blumberg, J. B. (2018). A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(3), 339.
[6] Rosengarten Jr, F. (2004). The book of edible nuts. Courier Corporation.
[7] National Pecan Shellers Association: http://www.ilovepecans.org/pecans-101/fun-facts-about-pecans/p?mobile=1.
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