Pecans: A healthy snack

For all those who eat pecans simply for the flavor, the nutritional world has now discovered another great reason:  there great for your health!  Research conducted over the last several years has led health specialists to conclude that pecans also have tremendous health benefits.  Through this research, nutritionists found that pecans impact four areas of the body in a powerful way.  Thanks to the nuts antioxidant and nutrient rich qualities, pecans have been shown to impact:

1.     Brain Health:  With its high concentration of Vitamin E, pecans have proven to be effective at maintaining neurological health. Further evidence of this effectiveness comes from a laboratory study of mice that were fed a steady diet of pecans.  These mice showed a marked delay in the decline of motor functions compared to those mice that were not given any pecans.  In addition to delaying neurological degradation, pecans have been shown to slow or even inhibit the development of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

2.     Cholesterol Levels:  A clinical trial published by the Journal of Nutrition provided evidence that pecans are able to lower cholesterol when it compared cholesterol levels in adults who ate a pecan rich diet with those who did not.  Pecans contain plant sterols, which are known for their ability to reduce cholesterol.  As a result, they were able to lower total cholesterol in testy subjects by 11%, double that of those who were not given pecans.

3.     Weight Maintenance: Another publication, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, recently brought forth evidence that pecans may have an effect on weight loss and maintenance.  The journal referenced studies showing that regular pecan consumption has been shown to increase one’s metabolism as well as provide a feeling of fullness.

4.     Heart Health:  Coupled with its proven effect on lowering cholesterol, pecan’s dense concentration of antioxidant Vitamin E has made it a recommended dietary addition by the American Dietetic Association for those needing to maintain optimum heart health.

Pecan lovers can rejoice in the fact that one of their favorite snacks is not only delicious, but is great for them as well.  For those who may not previously thought about pecans as a snack; improved brain, cholesterol, weight, and heart health are all good reasons to give these nuts a try. So, next time you are at the grocery store, consider picking up a package of pecans. Your body and taste buds will thank you!

This article was written exclusively for Pick-A-Pepper by Pearson Farm, a fifth-generation family-ownedbusiness dedicated to growing Georgia Peaches and Georgia Pecans.

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