The nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants. Regular addition of pecan nuts in the diet helps to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in dietary-fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants would help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Pecan nuts are the rich source of many phytochemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help the body remove toxic oxygen-free radicals and thus, protect the body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.
Anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid are because of its ability to inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, thus, offering protection to the human body from cancers.
Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; provide about 25 g per 100 g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucous membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
The nuts are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Together, these vitamins work as co-factors for the enzyme metabolism inside the human body.
Nuts are also a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Add the hand full of pecan nuts in your diet to keep your diet meter complete with sufficient levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.