Scientific name: Carya illinoinensis.
Delicious, buttery rich-flavoured pecans are one of the widely consumed nuts native to North and Southern parts of America since centuries ago. The word “pecan” means a nut that needs a stone to be cracked because it is tough to do by hands. Botanically, these nuts are members of the Juglandaceae family, which is closely related to hickory.
Nowadays, Pecan is cultivated on a commercial scale in many countries of the world, major producers of pecans include South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Egypt. also pecans are grown in 15 states of the United States ranging from North Carolina to California, 70% of US pecan coming from Texas, Georgia, and New Mexico
Pecans are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients, such as fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, and other micronutrients. Other than, it also provides minerals such as magnesium, Copper, Calcium, and Zinc.
Fiber in Pecans
Pecans contain a moderate amount of fiber. Research studies show Fiber is a substance known for its satiating effect. Means after eating this, you will feel full for longer. Therefore, the presence of fiber in pecan is right to take it as a snack in a weight loss program.
Vitamins in Pecans
Pecans are high in vitamin-E, which is an antioxidant, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; provide about 25 mg per 100 g. Studies show that vitamin E is a potent lipid-soluble antioxidant require to protect cell membranes and mucous membranes from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
These nuts are also an excellent source of several vitamin B-complex such as vitamin B-6, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and folates. Altogether, these vitamins compound work as co-factors for the enzyme’s metabolism inside the human body.
Fats in Pecans
Pecans are enriched with good fats called unsaturated fats, which are broken down into two subgroups known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid are a good source of phenolic antioxidants. These are the healthy forms of fats that may help to lower cholesterol levels and heart health. This type of fat not only aid heart health, but it also controls blood clotting, prevents strokes, and builds brain cells.
The antioxidant capacity of pecans is considered as one of the highest among other nuts. These antioxidant originates from the non-lipid portion and is cultivar-dependent. They contain about 70% lipids, namely oleic (over 60%), stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and linolenic acids.
The kernel of pecans contains hydrolyzable tannins. After consecutive hydrolysis of acid and base, phenolic antioxidants then released phenolic antioxidants epicatechin, catechin, Gallic acid, ellagic acid, and its derivatives.
Minerals in Pecans
The Pecans are full of minerals like manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, selenium, and zinc. Manganese Content is a trace mineral used by the body for brain function and tissue strength. It is also used for crabs and fat metabolism. Pecans contain moderately high amounts of copper; the body uses this element for energy and nervous system function.