Below are several fun facts about pecans. Below those are some of the great nutritional facts
- Pecans could improve your love life. If the body does not get enough zinc, it may have difficulty producing testosterone a key hormone in initiating sexual desire in both men and women. Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc. So, pass on the oysters and reach for a handful of pecans!
- Pecans come in a variety of sizes mammoth, extra large, large, medium, small and midget. They also come in several forms including whole pecans, pecan halves, pieces, granules and meal.
- There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans. Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
- It takes a magnificent tree to produce a great-tasting nut. Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher. Native pecan trees that are over 150 years old can have trunks more than three feet in diameter.
- Can you imagine a pecan skyscraper? It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the EmpireState Building in New York City.
- Some of the larger pecan shellers process 150,000 pounds of pecans each day. Thatâ€™s enough to make 300,000 pecan pies!
Pecans increase fiber and nutrient intake. Researchers at Texas A&M University found that a heart healthy diet containing pecans can help control specific biomarkers of heart disease risk as effectively as the AHA Step I diet. They also found that the pecan rich diet significantly increased participants levels of dietary fiber, thiamin, magnesium, copper manganese and actually changed copper and magnesium intakes from inadequate (on the AHA diet) to adequate (on the pecan diet). All of the participants had already been eating a relatively low-fat diet. For this study, they were placed on either the Step I diet or a higher fat pecan based diet. This information was presented at the American Heart Association Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
Pecans Offer Good Nutrition
- 90% of the fats in pecans are unsaturated (about 60% monounsaturated/30% polyunsaturated)
- A serving of pecans (30g) provides about 25 percent more oleic acid than a serving of olive oil (one tablespoon)
- Pecans are cholesterol free
- Pecans are sodium free
- Pecans are fiber-rich
- Pecans are a valuable plant protein source
- Pecans have more than 19 vitamins & minerals
- They are an excellent source of gamma tocopherol, an important type of vitamin E
- They contain concentrated amounts of natural plant sterols, touted for their cholesterol-lowering ability
- Pecans contain a variety of phytochemicals
- Nuts are recommended by the American Heart Association and U.S. Dietary Guidelines as a desirable source of heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
Did you know...
Adding pecans to your diet can lower "bad" cholesterol. A study at New Mexico State University has found that pecans offer something even more important than great taste and versatility, a positive impact on health. The research shows that adding pecans to a self-selected diet lowers LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels by 6% - total cholesterol levels were lower as well. This encouraging news about the positive impact of pecans on heart health was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. In this study, 19 men and women with normal blood lipid levels were divided into 2 groups, one of which served as the "control" group, and ate its regular diet for 8 weeks. Subjects in the "test" (pecan-eaters) group, however, supplemented their diets with 3/4 of a cup of pecans every day. Even though the test group ate more total fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat each day than those who did not eat pecans, test subjects lowered their levels of bad and total cholesterol and did not gain weight.