November is National Georgia Pecan Month! Georgia is the primary pecan manufacturing state and September marked the peak harvest for this buttery, crunchy nut. High production rates will continue throughout this month, making pecans easily accessible all year-round.
This delicious tree nut is rich in essential health boosting nutrients. Pecans are a delicious portable and versatile go-to snack for the busy person. Whether eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in cooking your favorite dish, pecans are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
When people think of nuts, they think of peanuts, almonds, and cashews and less likely pecans. In honor of National Georgia Pecan Month, try adding them to your salad, yogurt, cereal, homemade granola or veggie stir fries. Spruce up your morning smoothie with the added crunch of pecans or get “fancy” and serve a pecan crusted tilapia to your friends and family at your next dinner party.
Health Benefits of Pecans
– Pecans are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s). MUFA’s have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. As a result, MUFA’s help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
– Pecans contain powerful antioxidants and phytochemical substances (ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin) which help to reduce the risk of free radical damage and protect the body from certain chronic diseases and cancers by maintaining the integrity of your cell membranes.
– The B-vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folate) packed in this nut act as co-factors and co-enzymes in cellular metabolism.
– The high energy and fiber content helps with satiety, keeping you full for a longer period of time. Fiber also helps lower cholesterol and regulates normal digestion.
– Pecans are loaded with protein, iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Like all nuts, pecans are calorie dense so don’t overdo it! A little goes a long way so portion out 1 ounce packets and enjoy one pack per day for an antioxidant boost!
How creative are you with pecans? Please share how you incorporate this forgotten nut into your lifestyle.