What Are The Health Benefits Of Raw Pecans
Posted by Keith Henry on
Raw pecans are a type of nut that is raw and unprocessed. They have a sweet yet rich flavor, and can be added to various dishes. In addition to being tasty, this food also has many nutritional benefits. These include promoting immune system health , supporting cardiovascular health , reducing inflammation , improving digestion, and more!
A Great Source Of Nutrients
Pecans contain high amounts of antioxidants . This is what gives them their antioxidant properties and what makes them so healthy to be eaten. Antioxidants play an important role in the functioning of your immune system . They help keep this system strong by fighting free radicals - molecules with unpaired electrons in their outer orbits - which would otherwise cause damage to cells in the body. 
The antioxidants found in raw pecans do not only benefit the immune system though; they also help with cardiovascular health .  Some of the antioxidants found in the nuts help to lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis by preventing LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation.  Furthermore, some studies have shown that dietary supplementation with antioxidants may even slow down or prevent conditions such as cancer and cognitive decline .
Pecans are rich in monounsaturated fats , which are also known to be good for your heart, thanks to their effects on cardiovascular health. Monounsaturated fatty acids - particularly oleic acid - help reduce blood pressure slightly while also reducing the risk of blood clotting.  The healthy fats in these nuts also improve cognitive function and slow down aging.
Additionally, pecans contain high amounts of protein and complex carbohydrates . Complex carbohydrates are what make them a great source of energy ; in fact, raw pecans may help to increase satiety when eaten before meals .
Healthy Amounts of Vitamin E In Pecans
Those who want to keep their skin radiant and young-looking should consider adding fresh pecans to their diet regularly. Vitamin E is what gives these nuts their anti-aging effects, and a single serving of pecans contains a lot of it.  Vitamin E has been shown to improve skin elasticity in some studies , while other research suggests that vitamin E supplementation may slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration . 
In addition to being an antioxidant powerhouse, raw pecans also contain high amounts of many other vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your health.  For example...
Pecans have been linked with improved digestive health , better sleep , increased cardiovascular health , fighting cancer , lowering blood sugar levels , and (although not scientifically proven) they're often argued to help relieve symptoms of menopause  and premenstrual syndrome .
The fats in pecans contribute to making them so incredibly healthy. However, what some people don't know is that all fats are not created equal.  For example...
Not all fat is beneficial though; trans-fats , for instance, can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. These nasty fats are what gives processed foods their appealing texture and taste, but they're very bad for you if you care about your health! Therefore, it is be a good idea to opt for raw nuts over roasted nuts if possible; these come with the same nutrients but without any potentially harmful ingredients.
Any Healthy Substitutions For Pecans?
Although nuts in general should be eaten rather sparingly, what are some healthy substitutions for pecans?
Walnuts may be the closest substitute here. They come with their own set of beneficial nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids , vitamin E , magnesium , manganese , copper , potassium , B vitamins, zinc , iron and fiber. However, unlike pecans they do not contain antioxidants . Also, walnuts lack the fat content found in raw pecans - oleic acid specifically - which is what helps maintain good cardiovascular health .
As always, moderation is key. Regardless of what type of nut it is, the main problem with nuts is what they do to our blood sugar levels. When eaten in large quantities, even if they're packed with nutrients and beneficial fats, nuts can trigger an insulin response which causes your body to store fat .
Remember if you will be eating nuts, be sure to eat them sparingly, preferebly raw, and choose the healthier ones like pecans!
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