Nuts have been a large part of American lives since childhood. Who hasn’t had a big bowl of popcorn mixed with pecans and sprinkled with butter and brown sugar then baked in the oven for a wonderful movie-night snack? Show of hands: how many readers sneaked a handful of pecans while “helping” Mom make pecan pies for the holidays? It’s too easy to stop at a convenience store to grab a bottle of water and a package of pecans to snack on at work, at school, at the gym after working out and pretty much any time at all. We bet you didn’t know just how many health benefits of pecans there really are!
One: Weight Loss
Studies have shown that even though pecans are 70 percent monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat), the rich buttery nut gives a feeling of satiety. Pecans increase the metabolism, which in turn fosters weight loss. The nuts are also a healthy source of B-vitamins, which are instrumental in weight loss. The Vitamin E content in the nuts helps build muscle; eating pecans helps you build lean muscle mass. Zinc helps the body metabolize sugars, while magnesium helps the glucose to be turned into energy and keeps your blood sugar low. All in all, the little nuts contain vitamins and minerals that help the body from the cellular level on up to keep body weight where it should be.
Fun fact: Native Americans used the pecans not only for a food source, but also as a liquid. They pounded the pecans and mixed them with water to produce milk they fed to their babies and elders.
Two: Skin Benefits
Fun fact: There are so many pecan trees in Texas that in 1919 the tree was established as the state tree. Butter pecan ice cream originated in Texas.
Three: Hair or No Hair
An iron deficiency can do a lot of damage to the body, mainly causing anemia. Anemia causes hair loss. Pecans are loaded with iron which will grow hair on heads that are losing it. Amino acids are another substance the body needs but does not produce on its own. We must get all nine of the basic amino acids from our diet. Pecans are chock full of L-arginine, an amino acid that helps keep hair from falling out. Healthy heads need blood flow in the arteries to reach the follicle growing hair. L-arginine does this. Those who are bald need this particular substance to grow hair and keep it there.