5 Ways Pecans Keep You Healthy

The October Featured Guest Blogger of the Month, are two talented ladies from ChewOnThat Blog. They’re two foodies who can’t help but share their knowledge of and love for the edible everyday on their blog. They’ve always got an engaging anecdote as to why this or that recipe warms their heart, and the recipes are always a hit! Tune in every Tuesday in October to hear what Maxine and Hillary are chewing talking about!

When it comes to my food, I’m typically a purist. No soy sauce on my sushi, no ketchup on my hot dog and definitely no nuts in my brownies. Why would you want to ruin a perfectly good brownie with chunks of crunchy nuts? Call me crazy, but I like to taste my food just the way it is.

I will admit, however, that nuts can add a certain depth to many dishes and this time of year, nuts can be hard to avoid, especially pecans. Yes, ‘tis almost the season for pecan pie and yet another temptation to woo you away from your diligent diet. But nuts aren’t actually all bad. In fact, pecans have a lot going for them when they’re not mixed with large servings of sugar and butter. Here are five ways that pecans help keep you healthy and lots of pecan recipes to make it easy!

1. High in Antioxidants
Pecans are high in vitamin E, which is a great cancer-fighting ingredient. Vitamin E protects lipids in the blood from oxidizing. When LDL “bad” cholesterol oxidizes, it is more likely to clog arteries and vitamin E helps prevent this. Pecans are ranked among the highest cancer-fighting nuts and have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer and some neurological diseases.

Pecan Chicken Salad
Pecan-Crusted Walleye Pike
Orange Pecan Noodles
Cranberry Pecan Pie with Cornmeal Crust

2. Lower Your Cholesterol
Looking for natural ways to lower your cholesterol? A handful of pecans could help! Pecans contain plant sterols, which are proven to help lower bad cholesterol levels and decrease cholesterol levels overall.

Green Beans, Toasted Pecans and Blue Cheese
Pecan Pie Muffins
Pecan Baked Apples

3. Stick to the Diet
The hardest part of dieting is warding off cravings for unhealthy snacks. Next time, try pecans before you reach for a candy bar. Some studies have shown that nuts may increase metabolic rates and increase satiety.  Try these delicious snack recipes to help you stay on track.

Baked Acorn Squash with Caramelized Apples, Pecans and Onions
Cranberry Pecan Cheddar Cheese Spread
Spicy Blue Cheese Salad with Apples and Caramelized Pecans
Pecan Crusted Salmon

4. Heart-Healthy Goodness
New Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet with 20 to 35 percent of calories coming from unsaturated fats. Pecans are made up of 60 percent monounsaturated fat (MUFAs) and 30 percent polyunsaturated fat, which leaves very little saturated fat. Plus, here’s a bonus: pecans contain no trans fat!

Southern Pecan Chicken
Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing
Asian Asparagus Salad with Pecans
Pecan Rice

5. Nutrients Galore

According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, “Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc.”  Wow! Additionally, 1 ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber.

Apple and Pecan Turnovers
Pecan Cornbread Stuffing
Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Sugar-Free Chocolate Pecan Cookies

For more delicious pecan recipes and 15,000 more, visit Recipe4Living.com.

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