A Peek at Pecans

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Pecans are one of the world’s healthiest nuts. In fact, next to walnuts and chestnuts, pecans have the highest amount of antioxidants of all the tree nuts. These are nutrients that help your body fight cell damage. They may even help protect against cancer and heart disease.

Pecans are high in unsaturated fat (healthy fats). And they’re low in saturated fat (unhealthy fats). Studies show a diet rich in healthy fats may help drive down your cholesterol and blood pressure, two leading risk factors for heart disease. Keep in mind that about 80 percent of a pecan contains healthy fat. So eat only one level handful a day. And be sure to eat them in place of other rich foods.

Looking for ways to get creative with pecans? Check out the 3 tips below:

  • Mix up your morning: Add 2 teaspoons of chopped pecans to your favorite cereal or yogurt.
  • Make your own trail mix: Combine 1 cup of pecans with a cup of almonds and a cup of peanuts. Then add ½ cup of raisins and ½ cup of dried cranberries. Store in snack-size baggies and take one on-the-go.
  • Top off your salad: Scatter a handful of pecans over a baby spinach and feta cheese salad. You’ll get more nutrients and may feel full longer.

You can enjoy pecans plain or use them in breads, side dishes, or entrees. So turn over a new leaf this season—perk up your diet with pecans.