Pecan: benefits and harms

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Pecan history
Pecans grow on huge trees that can reach a height of forty meters. The trees are long-lived and can bear fruit for up to 300 years.

The native land of the plant is considered to be North America, where the wild nuts were originally collected by the Indians. They prepared them for future use in case of a hungry winter because nuts were as nutritious as meat. Nowadays, many varieties of pecans are cultivated in the United States, and they are still the traditional favorite nut of Americans.

Outwardly, the nut is similar to the walnut and is its relative. But the taste and aroma of pecan are much softer and brighter, and the absence of bitterness makes it an excellent addition to desserts.

Pecan benefits
Pecans are extremely high in calories because they are 70% fat. With insufficient nutrition, these nuts are indispensable, and a large handful of them can saturate and energize. Pecans are considered the fattiest of all nuts.

Pecan is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and also contains trace elements: iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc. Vitamins A and E are well absorbed from pecans as they are fat-soluble. They improve the condition of the skin, nails, and hair.

Pecan contains exactly that kind of vitamin E, on the basis of which the drug was made that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It is possible that regular consumption of pecans can reduce the risk of cancer.
Pecans, like other nuts, are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). Thanks to them, as well as dietary fiber, pecans provide a feeling of fullness for a long period of time.

Caloric content per 100 grams 690 kcal
Proteins 9.2 g
Fat 72 g
Carbohydrates 4.3 g

Pecan harm
The main harm of pecan lies in its high-calorie content. Even people without excess weight should not get carried away with this nut, since overeating can cause indigestion.

For obesity, liver problems, and a tendency to severe allergies, it is best not to eat pecans at all to avoid worsening the condition. Nuts are strong allergens, so nursing mothers and children under 3 years old need to exclude pecans from the diet.

The use of pecan in medicine
In modern medicine, pecans are not used, and even in traditional medicine, the nut is little known. Tribes in North America sometimes brew tree leaves or extract oil from nuts, considering it medicinal.

Masks-scrubs are made on the basis of crushed pecans to nourish and cleanse the skin with soft nut particles. Pecan oil is added to various cosmetics to enhance their effect. In its pure form, the oil moisturizes the skin and helps fight stretch marks.

Cooking pecans
Pecans are sometimes fried before use, but if the dish is baked, the nuts are used raw. Roasting enhances the unusual flavor of the nuts and develops caramel notes.

Pecans are especially often used in America, adding them not only to baked goods but even to soups and salads. On holidays, hostesses often bake pecan pies.

How to choose and store pecans?
Usually, nuts are sold in the shell, or peeled in a vacuum package. The shell of the walnut should be flat, without dents or dark spots. The peel is removed quite easily, in some species the shell is very thin and breaks by hand.

Due to the high content of vegetable fats, pecans quickly deteriorate in the air, so peeling the nuts should be done right before eating.

In a vacuum, nuts are stored longer, but after opening the package, the shelf life is also reduced. If the fruits are not eaten right away, they can be frozen in an airtight bag in the freezer – they can lie in this form for quite a long time.

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