Why a Handful of Pecans a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents, favored because they were accessible from waterways and easier to shell than other local nut species,adding flavour to an otherwise bland diet.

The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American species and the name is a Native American word of Algonquin origin roughly meaning “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”

Because this wild nut was readily available, Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the pecan as a major food source during autumn.

Pecans were supposedly used to produce a fermented intoxicating drink called “Powcohicora” by Native Americans who first cultivated this tree.

One of the first known cultivated pecan tree plantings, was thought to have taken place in the late 1600’s or early 1700’sby Spanish colonists and Franciscans in northern Mexico.

These plantings are documented to around 1711-about 60 years before the first recorded planting by U.S. colonists.

By the late 1700’s, pecans from the northern range reached the www.klikdokter.com English portion of the Atlantic Seaboard and were planted in the gardens of easterners such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Settlers were also planting pecans in community gardens along the Gulf Coast at this time.

So why are Pecans an important dietary must have?

Eating about a handful of pecans each day may play a role in protecting the nervous system, according to a new animal study, researchers suggest vitamin E – a natural antioxidant found in pecans – may provide a key element to neurological protection along with antioxidants, nutrients found in foods that help protect against cell damage, and as studies have shown, can help fight diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and heart disease.

Pecans also play a role in lowering cholesterol.

Research from Loma Linda University showed that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent coronary heart disease.

Further Research at the University of Georgia has also confirmed that pecans contain plant sterols, the main ingredient in Statins which are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability.

A review of pecan and other nut research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that nuts like pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance, indicating that nut consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety.

Nearly 60 percent of the fats in pecans are mono-unsaturated and another 30 percent are polyunsaturated, leaving very little saturated fat for your body to contend with,they also contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc.

One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fibre intake.

Little factoids

Pecans for improving your love life?

If the body does not get enough zinc, it may have difficulty producing testosterone – a key hormone in initiating sexual desire in both men and  ditch the oysters for nuts!

Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher.

Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter,try giving that a hug!

There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans.

Many named after Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.

Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S and hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, the crowning of the National Pecan Queen and many other activities.

If you wanted to erect a Pecan stairway to the moon,you would need to collect over 10 billion of these healthy little nutty modules!