Pecan is a smooth, thin-shelled oval nut of a commercially important deciduous tree – Carya illinoinensis – native to central and southern United States. It is a member of the hickory family. The nut’s smooth, tan shell averages about 1 inch in length and, though hard, is relatively thin. The buttery-rich kernel is golden-brown on the outside and beige inside. Chopped or halved shelled pecans are available year-round in cellophane packages, cans and jars. Though unshelled pecans are also available throughout the year, their peak season is during the autumn months.
Pecans contain different forms of vitamin E, which protects blood lipids from oxidation. Oxidation of lipids in the body – a process akin to rusting – is detrimental to health. When the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol becomes oxidized, it is more likely to build up and result in clogged arteries. Thus just adding just a handful of pecans to one’s diet each day may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent coronary heart disease.
Pecans can aid in weight loss and maintenance. According to this study/research peacan consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety. When used in conjunction with a healthy low-fat