Friday, 28 January 2011

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Pecan nuts/Pecannødder/碧根果 [bì gēn guǒ]


Nutritional Value:
Pecan nuts are rich source of energy, provide 690 cal/100 g and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellbeing.

These nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of antioxidants. Regular intake of pistachios in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in dietary fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

Pecan nuts are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help body remove toxic oxygen free radicals and thus, protect body from diseases, cancers as well as infections.

Anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid are due to its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, thus protecting body from cancers.

Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gama tocopherol; provides about 25g per100 g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.

The nuts are packed with many important B-complex group of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins functions as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism.

The nuts are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

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Additional Information:
Pecans have a delicious, buttery yet rich-flavored taste and are one of the popular edible dry fruits known to American aborigines since centuries ago. Pecans are native to central and southern parts of the United States of America,

References:
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pecans.html

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