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April is National Pecan Month

Sallie Yakowicz, Program Assistant, NDSU Extension Service

Let’s go “nuts” in April during National Pecan Month! Pecans are a versatile nut and a nutritious addition to many different dishes. Try a variety of ways to get more pecans into your diet regularly and reap the health benefits from doing so.

Pecans have the highest fat content of any nut – and it’s the good kind of fat. About 70 percent of the fat in pecans is monounsaturated fat, with very little saturated fat. These monounsaturated fats include oleic acid, which improves immunity, reduces inflammation, and can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pecans also are a rich dietary source of vitamin E, which has antioxidant effects and may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, fatty liver diseases, cataracts, and type II diabetes, and may boost immune activity. These nutritious nuts also provide protein rich in vitamins such as thiamin and minerals such as manganese and copper, which help with metabolism and growth.

Since pecans are a healthful food, be aware of different ways to incorporate them into your diet. Chop them and toss into a green salad or add them to hot cereal such as oatmeal. You  also can incorporate them into a homemade trail mix or snacking nut mix, grind them and add to soup or a smoothie, or roast with root vegetables.

This month, try out different ways to add pecans into several dishes to reap the plentiful health benefits. No matter how you choose to add this healthful nut, make the conscious effort to include more pecans into your diet and enjoy their taste and potential health benefits.

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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