Not only do pecans taste great, but they offer a host of health benefits as well. Whether you’re looking to snack on them throughout the day, use them in recipes this holiday season, or buy them as gifts for your loved ones, take the time to discover the great benefits pecans have to offer. • Pecans are Packed with Antioxidants – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pecans are among the top 20 foods in terms of antioxidant capacity, ranking higher than almonds and walnuts. They are specifically rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which have been connected to various heart benefits. One study concluded that a diet rich in pecans prevents the oxidation of cholesterol, due to the increase of the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol. Some studies have also indicated that gamma-tocopherol can help fight certain cancers, including lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. • They Fight Inflammation – Antioxidants and minerals in pecans prevent the cellular damage that causes irritation. Additionally, pecans are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have also been proven to reduce inflammation. Other vitamins in pecans help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis, which are both linked to internal swelling. • They Aid in Weight Loss – Pecans provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer, reducing your desire to eat and thereby the number of calories you consume. Consuming nuts such as pecans also increases your metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. • They Provide Critical Minerals – An ounce of raw pecans provides 60% of your recommended daily value of manganese, which helps regulate your blood sugar and keep your bones health. It also provides 40% of your recommended daily value of copper, which is necessary for iron absorption and promotes the creation of red blood cells. Pecans also are a rich source of phosphorus, which keeps your bones and teeth healthy, repairs cells and tissues, stimulates DNA and RNA growth, and prevents muscle pain and soreness. • Pecans Reduce Blood Pressure – Pecans can help fight hypertension. Consuming pecans can also reduce your risk of stroke. • Prevent Hair Loss and Stimulate Hair Growth – Maintaining proper iron levels will help reduce your risk of hair loss. Additionally, pecans are a great source of the amino acid L-arginine, which can help fight male pattern baldness. • They Aid in Digestive Health – Pecans are a form of natural fiber, which helps maintain a healthy colon and digestive track. A healthy gastrointestinal system can reduce the risk of hemorrhoids, constipation, colitis, and colon cancer. • Pecans can Fight Your Sweet Tooth – While they’re not chocolate cake, pecans can help satisfy cravings. Even though they contain just a single gram of sugar per serving, they taste sweeter than other nuts, making them a healthy alternative when your sweet tooth kicks in. They can be paired with fruit as well for a delicious snack.