Pecan nuts: uses and nutritional benefits

The pecan tree is a large fruit tree of the Juglandaceae family. In early fall, we like to harvest its fruit to eat the kernel: the pecan. Emblematic of Thanksgiving desserts, this nut is rich in flavor, but also in nutrients. Pecans have a high nutritional density thanks to lipids (more than 70% of their composition). These lipids are mostly unsaturated, mainly omega-9 (oleic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). Respectively, these two types of fatty acids protect against cardiovascular diseases and reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Regarding micronutrients, pecan nuts are extremely rich in copper and manganese. Two antioxidant trace elements that increase cardiovascular benefits, protect cells and delay skin aging. Iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and vitamin B1 complete the picture, which gives pecan nuts many other benefits: immunomodulating, capillary strengthening, remineralizing, etc. Latin name: Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Kosh. Botanical family: Juglandaceae. Part used: Almond.

Recommended consumption

Due to the energy density of pecans and their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, daily consumption recommendations are defined. In a classic cure or for pleasure, a portion of pecan nuts is estimated at 15 g per day, which represents six to seven nuts per day.

In what form?

To make the most of their benefits, you can use them :

  • Whole
  • In pieces
At what time of day?

We advise you to use them during the following meal(s) to take full advantage of their benefits:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Dinner
What modes of use?

You can incorporate them into the following preparations to facilitate their intake:

  • Dessert
  • Yoghurt, dairy
  • Mixed with other dried fruits
Precautions for use
  • Allergen : Nuts

Health Nutrition Benefits

15 grams of pecans contain a significant portion of the Population Nutritional Reference (PNR) of the following nutrients: Copper and Manganese. They also contain, to a lesser extent, Protein, Fiber, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc and Vitamin B1.

As such, Pecan Nuts can complement your healthy and varied diet.


Pecans have a low glycemic index, conferred by the fiber, fat and low sugar content. This glycemic index limits the strong variations of the glycemia after the meal. On dyslipidemia, pecans also act: fibers, omega-6, omega-9 and anti-oxidants reduce cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular complications.

Nervous system, well-being

Of nervous origin, psychological, or a lack of food intake, fatigue is a multi-factorial symptom. Pecans intervene on different causes of fatigue. They contribute to the functioning of the nervous system by potassium and magnesium. They allow the progression of the nervous message. On the psychological aspect: magnesium associated with vitamin B1 participate in the balance of psychological functions.

Pecans provide energy through lipids. We also find micronutrients of energy metabolism. They support the production of energy by the body: zinc, vitamin B1, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper. Especially since magnesium and iron form an excellent anti-fatigue cocktail. Intellectual capacities will also benefit from iron, this time associated with zinc: they contribute to normal cognitive functions.

Digestive system

Constipation is largely caused by a diet low in fiber. Pecans are rich in insoluble fiber. Thus, they accelerate digestive transit limiting constipation and risk of recurrence (see our guide constipation and diet).

Immune system

Copper supports our immune system by its immunomodulating power. Pecans are very rich in copper. Also in iron and zinc, which in case of deficiency, reduces the resistance to infections.

As part of a varied and balanced diet, these nutrients provide pecans with immunity benefits.

Body, face and hair care

Pecans reduce and slow down the appearance of the marks of time on the skin. The intervention of pecans on the formation of connective tissue, combined with the anti-oxidant properties they possess, restores volume to the skin and moderates skin spots. Moreover, these nuts are incredibly rich in copper: copper stimulates the production of melanin. This pigment protects and restores color to the skin and hair.

Note also the presence of zinc in pecan nuts. Zinc has a global action: it contributes to the maintenance of hair, nails and skin.

Circulatory system

Iron deficiency anemia is a consequence of an iron deficiency in the body (see our iron deficiency anemia and diet guide). This deficiency can come from a diet low in iron, inadequate absorption, increased iron needs, etc. Pecans are a source of iron, so they contribute to daily iron intake. Moreover, they are very rich in copper. Copper is involved in the transport of iron in the body, which helps the bioavailability of iron.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, the nutrients in pecans help prevent anemia.

Bone system

Pecans are richly mineralized. The minerals they provide: magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, are stored in the bones. This storage contributes to the solidity of the bones. By the contribution of these minerals, the pecan nuts participate in the solidity of the bones, to integrate within the framework of a balanced diet.

Nutritional properties

Main properties

  • Contributing to energy metabolism (lipid, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B1): pecans are characterized by a high lipid content. Lipids are the macronutrients with the highest energy density (1 g of lipid consumed provides 9 kcal to the body). Besides lipids, pecans carry many micronutrients that participate in energy production. For example, zinc contributes to the metabolism of fatty acids and macronutrients. Vitamin B1, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and manganese are involved in energy metabolism in general.
  • Antioxidant (copper, manganese, zinc): pecans have an ORAC score of 17940 ┬Ámol TE/100 g and a FRAP score of 8.5 mmol/100 g. These two scores combined are synonymous with a high to very high antioxidant capacity. This antioxidant capacity comes from three trace elements: copper, manganese and zinc. All three activate the antioxidant metalloproteins (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase).
  • Cardiovascular protector (fiber, oleic acid, linoleic acid): Fiber and omega-6 (linoleic acid) lower cholesterol (especially LDL cholesterol, nicknamed bad cholesterol). In addition, oleic acid protects the vascular walls from atheromatous plaques. Concerning the heart, pecan nuts provide vitamin B1 and potassium. Both modulate the contraction of the heart. Moreover, they are naturally low in sodium. Reducing sodium intake helps maintain normal blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure, in the long run, tires the heart.

Secondary properties

  • Hair Strengthener (zinc, copper): pecan nuts modulate hair pigmentation with copper. Copper stimulates the production of melanin: a dark pigment responsible for hair color. Also, they strengthen the hair by providing zinc.
  • Skin Protector (copper, manganese): pecans are involved in protecting against ultraviolet rays. They are concentrated in copper, which stimulates melanin synthesis. Of course, melanin modulates the color of the skin, but it also acts as a protective screen against the sun's rays. Moreover, copper associated with manganese contributes to the formation of connective tissue. Connective tissue supports the skin.
  • Anti-anemic (iron, copper): pecan nuts prevent iron deficiency, responsible for anemia and red blood cell dysfunction. In addition, they are very rich in copper. Copper is involved in the transport of iron.
  • Nerve balancer (copper, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B1): pecan nuts contribute to the functioning of the nervous system. Magnesium and potassium are involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Copper is involved in the synthesis of certain chemical messengers of the brain. Finally, vitamin B1 is essential to the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Remineralizing (magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc): pecan nuts are richly mineralized. This mineral intake helps maintain normal bone structure. In addition, they fight against manganese deficiency which favors bone disorders.
  • Immunomodulating (copper, iron, zinc): pecan nuts improve resistance to infections thanks to iron and copper. In addition, they fight against zinc deficiency. This deficiency negatively affects immunity.

Nutritional values

*Recommended Daily Allowance

Learn more about the plant : The Pecan Tree

The Pecan tree is a large tree belonging to the Juglandaceae family. Native to Central and North America, this tree is fast growing: it quickly reaches 30 m in height. The pecan tree appreciates the sun, the rich, fresh and acid soils. It has large green leaves of 50 cm in length.

At the beginning of the summer, this monoecious tree lets appear its male and female flowers. The male flowers are yellowish catkins, hanging, of about fifteen centimeters. The female flowers are more difficult to distinguish: they form small green spikes. The pecan tree is a fruit tree: after fertilization, the female flowers form a fruit. The 5 cm long fruit is composed of a thick green drupe (shell) which contains the almond that we eat: the pecan nut. The Pecan tree is also called "Pecan walnut". It is a tree easy to maintain, and does not require a good protection against the cold.

Pecan nuts... Nuts in bulk

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