Pecan nut is commonly consumed globally. However, most pecan oil benefits are less known. Read this article to gain an insight into this.
Pecan nut is the fruit of a species of hickory trees native to the Southern United States. It has a sweet buttery taste and can be consumed raw. Pecan oil is an edible oil extracted from pecan nuts by the cold pressing method. It has a very mild pecan flavor and is a light and healthy oil that you can use to cook and bake.
Pecan oil composition
Pecan oil has vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. What makes it even healthier is that it is low in carbohydrates and is sodium-free. Pecan oil contains significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and potassium, vitamins A, B6, E, Thiamine, Niacin, Folate, and Riboflavin.
The oil has high amounts of healthy HDL fats and a low quantity of unhealthy LDL fats. It has over 90% of unsaturated fats and a lower percentage of unhealthy saturated fats compared to other cooking oils. It is a healthier alternative to butter and, unlike butter, can be stored without refrigeration.
Pecan Oil Benefits
1. Betters Health
Native American tribes have used pecan oil for centuries as food and prevention and cure for myriad diseases. It is rich in vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps prevent chronic and degenerative diseases. Its healthy fats make it a heart-healthy oil, and pecans have been identified as ‘heart healthy’ by the American Heart Association. The balance of fatty acids in pecan oil helps lower cholesterol levels.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
Its low-fat levels make it a suitable cooking medium for weight watchers, and it boosts metabolic rate, which promotes weight loss.
3. Overall Health
It has a low glycemic index and is hence ideal for people with diabetes. Its iron content helps prevent anemia, and calcium and phosphorous content keep your bones and teeth healthy.
4. Rich in Minerals
Minerals like potassium and magnesium in pecan oil help lower blood pressure, keep the heart healthy, maintain the flexibility of artery walls and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Copper in pecan oil eases arthritic pain and stiffness. Manganese in pecans helps combat mood swings and cramps associated with menstruation.
5. Rich in Antioxidants
Its rich antioxidants enhance immunity, prevent cell damage from free radicals, and lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
6. Easy to Digest
Pecan oil is easy to digest, and its high fiber content keeps bowel movements regular. It promotes respiratory health, boosts blood circulation, and keeps your brain healthy.
7. Promotes Hair Growth
Besides being a cooking medium, pure, virgin Pecan oil contains L-arginine, which effectively combats baldness in men. When used topically on the scalp, it helps promote hair growth, keeps the scalp dandruff free, and treats split ends.
8. Boosts Skin Health
When rubbed into the skin, it moisturizes your skin, prevents wrinkles, and treats skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, chapped lips, and diaper rash. It is also used popularly as a massage oil in aromatherapy.
How to incorporate pecan oil in your diet?
Pecan oil has a very mild flavor that helps it absorb the food’s flavors that you cook it with.
You can use it as a dressing for salads, in dips, and sauces. Alternatively, you can add honey, herbs, Dijon mustard, seasonings, and balsamic vinegar to pecan oil to make a flavorful, healthy salad dressing.
You can use it for regular cooking like sautéing, grilling, stir-frying, and searing foods. It has a very high smoke point at 470 F which makes it ideal for deep frying foods. This also allows the oil to retain its flavor. You can use it to pan-fry meats and vegetables, and it can turn meat into brown without burning them.
Use Pecan oil as a healthy substitute for butter in baking. You can also toss vegetables in pecan oil before roasting them in the oven. You can add a spoonful of pecan oil to cereals for enhancing their nutritional content.
- Those who have nut allergies should avoid using this oil. Allergic reactions can include swelling of the throat and tongue, hives, breathing difficulty, and dizziness.
- Those with renal issues must avoid consuming this oil.
- Since pecans are nutrient-dense, you must consume the oil in moderation.
- Storing pecan oil in tightly sealed containers under refrigeration is advisable as it can go rancid very quickly.