Heart-Healthy Nuts

Pecans are full of antioxidants that reduce risk of heart disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Eating pecans is good for you. In fact, a new study shows that the stuff found in pecans may protect you against heart disease and other illnesses.

A new study from Loma Linda University shows that pecans are full of antioxidants that are good for the heart, lowering levels of bad cholesterol, and protecting against inflammation that causes disease. Researchers found that eating pecans doubled the amount of tocopherols (a type of vitamin E that reduces inflammation) in the blood of the study's participants. In just three hours after eating pecans, the higher levels of this vitamin E led to a 33 percent decrease in levels of LDL cholesterol - a form of cholesterol that increases the risk for heart disease.

The study's authors write that people are able to absorb the antioxidants in pecans soon after eating the nuts, and that these antioxidants defend against disease.

"Eating pecans protects you against heart disease."

In order to get to their findings, Dr. Ella Haddad, from the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, and colleagues measured concentrations of antioxidant levels in the blood of participants after eating pecan meals. The participants (16 men and women aged 23 to 44 years) were assigned to a meal of whole pecans, blended pecans, or a non-pecan control.

"The benefits of nuts has long been known and appreciated in the alternative healthcare community," stated Dr. Mark Bans, a Chiropractic Physician who is also schooled in alternative mind-body-emotions-energy techniques. "Yes, nuts do contain fat, but as this study shows, they are heart-healthy fats. In order to get the best benefits from nuts, it is best to get organic, raw nuts, avoiding commercially roasted nuts. There are questions as to how much roasting nuts at high temperatures alters the healthy fats in the nuts, possibly contributing to the release of free radicals into the body."

Dr. Bans also added, "If you are going to purchase organic, raw nuts, it is best to store them in the refrigerator as their natural oils can become rancid with time."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 24, 2011
Last Updated:
May 17, 2011