What comes to mind when you think of pecans? Pecan pies, spiced candied pecans, turtle brownies or maybe even homemade butter pecan ice cream. But there’s more to these nuts than their tasty flavor and crunch. April is National Pecan Month and we’re kicking off the holiday with interesting facts about pecans:
1. Pecans are rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat believed to help prevent heart disease.
2. Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals.
3. Pecans are a natural, high-quality source of protein and naturally sodium free.
4. Pecan trees are widely cultivated in the states of New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Texas.
5. The pecan tree is the official state tree of Texas.
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6. Georgia is the nation’s largest supplier of pecans, accounting for about a third of U.S. pecan production.
7. Pecans can be stored in the freezer for up to two years in a moisture-proof plastic bag.
8. The United States produces more than 80 percent of the world’s pecans.
9. Pecan trees can grow up to 70 feet tall and span 80 feet in diameter.
10. Pecans are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins. Working together, these vitamins work as co-factors for the enzyme metabolism inside the human body.
Though we all love our pecan pies, raw pecans provide nutritional goodness that can sometimes be overlooked. Next time you’re craving a snack, reach for a handful of raw pecans.
Sources: UGA Extension, AgMarketing Research Center