Pecan nuts may hold the key to combat obesity

Pecan nuts may hold the key to combat obesity
Courtesy: billnoll | E+ Via Getty Images

Researchers found that pecans have health advantages that may lower inflammation and prevent obesity. The study was published in the journal ‘Nutrients’.

“Obesity and diabetes numbers are increasing in modern society worldwide, and the trend in high fat diet consumption is one of the main reasons besides lifestyle and genetic predisposition,” said Luis Cisneros-Zevallos PhD, professor of horticulture and food science in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and affiliate scientist in the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture. “People are searching for healthier options, and we have now shown pecans are a healthy tool consumers have in their hands.”

According to Amit Dhingra PhD, chair of the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Cisneros-Zevallos' investigation "provides scientific evidence supporting the traditional knowledge in the Americas that pecans are highly nutritious."

“Thanks to Dr. Cisneros-Zevallos’ work, we now know what potential mechanisms underlie that nutritional benefit,” he said. “Our department is focused on the areas of sustainability, wellness and food security, and this research illustrates the relevance of horticultural crops for human health.”

According to Cisneros-Zevallos, researchers used pecans and high fat diets on mouse models and discovered that nuts enhanced energy expenditure while decreasing dysbiosis and inflammation. The research found that pecans influence adipose tissue lipolysis as well as mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in the liver and skeletal muscle.

He also mentioned that the anti-inflammatory effects of pecans shown in the study lowered low-grade inflammation, which contributes to chronic inflammation and the development of a variety of common ailments. He further stated that pecans help people maintain their weight and prevent diabetes while eating a high-fat diet.

The new functionality has the potential to turn pecans into a superfood that may be taken directly or used in the increasing markets of functional foods and nutritional supplements.


Pecan nuts may hold the key to combat obesity
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“This observation is key when designing strategies for studies, the more we know of unique functionalities of pecans, the more possibilities to create healthier products,” Cisneros-Zevallos said.

“Pecans are of economic and historical importance to Texas and the US, and their production provides stability to farmers. This work will aid in the development of novel uses and products from pecans.”


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