The antioxidant in question is known as gamma-tocopherol and in a study of 16 men and women (who ate a sequence of three diets, one of whole pecans, one of pecans blended with water and a neutral ‘control’ meal) it’s levels doubled eight hours after eating pecans.
In addition, after three hours, unhealthy oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood was reduced by up to a third.
Researcher Ella Haddad, associate professor in the School of Public Health department of nutrition said ‘Our tests show that eating pecans increases the amount of healthy antioxidants in the body. This protective effect is important in helping to prevent development of various diseases such as cancer and heart disease.’
Pecans are not the only nut which are said to have health boosting properties. Almonds are said to be a good source of calcium while walnuts are said to help lower cholesterol.