The way to one's heart is through the stomach and simply eating a handful of pecans a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Whether you grab a handful on a go, add it to your granola or sprinkle a few in a salad, pecans are versatile, delicious and good for you. Cara Rosenbloom is a Registered Dietitian with Go South! Fresh from the Southern U.S. and says, pecans are now being widely touted for their nutritional benefits, specifically their antioxidant properties. Cara Rosenbloom: Researches at the California's Loma Linda University have shown that adding just a handful of pecans to diet each day which is about twenty halves can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Pecans are linked with heart health because of their unique combination of Vitamin E, Antioxidants, Plant Sterols and Monounsaturated Fats. Specifically pecans may help lower triglyceride levels and may help lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels which can help decrease the risk of developing heart disease. Sherri Dmyterko: In the largest most comprehensive analysis of foods to date, researchers in the U.S. measure the antioxidant capacity of more than one hundred foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, pecans came out amongst on top. Cara Rosenbloom: Antioxidants are substances which can help protect the body cells against the damage that can cause aging, heart disease and cancer. U.S. researchers have found that pecans went the highest of all nuts in terms of their antioxidant content and when compared with the hundred other foods, pecans ranked in the top twenty just behind a variety of apples, beans and different berries for their protective antioxidant content. Sherri Dmyterko: And the versatility of pecans, make them a natural addition to any meal from breakfast through dinner. Cara Rosenbloom: Pecans are so versatile. You can use them in your baked goods or trail mix, you can sprinkle them on top of soup or salads, you can crush them up and add them to pancake batter or try them as a nutty coating for your chicken, pork or fish. They make an excellent addition to any kitchen. Sherri Dmyterko: And to enjoy pecans at their best make sure you store them properly. Cara Rosenbloom: When buying pecans in the shell, you want to look for smooth shells. If you are buying pecans already shelled, you want to look for plump nuts that are uniform in both size and color. Either way you want to store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to nine months or the freezer for up to two years and frozen pecans do not need to be thawed prior to use. Female Speaker: For more information, recipes and storage tips, check out gosouthfresh.com. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.