Chocolate Pecan Pie: The Healthy Dessert Option
You would think that a slice of chocolate pecan pie is so decadently scrumptious it must be bad for your health. Not really. You probably think there can be no other reason to eat this delicious dessert except for its wonderful taste. That’s where you’re wrong. Eating a chocolate pecan pie has health benefits you don’t realize.
Take the first ingredient in the pecan pie as an example. Obviously, the pecan is a nut. Nuts are good sources of protein, unsaturated fats (oleic acid), and more than 19 vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, calcium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. Research suggests that 1 to 2 ounces a day of nuts, like pecans, can reduce the risk of heart disease, especially if taken with a low cholesterol diet. Sterols found in pecans are reported to lower cholesterol levels. Pecans rank among the highest foods with anti-oxidant capacity. It is actually the nut which contains the highest amount of antioxidants. Pecans are rich in Vitamin E, flavonoids, and ellagic acid, anti-oxidants linked with anti-cancer effects and prevent disease-causing oxidation in the body. These phytochemicals appear to protect against colon, stomach, and rectal cancers. That slice of chocolate pecan pie may not be that bad after all. And for those people on a diet, pecans are included in the 35% of calories that you need to get from fat. Pecans have low carbohydrate content and unsaturated fat that can help you keep the weight off longer. It is even a good source of fiber. One slice of a chocolate pecan pie can give you your day’s equivalent of nut unsaturated fat and fiber.
The chocolates in the chocolate pecan pie have their benefits too. Cocoa or dark chocolate has antioxidants, like flavonoids, which have anti-cancer effects. Some studies also claim that chocolates produce a slight decrease in blood pressure. Remember the times you ate chocolates to feel good after a fight with your boyfriend or mother? Chocolates contain the stimulants theobromine, caffeine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine. The Tryptophan in cocoa lessens anxiety.
Chocolates are also said to release endorphins, which reduce the sensation of pain. The claim that it is an aphrodisiac is not yet validated, but probably comes from the effects it produces such as reduction in anxiety and an energy boost.
Every pecan pie needs its eggs. Eggs are a good source of protein. Not only do they contain choline for the brain and nervous system, they also have lutein which prevents age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. And contrary to most opinions, eating an egg a day does not significantly affect your cholesterol levels. Each chocolate pecan pie also contains only 3 eggs. If you eat only a slice from the 8 that the pecan pie is divided into, you only get less than an egg with that slice. You do the math.
The combination of these ingredients in a chocolate pecan pie is not only good for the senses, but also for your health. Just remember, though, that as in everything in life, moderation is the key. Eating a slice of chocolate pecan pie is good if done once a day a couple of times a month. It becomes unhealthy if taken more than that.
So the next time you take a bite out of that chocolate pecan pie, remember what it can also do for your health. Visit Tanner’s Pecans and Candies for the best pecan pies and desserts.
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