Pecans

Oval, with a hard, medium-brown shell, pecans are used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Background:

Pecan trees have been growing for thousands of years in the humid American south, as well as in the north of Mexico.
Upon arrival along the southern riverbanks, the Indians adopted this new food source, as did the French colonists who, much later, arrived in Louisana.

The majestic trees, which grow to a height of 30 to 50 meters, may live up to 300 years. Fruit-bearing from the age of 8 to 12 years, pecan trees group their nuts in clusters of 2 to 20.

A particularly healthy food.

Pecans have a sweet, distinctive flavor.
They have a particularly high concentration of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils (over 60%). These fats help to keep triglycerides and LDL cholesterol to acceptable levels while promoting HDLcholesterol, which is crucial for preventing heart disease and maintaining optimum blood fluidity.

A treasurehouse of vitamins (B group and E) d minerals (potassium,magnesium and iron), pecans also contain a photochemical called ellagic acid. (See article in TIME magazine, January 21, 2002. " 10 Foods that pack a Wallop," page 50). This discovery indicates that ellagic acid initiates a process called apoptosis in which cancer cells destroy themselves.