Home Cellular health 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Hearts of Palm

7 Amazing Health Benefits of Hearts of Palm

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Heart of palm has been a staple in my diet all my life because like many Latinx people, my family ate it often. But I had never even considered where it came from, so I researched this specific type of food and found that it is one of the healthiest plants you can eat.

What is heart of palm?

Technically called palmitos, heart of palm is actually the heart of a certain type of palm tree, and although most people call it heart of palm, that’s because you usually eat more than one stem (think carrot against carrot). Palmitos do not have a very distinct flavor and, like jackfruit or tofu, they take on whatever flavors they are seasoned in.

Heart of Palm is nutrient-dense and low in calories, while providing a high dose of protein, fiber, and nutrients that can lower blood sugar and even help fight cancer cells in the body. Here are the many health benefits of eating heart of palm.

7 Benefits of Hearts of Palm

1. They lower blood sugar

Heart of palm is a food that helps lower blood sugar, which is essential for a healthy metabolism, and may help regulate insulin (meaning pre-diabetics and diabetics should eat more of it). It contains antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid which helps regulate blood sugar and lipids, which helps regulate your weight and also reduces your risk of obesity and diabetes. It also helps you metabolize fats in your diet, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. High in protein

Hearts of palm are low in calories and high in protein, containing 17 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. (These are histidine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, threonine, valine, and tryptophan.)

For this reason, says Clara Lawson, dietitian nutritionist at USA Hemp in Portland, OR, hearts of palm make a great post-workout snack or meal. “Hearts of palm help repair damaged tissue in your body,” Lawson explains.

3. High in fiber

Lawson says this makes heart of palm a great option for people trying to lose weight. “The powerful duo of dietary fiber and plant protein in heart of palm keeps you feeling full, which aids weight loss. The best thing about plant fiber is that you can eat a lot and still lose weight. “Fiber is also very beneficial for your digestive health. It’s a prebiotic that promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut,” she says.

4. Rich in nutrients

According to Lawson, heart of palm contains many essential nutrients and minerals.

  • Folate contributes to the healthy development of the fetus.
  • Iron is necessary for physical growth, neurological development and cellular function.
  • Zinc boosts immunity.
  • Copper improves energy production.
  • Phosphorus is essential for maintaining a normal pH.
  • Magnesium contributes to the structural development of bone.
  • Potassium serves as an electrolyte and helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Beta-carotene supports healthy eye function.
  • Vitamin K is an anticalcifying, anticancer, bone-forming and insulin-sensitizing molecule.
  • Vitamin A is essential for preserving eyesight.

5. Rich in Antioxidants

Palm hearts contain anti-cancer properties with antioxidants including chlorogenic acid with anti-carcinogenic properties. Antioxidants potentially prevent and repair the damage caused by oxidative stress.

6. Rich in Vitamin B

In addition, vitamins are found in the vegetable. “It can also give you quality sleep because it contains vitamin B, which is linked to healthy brain function and the regulation of normal sleep patterns. By managing your anxiety and depression, heart of palm leads you restful sleep,” says Lawson.

7. Good source of folate

Pregnant people have an interest in eating heart of palm because it contributes to the proper development of the fetus. “Adding heart of palm to the diet is highly recommended as 100g of it provides 400mg of folic acid, which is an important nutrient needed for proper fetal development. Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects related to the baby’s brain and spinal cord,” she says.

How to cook with heart of palm

Heart of palm is naturally low in fat, sugar, sodium and calories, but depending on the preparation, it is filling. Here are three ways to use it in a recipe:

  • Instead of tuna: Heart of palm is a great protein-rich substitute for fish – treat it with a little seaweed and vegan mayonnaise for vegan tuna sandwiches
  • Instead of scallops: Cut into 1-inch pieces, season and sauté for vegan scallops;
  • Instead of lobster: To make a vegan lobster roll, toss the pieces with the old bay seasoning.
  • Buy pasta made from this one: There are even linguine noodles made from heart of palm that are vegan and gluten-free.