There are a number of things that can be done to achieve an adjustment in one’s diet, increased physical activity, and exercise, taking different natural supplements or food items, and lessening unnecessary stress and unhealthy activities. Primarily, though, people look for ways to address certain medical conditions through more natural treatments or options. One such alternative health product is the heart of palm. But what are some of the heart of palms nutritional facts and benefits? In this article, we will look at the benefits and uses of the heart of palm.
Heart of Palm: A Brief Overview
Heart of palm is a form of a vegetable commonly taken from different species of palm trees. These cores of palm trees are edible and mainly come from the firm smooth stems of the palm trees. They are most often described by individuals as similar to the texture and taste of an artichoke. They have also been described as having a texture that is crisp which makes them a perfect additional ingredient to various salads and vegetable mixes such as stir fry. More importantly, however, the heart of palm have been shown to have numerous health benefits and nutritional content and value.
Nutritional Facts and Benefits of the Heart of Palm
As stated earlier, the heart of palm has excellent nutritional value and a number of health benefits for individuals. Enumerated below are some of the heart of palm’s nutritional value and health benefits:
1. Low-calorie plant-based food item
Heart of palm, aside from being a plant-based food item, is a low-calorie food option. An ounce of a serving of the heart of palm come up to only 32 calories. This makes it an ideal food item or option for those trying to lose weight and for those who are currently doing a vegan or vegetarian diet. It must be noted by patients, however, that while the heart of palm is a low-calorie food item when added to salads, certain dressings may add unwanted calories to the total calorie count of the aforementioned salad. In fact, experts are recommending that salad dressings be limited as they can provide extra calories that are unwanted and even considered as unhealthy. In addition, the palm heart is usually fat-free and protein-rich wherein every ounce of the heart of palm can provide one (1) gram of protein.
2. A good source of carbohydrates
The majority of the Heart of Palm’s calories come from carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are essential in maintaining overall health and wellness as they are considered natural sugars and energy-providing carbs or complex carbohydrates. Patients who also take in an ounce of a serving of palm heart can gain fiber at around 0.4 grams. This fiber level may seem minute and insignificant but if you consider the fact that most Americans barely meet the recommended daily intake of required fiber, then the said amount of fiber may still contribute to the overall diet requirements of individuals. In addition, these carbs come from healthy fiber which is considered as the body’s regulator for various biological processes which in turn can help regulate bad cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels and prevent further weight gain and the development or progression of type 2 diabetes.
3. Excellent source of daily needed potassium
Potassium is a highly critical nutrient that the human body needs to maintain a regular heartbeat, muscle stimulation and efficient nerve impulse function. Potassium has also been shown to manage and control hypertension and high blood pressure. This is primarily because potassium can help manage and control the levels of sodium in an individual’s blood. Sodium is mainly blamed as the reason behind high blood pressure and hypertension and potassium’s role in controlling the sodium in the body can be the main reason behind its effectiveness in controlling blood pressure. Heart of palm can provide the body with increased amounts of potassium as an ounce of this plant-based food items can give the body around 506 milligrams worth of potassium. This is a significant amount of potassium as the daily recommended intake of this nutrient is pegged at around 4,700 milligrams. As such, an ounce of a heart of palm can provide individuals with around ten (10) percent of their body’s daily potassium needs.
4. It aids the body take in more Vitamin B6
Numerous enzymes within the body require Vitamin B6 to be able to function or work as it should. Some of the said functions of these enzymes include carbohydrate metabolism, protein metabolism, fat metabolism, and hemoglobin synthesis. Due to its importance in the production of hemoglobin, vitamin B6 deficiency may lead to the development of anemia. Vitamin B6 is also essential in ensuring that the mood cycles and sleep patterns of individuals are not disrupted by ensuring that sufficient neurotransmitters are produced by the body. Taking in an ounce of the palm heart can provide the body with .23 milligrams of vitamin B6. While this may seem like an insignificant amount of Vitamin B6, .23 milligrams of the said vitamin actually make up 18% of the body’s daily recommended intake of vitamin B6.
Heart of Palm: Healthy Ways To Consume Them
As stated earlier in the article, the palm heart is a crispy type of vegetable that can be added to different food items to enhance the menu’s health benefits. It can be enjoyed in a number of different ways such as mixing it into salads or adding finely chopped palm heart to olive oil and other herbs to come up with a delicious dip with a healthy twist. It can also be served as a main course by adding in shreds of the palm heart with dijon mustard and mayonnaise.