Encased inside the center core of the palm tree is a versatile vegetable jam-packed with important nutrients and a long list of health benefits. Now available at nearly every major grocery store, hearts of palm have recently enjoyed some well-deserved recognition for their delicious flavor and distinct texture.
High in fiber with a good chunk of protein and a low glycemic index, hearts of palm make a welcome addition to vegan diets, low-carb diets and even the healing diet, which is focused on decreasing inflammation and lowering blood sugar to optimize health. They also fit in well to many different dishes, from salsas and stews to quiches and casseroles.
Plus, potential heart of palm benefits include better digestive health, enhanced weight loss and improved immunity, giving you all the more reason to give this healthy veggie a try.
How to Prepare Hearts of Palm
If youre lucky enough to find young and fresh hearts of palm, you should be sure to seal them and pop them in your refrigerator immediately. If you buy canned hearts of palm, be sure to store the containers in a cool dry place.
Fresh hearts of palm are an excellent addition to salads. You can also toss in drained and chopped hearts of palm from the can, but theyll likely contain some added sodium. You can also try sautéing hearts of palm and adding them into your omelets or casseroles.
Because theyre high in fiber, rich in protein, and have a mild flavor, palm hearts make for a great meat substitute in vegan or vegetarian diets. Ditch the seafood and use palm hearts instead of in dishes like vegan crab cakes and ceviche.
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For example, chopping heart of palm into salads or stir-fries can bulk up your dish without adding excessive calories.
Heart of palm boasts a remarkably low fat content and provides several minerals, such as potassium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and zinc.
Due to its high water and fiber content, heart of palm may also promote feelings of fullness — which can naturally lead you to eat less (1, 14, 15).
Finally, zinc aids immune function, cell division, and wound healing (11).
What Is Heart of Palm?
Heart of palm is a type of vegetable that is harvested from the inner core of certain species of palm trees. When harvesting heart of palm, the tree is cut down and the bark and fibers are removed, leaving only the heart. Although they’re produced in many different areas, most fresh hearts of palm in the United States are actually imported from Costa Rica.
The hearts of palm taste is often compared to artichokes and described as light, mild and crunchy. They look similar to white asparagus and can be baked, blanched, sautéed, marinated or enjoyed straight out of the can.
Heart of palm is incredibly versatile and often used as a meat substitute for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s also revered for its health-promoting properties and is especially rich in fiber, protein, manganese, iron and vitamin C.
Are hearts of palm hard to digest?
Is heart of palm acidic or alkaline?
What are the benefits of palm hearts?