If you’re looking for new veggies to liven up your meals, heart of palm is definitely a top candidate. Hailing from the inner part of various palm trees, most commonly the cabbage palm, heart of palm has a mild, artichoke-esque flavor, a crisp texture, and a number of important health benefits.
This tropical vegetable is rich in potassium, with a one-ounce serving boasting ten percent of your daily recommended intake. Potassium is essential to maintaining and achieving lower blood pressure levels and regulating heartbeat. It also plays an important role in the optimal functioning of all the cells in your body.
Heart of palm contains vitamin C, which is a well-known booster of the immune system, helping you to ward off those nasty, seasonal colds and flus, as well as other more serious infections.
They also provide your body with zinc, which can speed up the time it takes for wounds to heal. When your cuts and scrapes heal faster, they are less prone to develop infections. Additionally, zinc helps your body to properly digest proteins.
Another primary benefit of heart of palm is vitamin B6, which has many different roles, including aiding the body in its manufacturing of hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 is also crucial to regulating your sleep cycle, mood, and the metabolism of proteins, fats and both simple and complex carbohydrates.
With a substantial amount of dietary fiber (14 percent of your daily requirement in a one-ounce serving), heart of palm is beneficial for digestive health. It also has riboflavin, which is key in producing red blood cells, and calcium, phosphorus, and copper, which help to keep your bones and entire musculoskeletal system healthy and strong. Phosphorus is also an important mineral for neural health.
While the most common use for heart of palm is in salads (and it does make a delicious salad addition), they are very versatile and can be cooked in many ways. They can be blended into dips, tossed on the grill, sauteed, added to stir frys and tapas plates, or baked topped with your favorite grass-fed, organic cheeses.
One way to enjoy heart of palm as a simple and delicious snack is chopped with avocados and cherry tomatoes, and drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil – give heart of palm a try!
-The Alternative Daily