Heart of Palm: 8 Health Benefits, Nutrition, Types & Recipes

Heart of palm is a vegetable that is associated with some health benefits like promoting weight loss, preventing high blood pressure, preventing osteoporosis, strengthening the hair and helping with muscle recovery.

These benefits are possible due to the fact that heart of palm is high in fiber, potassium and zinc, which are nutrients with satietogenic, hypotensive and structural properties.

Heart of palm is obtained from the stem of some palm trees, such as açaí, banana or peach palm. This vegetable is sold fresh or canned, and can be consumed alone or used in preparations such as pies, risottos, creams, soups, salads and heart of palm pasta.

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Health benefits

The main health benefits of consuming heart of palm are:

1. Promoting weight loss

Heart of palm is low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories and can therefore promote weight loss. Heart of palm is also high in fibers that keep you full, helping to manage appetite throughout the day.

However, to lose weight, heart of palm must be part of a healthy and balanced diet, and an active lifestyle.

Also recommended: Weight Loss Diet: Best Foods to Eat, Avoid & Meal Plan tuasaude.com/en/weight-loss-diet

2. Preventing high blood pressure

Because it is rich in potassium, heart of palm, especially in its fresh form, promotes vasodilation and optimal blood circulation. This can help to play a role in preventing high blood pressure.

Furthermore, the potassium present in heart of palm also favors the elimination of excess sodium from the blood through urine. Check-out other foods that are high in potassium.

3. Promoting bowel movements

Heart of palm helps to optimize gut function, as it stimulates the natural bowel movements and add bulk to the stool. This can facilitate evacuation and and prevent constipation.

4. Preventing osteoporosis

Heart of palm is high in potassium, a mineral that neutralizes excess acid in the body and reduces calcium losses. Therefore, it can help to prevent the development of osteoporosis.

5. Boosting immunity

Heart of palm strengthens the immune system as it contains zinc, a mineral that is essential for the development and maintenance of defense cells that protect the body from viruses, bacteria and fungi.

6. Promoting muscle recovery

Because it contains potassium, a mineral that is important for muscle functioning, heart of palm can help to improve performance and help with muscle recovery after exercise.

Potassium is also necessary for muscle maintenance, as this mineral helps to reduce acid levels in the body, preventing the loss of muscle mass.

7. Promoting healing

Heart of palm promotes post-op healing and scarring of small wounds and ulcers. This vegetable is high in zinc, a mineral with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. It helps to improves the adhesion of collagen in the skin, which is a protein responsible for ensuring firmness and gives elasticity to the skin.

8. Strengthening hair

The zinc present in heart of palm has structural properties that promote the growth, development and repair of hair. It can strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

Types of heart of palm

Some of the main types of heart of palm include:

  • Juçara heart of palm: this heart of palm is paler, softer and juicier than other types. However, the extraction of this heart of palm requires the death of the palm tree and is therefore is therefore less common due to the threat of the tree's extinction
  • Banana heart of palm:  to consume this type of heart of palm,  it is first necessary to cook it to remove its bitter taste and soften it
  • Açaí heart of palm: it is soft and slightly sweet, similar to juçara. However, the extraction of this type of heart of palm is less harmful, as the palm tree does not die after cutting the heart of palm;
  • Peach heart of palm: it has a yellowish-white color, and is slightly sweet compared to other types. It does not darken after cutting, and can be sold fresh;
  • Gueroba heart of palm: also known as bitter coconut palm and bitter heart of palm, it has a firm texture and a strong bitter flavor. It is consumed cooked and mixed with meats.

There is also the royal heart of palm, which originates from Australia and has a slightly whitish color, soft texture and delicate flavor.

Nutritional information

The following table outlines the nutritional information for 100 g of fresh and canned heart of palm:

Components 100 g of heart of palm 100g of canned heart of palm
Energy 115 calories 28 calories
Protein 2.7 g 2.5 g
Fat 0.2 g 0.6 g
Carbohydrates 25.6 g 4.62 g
Fiber 1.5 g 2.4 g
Potassium 1810 mg 177 mg
Sodium  14 mg 426 mg
Zinc 3.73 mg 1.15 mg

The health benefits of heart can be obtained when this vegetable is included in a healthy and varied diet, and an active lifestyle.

How to eat

Heart of palm can be consumed cooked, on its own, or added to recipes for pies, salads, risotto, creams, soups, pastries, casseroles, and pasta.

Furthermore, heart of palm can also be purchased in cans. These are generally high in sodium, and therefore should be consumed in moderation, especially by people with high blood pressure or kidney problems.

Healthy recipes

Some tasty and healthy recipes with heart of palm are pie, risotto, cream and heart of palm pasta.

1. Heart of palm pie


  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of wheat flour
  • 2 cups of chopped hearts of palm
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of diced tomato
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (200g) pot of natural yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (or 350ºF). Place the butter, oats, wheat flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl, and miz well until a solid dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of a pie mold and set aside.

In a pan, sauté the onion in olive oil and then add the heart of palm and tomato, letting it cook over medium heat for five minutes. Add the parsley, remove from heat, mix well, and set aside.

Place the yogurt, eggs and a little salt in a blender and mix for 1 minute. Place the braised heart of palm, still warm, over the dough and cover with the blender mixture. Place in the oven to bake for around 30 minutes or until the dough is golden. Wait for it to cool and serve.

2. Heart of palm risotto


  • 1/2 onion cut into slices
  • 1/2 onion chopped into cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 carrot cut into slices
  • 1/2 leek cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 celery cut into medium pieces
  • 1 chopped seedless tomato
  • Chopped parsley to taste
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1/2 cup (tea) of arborio rice
  • 50 ml of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (of tea) chopped heart of palm
  • 1/4 cup (tea) of grated semi-hard cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt to taste


To make vegetable broth, place the sliced ​​onion, bay leaves, leeks, carrot, celery and water in a pan, and heat over low heat. Let it cook for 1 hour and set aside 400 ml for preparing the risotto.

Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the diced onion. Add the rice, mixing well, and add the white wine. Once the wine has evaporated, gradually add the vegetable broth and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the rice is almost al dente, add the heart of palm, tomato, cheese, butter and mix well. Season with salt to taste and finish with parsley.

3. Heart of palm pasta


  • 350 g of fresh shredded hearts of palm
  • 1 cup (tea) of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil
  • ¼ cup of chopped walnuts
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Wash and dry the tomatoes and basil well. Cut the tomatoes in half. Place water in a small pan and place over high heat. When it boils, add 2 teaspoons of salt, the heart of palm and let it cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, drain the heart of palm, place it in a bowl and reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and tomatoes, browning for 2 minutes, and stir carefully. Add the cooked heart of palm and sauté for another 2 minutes. Mix the cooking water and remove from heat. Add half of the basil leaves and chopped walnuts, and garnish with the rest of the basil. Serve immediately.

Frequently asked questions

Some questions that may arise about consuming heart of palm are:

1. Can heart of palm cause weight gain?

When consumed in excess, and added to an unbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle, heart of palm can lead to weight gain.

However, heart of palm is low in calories, and is high in fiber that helps to prolong satiety and reduce hunger throughout the day. Therefore, when consumed in moderation, as part of a healthy diet and in conjunction with physical activity, heart of palm can help with weight maintenance or loss.

Also recommended: 14 Healthy Foods That Help You Lose Weight tuasaude.com/en/foods-to-lose-weight

2. Can pregnant women eat heart of palm?

Yes, pregnant women can eat fresh or canned hearts of palm. However, because preserves may contain Clostridium botulinum toxins, which can lead to botulism, pregnant women should avoid consuming canned heart of palm that are cloudy or expired. Another tip is to boil the preserved heart of palm for at least 15 minutes before consuming. 

3. Is heart of palm a vegetable or fruit?

Heart of palma are considered to be a vegetable, because this food grows from the stems of palm trees and not from their flowers, which is the case with most fruits.

4. Are hearts of palm bad for you?

Consuming heart of palm, especially in its fresh form, is harmless and can be consumed by everyone. Canned heart of palm is generally high in sodium, which can be harmful, especially for those with a history of high blood pressure and kidney problems.

5. Is peach palm a heart of palm?

Peach palm is a fruit obtained from the pupunheira palm, from which a type of heart of palm can also be extracted.

Heart of palm is the vegetable obtained from the stems of some types of palm trees, such as pupunheira, juçara, banana and açaí.