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Are There Health Benefits of Pili?

By Sara Ipatenco

Pili are nuts that are similar in appearance to peanuts. They grow in tropical and subtropical locations and taste like a combination of pecans, pine nuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts. The nuts boast several nutritional and health benefits, which makes them worth a try.

Fat Ratio and Its Benefits

A 1-ounce serving of pili nuts contains 216 calories, of which 200 come from fat. That same ounce has 24 grams of fat, of which 9 grams, or 47 percent of the daily value, is saturated. The remaining 15 grams of the fat is unsaturated, which means the nuts have some heart-health benefits. Limiting the saturated fat in your diet and replacing it with unsaturated fats is one way to help lower your cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association.

Nutritional Benefits

An ounce of the nuts provides 23 percent of the daily value of magnesium, a mineral that helps your body absorb other nutrients such as calcium, copper, zinc, potassium and vitamin D, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. An ounce of pili nuts also contains 17 percent of the daily value of phosphorus, a mineral that helps keep your bones and teeth strong and filters waste out of your kidneys. Pili nuts also provide 3 grams of protein, or 6 percent of the daily value, as well as small amounts of zinc and thiamine.

Health-Protective Benefits

Nuts, including pili nuts are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants offer your cells protection against free radical damage. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which leaves you at a higher risk for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and stroke, according to Victor R. Preedy, author of "Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention." Pili nuts supply some fiber, a nutrient that keeps your digestive system healthy and cuts the risk of constipation.

Pili in Your Diet

Though pili nuts are tasty raw, you can roast them for a crispier texture. Scatter the nuts over a salad or add them to your favorite rice recipes. Stir them into yogurt or hot cereal to add a nutty flavor and a bit of crunch. Toss pili nuts with granola or mix them into homemade bread batter. Make a smoothie with cacao, coconut milk, vanilla and chopped pili nuts.

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