Pesto is a sauce that is made with garlic, pine nuts, basil, cheese, and olive oil, which creates a strong, rich flavor. It is used as a marinade, dip, salad dressing, sandwich spread, and a topping for dishes like pasta and pizza. It can be homemade or bought premade, including vegan varieties. It is made with nutritious ingredients and can be consumed as part of a balanced diet. The sauces can vary in nutrition, but in general, it is a rich source of healthy fats and is also part of the Mediterranean Diet.
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Some of the potential health benefits of pesto.
Agnoli C, Sieri S, Ricceri F, et al. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and long-term changes in weight and waist circumference in the EPIC-Italy cohort. Nutr Diabetes. 2018;8(1):22. doi:10.1038/s41387-018-0023-3
Bolling, Bradley W et al. “Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.” Nutrition research reviews vol. 24,2 (2011): 244-75. doi:10.1017/S095442241100014X
Bower, Allyson, et al. “The Health Benefits of Selected Culinary Herbs and Spices Found in the Traditional Mediterranean Diet.” Critical Reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 56,16 (2016): 2728-46. doi:10.1080/10408398.2013.805713
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Sestili, Piero, et al. “The potential effects of Ocimum basilicum on health: a review of pharmacological and toxicological studies.” Expert opinion on drug metabolism & toxicology vol. 14,7 (2018): 679-692. doi:10.1080/17425255.2018.1484450
Sun, Liangzi, et al. “Tryptophan targeted pulsed electric field treatment for enhanced immune activity in pine nut peptides.” Journal of food biochemistry vol. 44,6 (2020): e13224. doi:10.1111/jfbc.13224
USDA FoodData Central. Pesto sauce.
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