Potential Health Benefits of Pan Dulce – Variety of Mexican Pastries

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Pan Dulce is the name which refers to a variety of Mexican pastries. In the meantime, pan dulce in English means “sweet bread.” Being a society that traditionally doesn’t consume baked goods, Mexico saw introduction of breads through the influence of French and Spanish colonists.

As a result, local forms of breads such as cuernos, cochas or besos started to appear. Just like how Danish pastry is to Denmark, pan dulce is among the most common, variative and affordable treats one could buy in Mexico, and can be eaten everyday for breakfast or late-night supper, otherwise known as merienda. This time, we will discover more about pan dulce plus the health benefits of pan dulce.

Variants of Pan Dulce

During the early 20th centuries, Mexican bakers started to adopt French baking techniques to invent various originally Mexican pastries. This has made Mexican bakers to be among the most innovative in the world, seen from the fact that there are in between 500 to 2,000 bread types available in Mexico. This is a list of notable pan dulce variants;

  • Besos

Besos or kiss, is made by creating round domes on the top with jam fillings on the centre.

  • Campechanas

They are a rectangular glazed pan dulce.

  • Conchas

Conchas or shells are shaped like shells with sugar shell pattern on the top. Conchas are also one of the most famous varieties of pan dulce.

  • Cuernos

Cuernos, or horns are shaped like horns, and looks like the French croissant.

  • Empanadas

They are savoury pastries filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. There are also fruit-filled empanadas available.

  • Marranitos/Cochinitos/Puerquitos

Marranitos are pig-shaped pastries and seasoned with cinnamon. Because the finished product looks like a “gingerbread pig”, however that name is invalid because it doesn’t contain ginger inside.

  • Orejas

Orejas or ears are sweet yet flaky pastries that resembles the French “palmier”, and are common items in bakeries.

  • Piedras

Piedras, or rocks or stones is made of old bread and it is indeed as hard as rock. Many eat this accompanied with hot beverages.

  • Polvorones

Polvorones or wedding cookies are shortbreads normally eaten in wedding receptions.

  • Yoyos

Yoyos shaped exactly like a yo-yo, but without the string. It has a raspberry jam filling.

Nutritional Facts of Pan Dulce

  • Serving Size – 100 g
  • Calories – 367 kcal
  • Total Fat – 12 g
    • Saturated Fat – 2.2 g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat – 1.5 g
    • Monounsaturated Fat – 3.5 g
    • Trans Fat – 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol – 30 mg
  • Natrium – 228 mg
  • Potassium – 103 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates – 56 g
    • Dietary Fibre – 2.3 g
    • Sugar – 13 g
  • Protein – 9 g
  • Vitamins and Minerals
    • Vitamin A – 23 IU
    • Vitamin B6 – 0.1 mg
    • Vitamin B12 – 0.1 µg
    • Vitamin C – 1.2 mg
    • Vitamin D – 0 IU
    • Benefits of Calcium – 86 mg
    • Iron – 2.9 mg
    • Magnesium – 24 mg

All the information above are in relation to a 2,000-calorie diet. The percentage of daily value (% of DV) may differ depending on personal calorie needs. 

What are its Health Benefits?

  1. Pan Dulce has Plenty of Calories

Pan dulce has plenty of calories at 367 kcal, as seen from the nutrition facts above. Calories are measures of energy, particularly when stored in food items. The stored energy is further used for motoric, growth and cognitive functions.

  1. Pan Dulce has Considerable Amount of Potassium

Potassium as an electrolyte regulates water and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. In the meantime, it specifically regulates fluid balance, nervous signals as well as muscle contractions. Pan dulce has 103 mg of  benefits of potassium.

  1. Pan Dulce has Lots of Natrium

Natrium is the other term used to refer health benefits of sea salt or sodium, and pan dulce has 228 mg of it. Just like potassium, natrium helps the body’s fluid balance to be at check.

  1. Pan Dulce is Low in Fat

Interestingly, pan dulce also possesses low fat content, which could be a possible choice for those who are on a diet. Low fat food items help to lower down triglycerides and for the optimization of bodily functions.

  1. Pan Dulce Provides Energy

Again, health benefits of carbohydrates are one of the major sources of energy in food, which also includes bread. They help the muscular, brain as well as nervous functions to work well.

  1. Pan Dulce May Improve Digestion

Some pan dulce types have fruits as its ingredients, which also enhances the digestive system. At the same time, they also increase fibre while minimizing the risks of heart diseases. 

Healthy Recommendations when Consuming Pan Dulce

Just like any other kinds of breads and pastries, pan dulce can be made using whole wheat instead of the normal eggs, flour and milk. Whole wheat pan dulces require a bit of extra effort and time to prepare, however the health benefits are deemed healthier than the conventional pan dulce. These are the additional health benefits that one can get if whole wheat pan dulce is consumed.

  1. Whole Wheat Pan Dulce are High in Nutrients

Whole wheat pan dulce contains a range of important nutrients. These are some of key nutrients of whole wheat pan dulce; fibre, B vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, and folate, minerals such as iron, magnesium and manganese, protein, and also antioxidants.

  1. Whole Wheat Pan Dulce Reduces the Risks of Cardiovascular Diseases

Consuming whole grains may lower the overall risks of heart diseases by 47%, as it replaces refined wheat.

  1. Whole Wheat Pan Dulce Eliminates the Chances of Stroke

In addition, consumption of whole wheat breads also eliminates stroke risks thanks to the presence of fibre, vitamin K as well as antioxidants. Eating whole wheat pan dulce may lower the risk of stroke by 14%.

  1. Whole Wheat Pan Dulce Acts as a Solution for Better Weight Management

Numerous researches from the past 45 years have proven that whole grain consumption lowers the possibilities of obesity. This is possible because whole wheat grains are weight loss foods that contain high amounts of fibre that fills us up easily and also to prevent overeating.