Not only is salsa great tasting, it also happens to be good for you. Most salsas contain tomatoes, which are high in disease-fighting antioxidants among them heart-healthy lycopene, found in red- and pink-pigmented fruits and vegetables, according to the American Dietetic Association. Salsa is also high in vitamin C. And as if that weren’t enough, many recipes contain garlic and onions, two ingredients shown in many studies to lower blood pressure.
* LOW CALORIE * LOW FAT * LOW SODIUM
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
Mix tomatoes, green bell peppers, white onion, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno chile pepper.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
102 calories; 5 calories
from fat; 1g
saturated fat; 0g
24g carbs; 6g
calcium; 1mg iron
* Add cilantro to your tomato salsas.
Research shows it’s antibacterial, fights off food poisoning and keeps salsa fresh.
Lycopene, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, is present in tomatoes and has been found to be beneficial in preventing prostate cancer, among other things. They are also high in vitamin C and also provide beta-carotene.
Green bell pepper
Green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits, and this powerful punch of vitamin C is an antioxidant that may be effective in preventing certain cancers. If the peppers are not harvested when mature but are allowed to ripen on the vine, their flavor becomes progressively more mild and slightly sweeter until they are fully ripened.
Jalapeno chili pepper
That spiciness in chili peppers comes from a compound called capsaicin that is found in all hot peppers. Capsaicin is found in no other plant than the chili pepper. A single drop of this substance combined with 100,000 parts water is still noticeably spicy.
Onions appear to be somewhat effective against colds, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases because they contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol and anti-cancer components. The onion is believed to have originated in Asia, though it is likely that onions may have been growing wild on every continent.
Green onions are young shoots of bulb onions, and are milder tasting than large bulb onions. Green onions contain vitamin A, as well as photochemicals, which promote health, and quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant.
Fresh cilantro leaves
Cilantro (also known as coriander) is believed to be named after “koris,” the Greek word for “bedbug” as it was said they both emitted a similar odor. 3.5 ounces of coriander seed contains nearly 11 grams of starch, 20 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and nearly 30 grams of fibre.
In order to prevent scurvy during the 1800s, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus such as lime, hence the nickname Limey used even today for British sailors. It was later discovered that this beneficial effect derived from the vitamin C the fruit contains.
Because of its strong odor, garlic is sometimes called the “stinking rose.” In legend, garlic is said to ward-off vampires and evil spirits in general. Garlic contains iron, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium and vitamins.
Tortilla, or corn chips, are made from cornmeal, the result of crushing kernels of corn. Corn is a domesticated version of a wild grass occurring naturally in isolated patches currently restricted to elevations between 400 – 1,700 meters in the Mexican western Sierra Madre. Corn is an excellent source of vitamin C, thiamin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and supplies some vitamin A and iron.
* Serve salsa over a block of cream cheese. Enjoy with crudites, crackers or multi-colored tortilla chips.
* Take the seeds out of jalapenos if you don’t like your salsa too hot but like the flavor of peppers.
* Salsa too hot? Add some sour cream.
* Serve fruit salsas with plantain chips.