Snacking doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy but did you know that one of the most popular dips actually offers a ton of health benefits? Yes, that’s salsa. Fresh tomato salsa has several health benefits when made with fresh ingredients and low salt. The most common ingredients in tomato salsa are hot peppers, onions, lime, and olive oil. These ingredients provide a source of essential nutrients such as vitamins C, beta carotene, minerals, antioxidants and much more.
Fresh red tomatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and contain the wonderful lycopene ingredient known to prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries.
Hot peppers such as jalapenos are often used in salsa and contain vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and lutein. Jalapenos are also known to speed up the metabolism helping you burn fat more efficiently. Capsaicin, the chemical responsible for a pepper’s spiciness, plays a role in the treatment of some health conditions, and may help relieve indigestion and stomach pain.
Lime juice has antioxidant properties and may help to prevent infections. Onions contains vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Olive Oil is likely the best choice of oil to be used for salsa for its multiple health benefits as it contains mono and polyunsaturated fats, which unlike saturated fats, may help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing your risk of heart problems.
Fresh tomato salsa is often served with Mexican dishes such as tacos, chips and fajitas but you can also eat it with healthier alternatives like chopped carrots and celery sticks, making a very healthy snack full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, you can use salsa as a healthy garnish for grilled fish or chicken, boosting the meal’s nutrient content and adding flavor without the use of salt or fat.
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