If you think that Mexican food is an unhealthy “junk food,” you’ve been fooled. Mexican cuisine is among the healthiest in the world, though far too few people know that. This is one of the most appealing traits of Mexican fare, as you never have to sacrifice incredible flavor for healthy eating. If you’ve been taught to believe that Mexican cuisine is unhealthy, you should know what really goes into these dishes. Once you know what these common ingredients are, as well as learn of their health benefits, it will turn your thoughts on Mexican food upside-down.
The Healthy Ingredients Commonly Used in Mexican Food
Mexican dishes are prepared with a combination of healthy, fresh ingredients. While we could make a list of 100 items or more, we’ve broken it down to five of the most common and beneficial ingredients used in cooking.
This widely-used spice is responsible for much of the flavor that we associate with delicious Mexican cuisine. Cumin:
- Aids in digestion.
- Is very dense in iron.
- Improves blood cholesterol.
- Fights inflammation.
Beans are a staple of many widely-enjoyed Mexican entrees. A diet consisting of healthy servings offers the following benefits:
- A great source of protein.
- A great source of many nutrients including folate, zinc, iron and fiber.
- Reduced cholesterol.
- Highly filling, helps prevent unwanted food cravings.
Corn is a whole grain that, like beans and cumin, makes its way into many of your favorite dishes. Some of the benefits of corn grain are:
- Vitamins and minerals.
Jalapenos and Chili Peppers
Mexican food can be all about that flavorful spice. Jalapenos and chili peppers add that kick while providing these great health benefits:
- Capsaicin, which aids in weight loss.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
This fruit is commonly used in Mexican beverages and foods. Not only does it add a delightfully tart taste to dishes, but it also packs a few bonus health benefits:
- Aid in digestion, even easing the symptoms of indigestion.
- Lower cholesterol.
- Rich in Vitamin C.
These five ingredients are only a drop in the bucket when compared to the full extent of Mexican cuisine’s innumerous possibilities. However, these ingredients are commonly found in authentic fare alongside other ingredients not listed here.
When you stack up the health benefits of these items, the myth of Mexican food being unhealthy is utterly busted. Don’t be fooled any longer by those who proclaim that this food is “junk food.” It tastes great, yes, but that’s not because chefs are cutting corners on health. In fact, Mexican food tastes so great because it is crafted with fresh, healthy ingredients that are good for our bodies.