Wellness Wednesday: Deliciously Healthy Perks to Salsa

healthy homemade salsa

One of the best things about summer in the Arias house is mom’s salsa. She uses freshly-picked, homegrown ingredients from her carefully-tended garden and, as homemade salsas go, hers is second to none.

In honor of Mama Arias’ fresh salsa, we would like to focus on the benefits of this delectably, spicy summer treat and share how amazingly healthy the ingredients in a fresh bowl of salsa really are and how they can aid you in your quest for better health!

If you make your own salsa or like to buy it fresh from a deli, these are a few extraordinarily hearty ingredients you want to make sure are included. Not only do they add distinct, delicious flavors, but they’re packed with hidden health benefits that are like a cherry…tomato…on top. (Yeah, yeah, yeah…bad joke. Just couldn’t resist.)

For starters, the different spicy peppers typically found in salsa, like jalapenos and habaneros, are packed with a chemical known as capsaicin which gives them their firepower. Many scientists believe that capsaicin may improve your body’s ability to help clear insulin from your blood stream. This is important because insulin is the hormone in your body that triggers fat storage. Researchers in Australia found that, following a spicy meal, insulin levels in both men and women were lowered by as much as 32%.

Garlic is another health-packed ingredient to use in homemade salsa. Garlic has a great, natural antibiotic power to it. Eating garlic is a delicious proactive approach to keeping viruses and bacteria at bay. Besides its antibiotic benefits, garlic is also rich in antioxidants which helps protect your body from damaging free radicals.

Cilantro, a wonderfully full-flavored herb found in many salsas, is not lacking in it’s health benefits either. In fact, not only does cilantro help protect against nasty salmonella bacteria, but it further helps settle the stomach and aids in digestion. It also lowers blood sugar and bad cholesterol (LDL) while it raises good cholesterol (HDL). These are just a few of the healthy advantages cilantro has to offer.

Nothing tastes better to me than a splash of lime. It kicks up the flavor in many of our favorite spicy dishes! Lime not only tastes great, but it’s packed with health benefits as well. It aids in weight loss and digestion and is excellent for skin care.

Homemade salsa would be incomplete without fresh, ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes have a carotenoid known as lycopene, which helps protect your cells from oxygen damage, in turn protecting your DNA. Lycopene is also being studied for it’s protective qualities in relation to cancers, especially prostate cancer.

Homemade salsas are summer super-foods because their zesty flavor compliments most meals and they’re packed with amazing health benefits, too. Getchasome!

~Amy and Jessi~

Photo: flickr.com/photos/fboyd/2340895548

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Comments

  1. Fresh salsa look very nice – All very appetizing and certainly tasty. Congratulations

  2. Mmmmmm!!! That looks so good! Salsa is so healthy. There are 0 Weight Watchers points for it. Ha! The problem is the chips. Thankfully, you can limit those or eat the baked tortilla chips. With enough salsa, you’d never know the difference!

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