Celebrate salsa month year round

May is National Salsa Month and even though the month of May is just about over with, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate salsa throughout the rest of the year, right? 

The word salsa is the Spanish term for “sauce” and no surprise is very good for us.  Salsas are actually a condiment intended to add flavor to other foods and can be used either fresh or cooked.  Whenever we dip a chip into the robust, spicy medley of ingredients salsas may be composed of, our taste buds are delighted beyond measure. 

There can be quite the array of concoctions of salsas using many delicious ingredients – tomatoes, sweet red peppers, chili peppers, black beans, corn, avocadoes, peach, mango, lime, and cilantro, just to name a few.

All those delicious and nutritious veggies, fruits and spices mean only one thing – you are actually eating a health food that is providing quite the nutritional kick.   Here are some of the more common nutrients you will find in most salsas:

·         Vitamin C

The main ingredients often found in salsas – tomatoes, and peppers – are rich sources of vitamin C.  Salsa made with one cup of diced tomatoes and 1 pepper contains about 43 milligrams of vitamin C.  Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, produces collagen, protects cells from damage, helps absorb iron, helps in wound healing and strengthens the immune system.

·         Vitamin A

Tomatoes and peppers once again are the main suppliers of vitamin A.  Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision, skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth and immune system health. 

·         Capsaicin

This chemical found in peppers is what makes them spicy and plays a role in the treatment of some health conditions.  Consuming capsaicin can help relieve indigestion and stomach pain and might protect against developing ulcers.  To really turn up the heat and the capsaicin content, add liberal amounts of jalapeno peppers to your salsa.

·         Fiber

All those fresh veggies and fruits are going to give you much needed fiber.  Fiber provides bulk to the diet keeping bowel movements regular and can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and some cancers along with improving digestive health – is there anything fiber doesn’t do? 

To get you in the mood of celebrating salsa year round, here is a terrific website featuring 15 different salsa recipes. You’ll be amazed at the variety of recipes to suit whatever inkling you desire in whatever salsa mood you’re in.  Enjoy and happy salsa month!