There’s no denying that Americans love their Mexican food. In fact, there are a million restaurants in the United State and one in every 10 sells Mexican food.
The invention of Tex Mex cuisine in the 1940s led to a fusion of American and Mexican cuisines that has well received by people of all backgrounds. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos and other Mexican dishes are all the rage these days as evidence by Americans’ love of Mexican restaurants and weekly traditions like Taco Tuesday. Americans consume four billion tacos each year alone.
For as much as folks love going out to eat Mexican food, they cook it at home too. The wide variety of Mexican cuisines allow for people to cook burritos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and all their favorite tex mex food and Mexican food in the comfort of their homes.
Mexican food doesn’t just taste good. It actually has plenty of health benefits, so you can chow down on your favorite Mexican foods and help your health too.
- Nutrients: Mexican cuisine is packed with nutrients. When you think of getting your daily doze of vitamins and minerals, smoothies and multi-vitamins usually come to mind. But you can also get plenty of nutrients from loading up on Mexican food. Take enchiladas for example: They are a high source of seven essential nutrients and good source for as many as 10 more. Enchiladas are packed full of calcium, manganese, riboflavin and copper among other vitamins and minerals. Other Mexican dishes have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, so you’re getting plenty of essential nutrition when you cook up Mexican food at home. Not only are you giving your body good tasting food, you’re also being healthy at the same time.
- Protein: Another benefit of Mexican food is that with so many meat options, it’s usually packed full of protein. This helps your body’s tissue and muscle health. Whether you’re a fan of pork, beef, chicken or even carne asada, you’ll get a healthy doze of protein no matter which one you go with. If you’re trying to stay away from or cut back on red meat, choosing white meats like chicken will allow you to enjoy your favorite Mexican dishes like enchiladas without feeling guilty.
- Cardiovascular health: If you consider yourself a spice-nut; someone who loads hot peppers and sauces on to their Mexican food, they’re actually some health benefits in that too. Believe it or not, capsaicin, the thing that gives peppers like jalapenos and habaneros their signature burn, can actually help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Odds are you’ve heard someone in your family talk about “sweating it out” when a person is sick. This may seem like an old wives tale, but it actually works. Capsaicin actually helps improve your body’s circulation and can help relieve congestion too. If you load up on spice during your next Mexican meal, you can do so with the knowledge that the burn you’re going to feel will actually do your body some good.
- Fiber: Your doctor has likely harped on you at one point or another to make sure you have enough fiber in your diet. Doctors usually recommend that males eat 30-38 grams of fiber a day and women have about 25. If you’re not getting enough fiber, Mexican food can help solve that problem too. Beans are a Mexican staple and fortunately for you, the Mexican food lover, they’re packed full of fiber. How much fiber? Black beans have about 20 grams of fiber per cup and pinto beans have about 30 grams of fiber per cup. Refried beans by comparison, only have about 12 grams per cup. So load up on beans the next time you have Mexican food.
With plenty of health benefits and lots of great taste, you can enjoy tacos, enchiladas, burritos and other great Mexican dishes even more now, whether you’re cooking at home or visiting your favorite Mexican restaurant.