Meat, beans, cheese — does it get any better? We can all agree that Mexican food is delicious, but did you know that your favorite dish may also be good for your health? Let’s take a brief look at the many health benefits of Mexican food.

The Nutritional Benefits of Mexican Food

  1. Fiber

    There are many types of beans used in Mexican food, and each of them include a healthy supply of fiber. A lot of people don’t get enough fiber in their diets, which can lead to digestive problems. While just about any bean will do, the healthiest choice is to go with burritos or tacos made with steamed beans. Refried beans are less nutritious and don’t have quite as much fiber as whole beans.

  2. Protein

    Some of the best Mexican food includes a delicious meat like beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp. Including a lean meat will help increase your intake of protein, which is known to improve energy levels and keep muscles healthy. Given the choice, go with lean beef or white meat chicken. Fried meats may be delicious, but they add unhealthy saturated fats to an otherwise healthy meal.

  3. Capsaicin

    Capsaicin is a compound known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve circulation, and break up congestion. It is present in spicy peppers like jalapenos, which can be found in a number of Mexican sauces.

  4. Vitamins and minerals

    The vegetables found in many Mexican dishes are a great source of essential nutrients. Tomatoes and onions, for instance, are great sources of vitamin C. Avocado — the main ingredient in guacamole — is full of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, potassium, and fiber.

Mexican restaurants aren’t the only kitchens cooking up this kind of healthy cuisine. Statistics show that about 71% of American households also use Mexican food and ingredients. Just remember that moderation is the key to a healthy diet. Choose the right meats and beans, and don’t go too heavy on the cheese, and you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and nutritious Mexican meal whether you’re at home or at an authentic Mexican restaurant.