While there is no “quick fix,” or one perfect food, for weight loss, a combination of certain healthy foods, on top of an already-nutritious diet, can supercharge your efforts. One great culinary tradition that boasts many of these foods is Mexican cuisine.
Now, you may be confused to hear this, as Mexican food in the US has
become synonymous with deep fried, flour-wrapped foods jam-packed with
way too much cheese. However, this reputation has more to do with our
modern fast food culture than the origins of this great cuisine.
Simply put, Mexican fast food is not healthy, but authentic Mexican food, if you are enjoying dishes made with love and fresh ingredients, can be as good as gold.
following are eight common ingredients found in Mexican food, which if
incorporated into recipes wisely can go far to helping you achieve a
You’ll find tomatoes in many fresh, Mexican sauces, such as salsas
and picante sauces, and also chopped up fresh into many salads and
(gluten-free) wraps. The wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
found in tomatoes has been linked to supporting cardiovascular health,
lowering levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol, and protecting bone health.
Good News: A diet rich in tomatoes has also been linked to a lowered risk of obesity.
Chile peppers, from the tolerable jalapeno to the virtually inedible
ghost pepper, are often used to add heat and flavor to Mexican dishes.
They are also often roasted whole, or sauteed with onions to make rajas.
When eating Mexican, don’t skimp on the chile: it is a famous
metabolism-booster. Also, capsaicin, a compound found in chile peppers,
has been linked to curbing cravings throughout the day when consumed
Black beans are ubiquitous in Mexican cuisine, and can often be found
served on it’s own with some spices, or paired with rice in a hearty
bowl that usually also contains fresh veggies. How do they help your
Beans contain high amounts of fiber, which helps to support great
digestion, can prevent spikes in blood sugar, and leaves you satiated
for hours, keeping cravings away.
Avocados add a refreshing, “green” flavor to many Mexican dishes,
including the world-famous guacamole. Eating avocados regularly has been
linked to a strong, efficient metabolism, and also to reducing daily
cravings. The monounsaturated fats that they contain have been linked to
raising HDL “good cholesterol.”
These fruits are also chock-full of vitamins and minerals, which you will need a lot of if you’re working out.
The acid element for many a traditional Mexican dish (ceviche, for
one), lime can be used to add a burst of freshness to almost anything.
Along with being high in immune-boosting vitamin C, limes are great for
detoxification. When melting fat, detox is key, as you need to get the
accumulated toxins out of there before you can slim down.
Additionally, the essential oils found in limes have been found to be
very high in antioxidants, and these fruits are being investigated for
their potential to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Also known as the Mexican yam, jicama is often peeled and chopped raw
into salads. Its mild flavor makes it suitable for sweeter, and more
savory, salads and appetizers.
Along with being high in fiber and vitamin C, jicama contains inulin,
a prebiotic which helps to support healthy gut bacteria. A healthy gut
environment is not only important for digestion and the immune system,
it is also key to a successful weight loss plan.
Cinnamon is an ancient spice that has been long embraced by Mexican
culture. It can be found in mole sauces and the traditional horchata
beverage, to name only a couple of its roles. Cinnamon is a wonderful
spice to help burn fat, because it has been linked to slowing the rate
of stomach emptying, which may help to improve insulin sensitivity.
It has also been found by research to improve blood pressure and
blood sugar levels, and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. Plus, it just makes
Ah, cacao. We’re not talking about sugary, processed chocolate, but
the real thing. Raw cacao is a traditional ingredient in Mexican hot
chocolate, which often has a bit of chile pepper added, as well as in
Raw cacao is rich in healthy fats, which help you to feel satiated
and full of energy. It has also been found to contain mood-boosting
compounds. What better way to motivate you for your workout?
Anyone geared up for a trip south anytime soon?
-The Alternative Daily