It’s fiesta time! Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and while it is actually a celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla, this holiday has gradually grown and evolved into one big party of food, drinks and all things Mexican north of the border. Who are we to argue with another celebration of food?
With this in mind, we’ve invited some key Cinco de Mayo foods to the Food Friendzy lounge this week, so you can get to know them a little better before the big celebration. Find out who they are, what they do for your health and how to best enjoy this healthy food line up without breaking your diet:
Lime – What would a fish taco be without this tart fruit? Like other members of the Citrus family, she does squeeze some vitamin C into your diet, but one of her biggest talents is adding flavor without sodium. Need to bring out the flavor of your taco, salad, soup or just about anything else? Request a wedge of lime and give it a splash.
Onion – Don’t cry for this familiar face, if you can help it. He’s happy to add his powerful signature flavor to any dish, from salsa fresco to fajitas, plus he has a healthy dose of the antioxidant quercetin, now showing promise in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and even allergies.
Avocado – Have you spent time with this smooth green devil since we last talked to him? If so, you may have noticed some beautiful changes in your health, including improved blood cholesterol levels, thanks to his monounsaturated fat. Studies are still out on some of his other potential health benefits, but that’s no reason to skip the guac. Enjoy just a spoonful on tacos, burritos, salads and more for flavor and nutrition without going overboard on fat and calories.
Tomato – This native South American fruit is a vitamin C and lycopene-packed addition to any Mexican food favorite, but she is best known for her starring role in salsa and pico de gallo. It’s hard to overindulge in Tomato, so add her liberally, either chopped or as salsa, to all of your dishes for plenty of diet-friendly flavor and health benefits!
Cilantro – Amp up the flavor of your food without added sodium for Cinco de Mayo. Cilantro’s a good choice for some added vitamin K, and he has also been shown to have antibacterial properties, which could be a very, very good thing if you want to keep the party going. If he’s not your favorite herb in the garden, new studies are suggesting it may be at least partially due to a genetic predisposition.
Corn Tortilla – No Cinco de Mayo line up would be complete without our friend, Corn Tortilla. She is the whole grain powerhouse that keeps the party going with as few utensils as possible, and she has a history rooted in legend. Corn Tortilla is the simple and understated staple that lovingly holds together all of our taco ingredients while we devour them; she is also a tasty way to get some added fiber, vitamins and minerals. So load her up with all your favorite lean proteins and veggies and eat up!
Are you ready to get the fiesta started?