Snacking on salsa is a simple and tasty way to add cancer-fighting fruits and veggies to your diet. With a variety of ingredients from tomatoes, jalapenos or habanero peppers to mangoes, pineapples, strawberries and even beans, salsa can spice up meal-time.
Salsa is not just a savory dip for chips or tacos- it’s also a delicious topping served over chicken, fish and even scrambled eggs.
Try our Sensational Salsa below. It contains two of our favorite cancer-fighting foods- tomatoes and hot peppers. Also give our nutritious, delicious Rainbow Salsa a try- you won’t be disappointed!
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, and the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. Lycopene may also help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Plus, there’s some evidence that cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix can be reduced with increased lycopene intake.
The active ingredient in hot peppers, capsaicin, has anticancer, antiulcer and antibacterial properties. Lab studies have shown capsaicin to shrink prostate, lung, breast and pancreatic cancer cells. TIP: the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. Bell peppers contain little to no capsaicin, while some varieties of habanero contain so much it would cause your skin to blister.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed
1/2 red onion
2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño chile (stems, ribs, seeds removed), less or more to taste
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried oregano (crumble in your fingers before adding), more to taste
Pinch of ground cumin, more to taste
- Start by roughly chopping the tomatoes, chiles, and onions. Be very careful while handling the chile peppers. If you can, avoid touching the cut peppers with your hands. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn’t hot enough, you can add a few for more heat. (Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours.)
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse only a few times, just enough to finely dice the ingredients, not enough to purée. If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely dice by hand.
- Place in a serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If it’s not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add a little more ground cumin.
- Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.
Fun Facts About Salsa
- May is National Salsa Month
- Salsa is the Spanish word for “sauce”.
- In 2003, chips and salsa were designated as the Official State Snack of Texas.
- Tomatoes and jalapenos are actually fruits, not vegetables.
- For a list of 22 of the world’s hottest peppers, click here.