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Throw a Salsa Party for Summer Fun and Good Health

Sunday, June 21, 2009 by: Barbara L. Minton
Tags: salsa, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Give a salsa party and introduce your friends to the joys of healthy living, including great tasting, nutrient packed food, and the kind of exercise that puts a smile on the face. All you need is three or four varieties of homemade salsa, something to put it on, music, and a person who can teach your friends how to salsa dance. Your guests will thank you for serving one of the healthiest foods on the planet and teaching them an exercise that is actually an entertainment and celebration of life.

Salsa is the perfect blend of flavor and nutrition

Salsa has become the bestselling condiment in North America, largely due to its fabulous taste and the perception that salsa is low in cholesterol, fat and calories. Salsa can liven up almost anything. What people might not know is that salsa contains ingredients that keep aging, cancer and degenerative diseases away, and make people shine with the radiance that comes from good health. A look at some of the traditional ingredients provides an in depth look at the wonders of salsa:

Tomatoes are the foundation of most recipes. The fresh ones from your garden will be perfect for your party salsa. Tomatoes are a storehouse of lycopene, the carotenoid that keeps prostates, hearts and colons healthy. In addition to this center stage nutrient, tomatoes are loaded with disease preventing vitamins A and K, and collagen reinforcing vitamin C. Tomatoes are blood cleansers and purifiers that keep cholesterol in check and livers functioning at their best.

Onions are a primary source of quercetin, a famous flavonoid that protects against cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Onions contain three times the quercetin of apples, and are high in vitamins C and E, potassium, fiber and folic acid. Onions fight cancer and heart disease, and keep blood vessels in good shape. They are also known for helping the body rid itself of heavy metals. Their antibacterial and antiviral properties turn onions into high level flu fighters.

Garlic is probably nature's most potent food, promoting heart and cardiovascular health, preventing and treating cancer, and creating a healthy lipid profile. Garlic prevents platelet aggregation, and reduces high blood pressure. It is a strong anti-inflammatory that can increase the overall level of antioxidants in the body. It is a powerful cancer blocker. Garlic has antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, and is a potent beauty aid. Its high sulfur content makes it able to tone up the skin, make hair more lustrous, and strengthen nails.

Hot peppers are chocked full of capsaicin, the compound that gives them their heat. Capsaicin makes cancer cells die, and high intake is associated with lower death rates from cancer. Hot peppers are a weight loss aid and digestive tract soother. They are known for relieving congestion and sinus conditions, and for protecting the cardiovascular system. Peppers are great sources of vitamins C and A, and folate. Jalapenos are the traditional salsa peppers, but anyone wanting a milder salsa can use El Paso or Anaheim peppers. For turning up the heat, there are Cayenne, Tabasco, and Red Chili peppers. For some real sizzle, try a small bit of Habanero.

Lime juice adds to the alkalinizing effect of salsa, and is frequently used in traditional salsas. For a slightly different taste, try lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Both are antimicrobial and help digestion.

Cilantro provides a wealth of antioxidants and is a natural internal cleanser and deodorizer that can flush out mercury and other heavy metals so they can be removed from the body. Cilantro normalizes cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and supports digestive and urinary tract health. It is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Coriander is a spice that comes from cilantro seeds.

Sea salt contains all the trace minerals from the sea, some of which have not yet been identified. It works with potassium to stabilize heart rhythms. Sea salt is a source of energy, and it promotes cellular communication. When added to salsa, it frees the juices from the vegetables and allows for blending of flavors.

These are the ingredients for the traditional basic salsa. What you can do from there depends on your creative ability, or the time you have to research recipes. Two ingredients that give salsa variety are organic corn and black beans. Each add color, texture and further nutrient dimensions. A sweet pineapple based salsa with Chipotle peppers, a papaya based salsa with mild Anaheim peppers, or a salsa made with tomatoes, onions and garlic that have been roasted are three possibilities.

Basic Salsa Fresca Recipe

4 ripe tomatoes
1 onion (white, yellow or red)
2 peppers (choose by the amount of heat desired)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt

Chop tomatoes, onion and garlic
Add lime juice, vinegar and spices
Mash ingredients together
Cover and let stand for 15 minutes or longer before serving

Serve your salsa varieties with a platter of fresh vegetables, a giant bowl of organic blue or purple corn chips, and a bowl of black bean dip

Basic Black Bean Dip Recipe

Soak and cook one cup of black beans until soft. Puree in a blender with 2 tablespoon chili powder and 2 teaspoon cumin. As with the salsas, what else you do depends on your imagination.

Salsa dancing blends physical, mental and social aspects into a stress lowering exercise

Dancing alone or with a partner is one of the most satisfying and empowering ways to exercise. It is a way to let lose and have fun while moving to the beat of the music, and it provides tremendous health benefits. The Mayo Clinic reported that dancing increases energy, improves strength and balance, and increases muscle tone and coordination. It is a real stress buster.

Salsa dancing helps keep the body trim and slim. It increases muscle mass, boosts endurance, and expands range of motion. Salsa dancing can burn up to 420 calories an hour, without the harmful side effects that may be caused by high impact exercises such as running. Dancing the night away can burn more calories per hour than riding a bike or swimming.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, salsa dancing can lower the risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, and strengthen the bones of the legs and hips. It provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while allowing for engagement in a social activity. Vigorous salsa dancing produces sweat that cleanses toxins from the body. Blood pressure and heart rate can be reduced by frequent dancing.

Because salsa dancing is a physical as well as a social activity, it is stimulating to the mind. A 21 year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found dancing can even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.

Dancing provides a triple benefit for the brain. Not only does the physical aspect of dancing increase blood flow to the brain, but the social aspects help keep away loneliness and depression. Memorizing the steps involves a cognitive challenge. And maybe best of all, it provides an opportunity to laugh and have fun, making salsa dancing good for the body, mind and soul.

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About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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