Taco salad is one popular Mexican dish that become some people favorite these days. Not only Mexican people itself but people around the world love its taste. Taco salad is made from shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole ( mashed avocado ) and salsa (tomato based sauce ) that served with tortilla shell ( a typical Mexican flat bread ).
The salad is not only contains vegetable but also protein that is come from meat or chicken topping and carbohydrate from rice and re-fried beans. This dish actually came from Texas and created by Mark L. Ferguson.it is a combination of American salad with Mexican taco. The idea of combine those dishes were born in 20th century. Many variations of taco salad can be easy to found nowadays and it is sold worldwide and its also can easily prepared at home.
Taco salad contains many nutrients which brought by the various ingredients in it. Enjoying delicious taco will provide you with abundant vital nutrients that is required to maintain healthy body. You can check the table of nutrients content of taco salad below:
Per 1.5 cup (198 g)
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Health Benefits of Taco Salad
Since taco salad contains some nutrients it can bring some beneficial effect to your body. Those benefits include :
1. Provide energy
The main benefits of taco salad is provide your with adequate energy. In 198gr of taco salad you can get about 279 calories that enough to undergo your daily activities. The calories in taco salad is come from the carbohydrate of tortilla and rice also from protein that contained in the beef or chicken.
2. Maintain normal heart beat
The ingredients in taco salad contains potassium which is known as the factor that control normal heart beat. Having normal heart beat can reduce the risk of heart failure that can be fatal for a person.
3. Help to repair body cell
Protein is building block of the body in almost all tissue and organs. Its not only contributes energy but help to repair the damage that occur in the body. In single serving of taco salad (198 gr) contains 13gr protein which fulfill 26% of daily intake of protein.
4. Keeping normal metabolism
The ingredients that used to make taco salad contain some amount of Vitamin B complex which is important to keep normal metabolism. Metabolism occur in the body cell to produce energy and these vitamin B are co factor of some metabolic enzymes.
5. Strengthen bones
The cheese and the meat that you found in taco salad provide you with some amounts of calcium. Calcium is one of crucial rule to maintain healthy bones and prevent it from losing its mass. Adding more cheese can give you more calcium that your body need.
6. Prevent from tooth decay
Not only for bones, calcium play important role in the development of teeth and maintain healthy teeth which prevent from tooth decay or damage. In one single servings of taco salad (198 gr) contains 19% of daily recommended intake of calcium.
7. Prevent scurvy
Tomatoes in salsa sauce and some vegetable in taco salad contribute some amount of Vitamin C that is effective to prevent scurvy. Vitamin C is also provided by other vegetable ingredient in taco salad. Adding more veggies to your salad will be healthier option.
8. Prevent anemia
It is true that enjoying taco salad during your day will make you fit, not only because you get calories from the salad but also some amount of iron. Iron is a vital mineral to keep the normal red blood cell function. Lack of iron can cause anemia and make your body feel weak.
9. Improve vision
Taco salad is completed with the presence of Vitamin A that act as antioxidant and vital substance to maintain healthy vision. It protect the eye from developing cataract and macula degeneration
10. Promote good digestion
Taco salad will not taste good without the iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables in it. Salad is known as healthy food item that can promote digestion. It contains some amount of fiber that can help bowel movement and make you feel satiety in longer timer
11. Strengthen immune system
One of the fascinating benefits of taco salad is its ability to boost and strengthen immune system. By the presence of some vegetable and condiment in taco salad, it provides your body with vitamin and mineral that can keep you from disease. Vitamin C and Vitamin A in taco salad can improve the ability of immune cell to fight infection that leads to certain disease.
12. Treat PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
Premenstrual syndrome usually happen to women in their menstrual period and it can be very annoying. PMS is a complex condition of menstrual cramp, mood swing, weakness, and other symptoms which can bother women’s activities. Eating taco salad as lunch can help to reduce the symptoms of PMS since it contains some vitamin B, iron and magnesium. Vitamin B will increase the the energy level, iron will keep the normal oxygen transport while magnesium will calm the muscle and nerve.
13. Maintain healthy brain
Taco salad contains protein and antioxidant that can help to maintain healthy brain function. The protein in taco salad can trigger the formation of brain cell and repair the damage of the nerve. While antioxidant can protect the brain from several damage which can lead to some brain disease such as Alzheimer.
14. Lowering blood pressure
Taco salad is high in potassium which can help to lower blood pressure. But it must be noted that adding more salt or sodium in taco salad also other condiment may give you risk to blood pressure. Keep the salad healthier by adding more fiber and low sodium condiment.
15. Maintain healthy muscle and nerve
Magnesium is well known in keeping nerve and muscle function. Magnesium deficiency will lead to many health problem. Consuming taco salad will provide you with some amount of magnesium that can prevent you from muscle and nerve problem
16. Relieve constipation
Fiber in taco salad comes from the lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, avocado and other vegetable. The fiber content of taco salad can help to relieve constipation. Fiber add bulk to the stool and soften it, so it will be easier to pass the large intestine and get it out from the body.
17. Keep healthy skin
Its not completed to enjoy taco salad without adding guacamole or mashed avocado. Avocado contains many health nutrient that useful for your skin. Other vegetable in taco salad also provide you with many vitamins and mineral that act as antioxidant that prevent your skin from free radical effect.
Health Risk of Taco Salad
Consuming taco salad can be very healthy if the ingredients of taco salad is healthy and low in saturated fat. Consuming taco salad which is low in veggies and high in protein can cause higher cholesterol level and increase the risk of heart disease. High sodium in taco also will be dangerous for people who suffer from hypertension.
How to Prepare Healthier Taco Salad
If you want to get the benefits of taco salad and avoid the risk, you can try to make your own taco salad with healthier ingredients and way. Follow these tips to enjoy the taco salad with healthier option :
- You can reduce the amount of beef in taco salad with more vegetable like lettuce, tomato, avocado and etc. It will be healthier and giving a fresh taste to your salad.
- Use only low fat beef. You can check the label of the meat when you purchase it on store or supermarket. Using lean ground beef is the healthier option.
- Remove the fat that you found on meat if you don’t wanna put more weight to your body
- Use baked tortilla is better than using deep fried tortilla chips
- You can replace the cheese in the taco salad with low fat cheese that you can found on store
- Try to use low fat mayonnaise and sour cream in your salad
- The salsa sauce that you purchase in market usually contain high sodium and its not good for your body. Try to make your own salsa sauce at home by using healthier ingredient. You can find many healthy taco salad and salsa recipe on internet.
That all the benefits that you can get from taco salad. Remember that the health benefits of taco salad will you get if you use and consume healthier salad ingredients. So go grab the ingredients and try to make your own taco salad.