Barbecue sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and soy sauce go with the grill, don’t they? Or maybe not just the grill: they are staples for garnishing your meats, poultry, and fish. But for the most part, they don’t carry much nutrition. Barbecue sauce and ketchup are high in sugar—and we all know what that can do—while mayo is high calories and soy sauce is high sodium. In a couple of shakes and squeezes, you can turn an otherwise healthy meal into an inflammatory response.
But if you swap these sauces for sweet and spicy salsas, you can increase healthfulness and add some new life into some of your favorite meals. Further, they can contribute to the recommended four-to-five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
Fresh salsas can be made relatively quickly and come with none of the calories or potential health troubles of most other sauces and spreads. They can be rich in flavor, nutrition, antioxidants, and help fight back against inflammation, weight gain, type-2 diabetes, and more. Chopping tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, mango, pineapple, or many other fruits and vegetables can add value to any meal in minutes.
Take mango, for example. It’s a great source of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also has a host of other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, and iron. It’s also high in antioxidants, and there is research indicating mango can:
- Improve constipation symptoms
- Prevent diarrhea
- Enhance gut microbial populations
- Improve overall digestion
- Promote heart health
- Lower inflammation
- Maintain healthy hair and skin
You can add some spice and sweetness to your meats with this nutrient-dense salsa:
- 2 mangos, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup packed cilantro
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. You can also cover and refrigerate it for about four-to-five days. It can be easily added to meats, fish, or veggies, and you can give it a little extra by grilling the mango before dicing.