Is Pico de Gallo Healthy or Unhealthy? Benefits Explained

Is there a way that pico de gallo could be unhealthy? This article will find it out. Pico de gallo is healthy and good for you. It’s mostly made with vegetables which have nothing but …

glass bowl with pico de gallo

Is there a way that pico de gallo could be unhealthy? This article will find it out.

Pico de gallo is healthy and good for you. It’s mostly made with vegetables which have nothing but great health benefits to the body, from providing nutrients, to helping decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and others.

What nutrients and physiological effects do the main ingredients in pico de gallo have? Discover them below!

Is Pico De Gallo Healthy or Good for You?

Pico de gallo is made with fresh vegetable tomatoes, onions, jalapenos or serrano peppers, and cilantro, where you can also substitute some of the vegetables with fruits like mango. This makes it a really healthy dip. 

In general, vegetables and fruits contain nutrients and phytochemicals that are essential for health. They can even help treat certain diseases.

Eating fruits and vegetables has a long list and standing of scientific research and literature to back up its beneficial effects on the body. Apart from providing nutrients, they help lower the incidence of chronic diseases like coronary heart illnesses, diabetes, cancer, and 

Alzheimer’s disease (source: Foods).

delicious homemade pico de gallo in a bowl with tortilla chips

Tomatoes, the main star in the Mexican dish, are rich in vitamins. Half a cup of fresh tomatoes (about one small tomato) is rich in vitamins A and K, potassium, and lycopene (source: California Department of Public Health). 

Vitamin A is essential for good vision, a sound immune system, normal reproduction, and optimal growth and development. Vitamin A also helps the lungs, heart, and other organs function properly (source: NIH).

Vitamin K exists in the liver, pancreas, brain, heart, bone, and other tissues and organs. It is a coenzyme for protein synthesis in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and other various physiological operations (source: NIH). 

All body tissues contain potassium. It is vital in normal cell function because it maintains the volume of intracellular fluid, as well as transmembrane electrochemical gradients. It also helps regulate blood plasma volume (source: NIH). 

Lycopene gives ripe tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables like watermelon, their red pigment. Lycopene is a carotenoid, a phytonutrient (a type of antioxidant), that might decrease the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and help uphold the immune system (source: California Department of Public Health). 

Onions are also not far from tomatoes in having antioxidants. Jalapenos or serrano peppers are also high in vitamin C (source: USDA Food Data Central).

Can Pico De Gallo Help with Weight Loss? Is It Low Calorie?

The reason why authentic pico de gallo is associated with weight loss is that it doesn’t contain fat and only has a few calories.

There is no clinical research that shows fruits and vegetables directly cause weight loss. There is, however, indirect proof that consuming them is a huge help to people who aspire to lose or maintain their weight.

glass bowl with pico de gallo

This is because fruits and vegetables, in general, have little to no fat, and only have a few calories. Moreover, they have considerably high amounts of dietary fiber and water content (source: CDC). 

Pico de gallo can be a sauce or a salad, depending on what you want to identify it as. But it is most commonly consumed as a dip. However, many agree that it can be a snack, and a good one at that because it can be filling while being delicious and nutritious. 

As a salad, you can have it at lunch or dinner. As a snack, you can have it any time of the day. 

A third of a cup of pico de gallo has around 4 g of total carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein which equates to about 20 calories, and 150 mg of sodium (source: Mayo Clinic). 

A 100 g serving of regular plain and salted tortilla chips contains 497 calories, of which protein is 6.62 g, fat 22.3 g, and carbohydrates 67.4 g (source: USDA). 

When served together with another dish or chips like the Chronic Tacos Chips and Pico de Gallo, the calories will increase. A serving of this has 340 calories, with 40 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, and 6 g protein (source: Nutritionix).

The same serving made at home could have pretty much similar calories, provided they have the same ingredients.

Even if you are not looking to lose weight, fresh pico de gallo will provide you with the nutrients and beneficial antioxidants for your health. With all these said, if you are looking to lose weight, pico de gallo might help, but won’t be enough on its own, especially if you pair it with chips.

pico de gallo in jar

Is Pico de Gallo Healthier than Salsa?

Healthwise, there is no big difference, or any difference at all, between pico de gallo and salsa. The two share the same basic ingredients which means they have similar nutrients and effects on the body.

An exception to this is if salsa is made with preservatives. Pico de gallo places emphasis on using fresh ingredients, while salsa can use cooked like roasted tomatoes and it can also be canned or jarred.

Preservatives, as we all know, is not always good when taken regularly. And they happen to be in almost all foods in the grocery except maybe organic fresh produce. 

Pico De Gallo is healthy and it can help you on your way to weight loss if we base it on calorie content. We hope you found this article helpful!