Vegan enchiladas and their impact on health


vegetarian friendly food

The word “Enchiladas” is derived from the Spanish word, which means ‘to put chili (red pepper) on something’. It can be raw or spicy; it may also contain enchilada sauce mixed in the filling.

Dipping corn tortillas in chili sauce

A basket full of food

Traditional Mexican Enchiladas are made by dipping corn tortillas in chili sauce, typically cooked with beef broth or chicken broth, water, onion, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and ground red pepper. They are then filled with meat mixture, grated cheese, and sometimes rolled before baking. The Mexican enchilada sauce is made of chili peppers, spices like cumin, oregano, garlic powder or onion powder (optional), vegetable oil (optional), flour for thickening (called masa harina), and salt to taste. Vegan enchiladas can be made by substituting meat with other veggies like mushrooms, potatoes, beans/lentils, etc., as well as using non-dairy cheese such as soy curd or vegan cheddar cheese. It also uses vegan sources of protein without cholesterol such as tofu or seitan.

Rolled corn tortillas covered with enchilada sauce

A banana sitting on top of a wooden table

Enchiladas are rolled corn tortillas covered with enchilada sauce, filled usually with chicken or beef and cheese, folded in half, and baked. Enchiladas can be made vegan by using soy meat substitutes like seitan (wheat gluten), tofu (soybean curd), etc., instead of the traditional meat and cheese. Substitute vegan cheese such as soy cheddar in place of cheddar, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack for dairy-free options.

Vegan enchiladas can be prepared in various ways with many healthy benefits

Richer in unsaturated fats than red meat

Enchiladas made with seitan (wheat gluten) contain a rich amount of vitamin B which is much higher than that of meat. The vegan enchiladas are also lower in saturated fat, richer in unsaturated fats (healthy fats), cholesterol-free, and much higher in fiber. They also have good amounts of minerals like iron & zinc.

The healthy fats present in them help reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer, lower blood cholesterol levels (which in turn reduces the risk of heart attack), protect against strokes, and help prevent gallstones.

The minerals present in them reduce the risk of osteoporosis and anemia, protect against heart diseases and several types of cancer. The rich fiber content encourages a healthy digestive system, protects against coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.

Lowers blood cholesterol levels

Studies have shown that vegan enchiladas are low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium which help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

High in minerals

The antioxidants contained in vegan enchiladas help to protect against heart diseases, cancer, and other serious health problems. The iron content is very high which helps carry oxygen all over the body and thus delivers more energy to the cells. These enchiladas also contain good amounts of zinc which help the body heal faster after an illness.

The fiber found in vegan enchiladas releases energy at a slow pace hence preventing sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels; therefore it reduces the risk of developing diabetes. The magnesium present in these enchiladas help regulate blood pressure and keeps the cardiovascular system healthy.

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