Pizza, shockingly, is not seriously considered as an option for those focused on healthy eating. But, considering that over 13% of Americans eat pizza each day, how can so many people be eating something that is not a well-balanced food choice?
Turns out, they are. Well, in a way. Let’s take a look at the many healthful benefits of pizza.
Pizza covers all food groups, that’s a great start. Pizza, in its most simple state, is comprised of dough, toppings, sauce and cheese. These days, the craft, nay the art, of creating pizza has become a popular dining experience with pizza aficionados opting for an outdoor grill to cook pizza dough and un-topping traditional pizza toppings in lieu of more creative options like potatoes, fried eggs and figs. Homemade pizza sauce, gourmet cheese and limitless choices all end up with a possibly, super healthy meal.
Pizza dough is the base of all pizza goodness and is an easy combination of wheat, water and yeast. Let’s break down these three a-dough-able ingredients! Wheat; a cereal grain packed full with vitamin E, omega-3, and folate. Water; staying hydrated and eating pizza at the same time; win-win. Yeast; low in calories, high in fiber, protein, and B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6 and B-12. Wow…that’s unbbbbbelievable!
Pizza toppings are key and totally where it’s at when it comes to a nourishing diet. Red and green peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, the list of vegetables to put on a pizza is endless and creates, basically, a salad on a doughy plate. Toss on diced lean chicken breast or crumbled ground turkey for lo-calorie options. Pepperoni, salami and bacon are good for the soul and those calories don’t count so no skimping is required.
Traditional pizza sauce is a well-crafted blend of tomatoes and herbs and binds all of that topping yumminess to the deliciously good-for-you dough. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins and a single tomato provides just about 40% of the daily recommend dose of vitamin C. Toms also contain vitamins A and K, potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant that can aid in reducing risk factors for strokes, heart disease and diabetes.
Too much cheese on that pizza? No problem with tomatoes to the rescue as they are full of fiber and can help relieve constipation. And forget Botox; a study in 2011 showed that tomato paste and olive oil combined can not only protect one from sun damage, but increased production of pro-collagen which helps keep skin firm and youthful looking.
In addition, and in case you were wondering, tomatoes are indeed a fruit. So, there you go pineapple pizza fans, there is small victory here for you.
Cheese ain’t just for taking selfies (neither are fish lips for that matter), but cheese is essential for a great pizza and in some ways a healthy body. Mozzarella, feta, parmesan, cheddar and Monterey cheeses are not only delicious on a pizza, but have a range of great benefits derived from calcium (milk does a body good), vitamin K-2, phosphorus, riboflavin and omega-3 fatty acids. And cheese is the tie that binds toppings to the sauce to the dough. So, effectively, cheese unites and is inclusive, ergo; cheese is good.
In conclusion, pizza is what you make of it. Too much of anything is not always a good thing, but in moderation, pizza can be a source of healthy happiness, unity and a sane dinner option with delivery right to your door. In the end, pizza makes people happy, and there is nothing wrong with that.