Pizza has always been a long-time favorite dish to serve up at lunch or dinner, but it isn’t always credited as a healthy meal. However, there can be, in fact, many real health benefits of pizza. So, the next time you order a pie on Friday night, don’t feel guilty about indulging in your favorite meal!
Here are some of the chief ingredients that tout the health benefits of pizza:
Some people call it a fruit, some people call it a vegetable. But no matter which way you slice it, the tomato is a healthy addition to every pizza.
What makes the tomato such a powerhouse? It contains many antioxidants, chief among them are lycopene and vitamin C.
First, what is lycopene? While almost everyone is familiar with vitamin C, this antioxidant is a little less well known. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights cancer. Specifically, it has been linked to fighting prostate cancer.
Next, the tomato is also a great source of vitamin C which is, undoubtedly, a fundamental part of a healthy diet. For example, in its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to prevent the formation of free-radicals which lead to the development of cancer. Also, vitamin C helps to promote the production of collagen which generates healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Olive oil has long been renowned for its healthy properties. In fact, it is a major component of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. (It is well known that people in that region have longer life expectancies and lower rates of contracting heart disease.)
Olive oil is a healthy addition to one’s diet because it is considered a “healthy fat.” What does that mean, exactly? Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Unlike saturated fats and trans fats that raise cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fats actually help to reduce the accumulation of harmful cholesterols in the blood. As a result, including olive oil in your diet can help to prevent heart disease.
Basil’s most beneficial properties are those of anti-inflammatory. This is extremely important as inflammation is often the root of most diseases, such as heart diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
Additionally, the basil leaf contains antioxidants that are rich in essential oils. These essential oils offer many different health benefits. For instance, they can help to fight free radical damage and can also help to boost the immune system and ward off diseases.
Not every pizza will have basil and not every pizza will have olive oil, but you can surely bet that the great majority of pizzas that you eat will have mozzarella cheese. This is worth noting because mozzarella cheese contributes to many of the health benefits of pizza.
For one, mozzarella cheese is a great source of protein and it is rich in healthy fats. Also, because cheese delivers a good dose of calcium, it can help to promote strong bones and healthy tooth enamel.
Moreover, mozzarella cheese is an enriching component of pizza because it is a source of both water soluble and fat soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins include vitamins such as biotin, vitamin B6, thiamine, or niacin. These vitamins are not stored in the body, meaning: they satisfy an immediate nutritional need. On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins (including, for example: vitamins A, D, E) are stored in the body when not in use until they are needed.
Of course, the human body needs an abundant supply of both types of vitamins, and mozzarella cheese can provide both.
Tomato, olive oil, basil, and mozzarella cheese are among the more common ingredients to be found on a pizza. However, the menu at PCFP offers many specialty pizzas with unique combinations of ingredients so that you can get an assortment of different fruit and vegetable toppings.
For example, our Broccoli Rabe pizza offers a healthy array of delicious olive oil, broccoli, ricotta, and provolone cheeses.
Looking for even more health benefits of pizza?
At PCFP, you can make your pizza as healthy as you would like! Create your own pizza and choose from healthy toppings, like mushrooms, olives, eggplant, peppers, arugula, or spinach.
Whoever said pizza isn’t healthy has not been doing their research!
Despite its reputation as a “guilty pleasure” kind of dinner, there are, in fact, many health benefits of pizza. Browse the menu at PCFP yourself to pick out a pizza topped with your favorite vegetables.
Contact PCFP now to make a reservation or place a take-out order – or visit one of our locations for an in-house meal today!