This delicious Italian dish is a complete and nutritionally balanced meal because it is made from a wide variety of ingredients. Nevertheless, it is often referred to as “junk food. This is largely due to the widespread consumption of industrial pizza, which is high in fat and low in nutrients. Yet few people are aware of the benefits of traditional pizza made from fresh and wholesome produce. In this post, we want to invite you to discover them.
Nutritional benefits of pizza
The nutritional value of pizza depends largely on the products added to the dough. Nevertheless, the simplest pizza, the Margarita, already provides us with enough nutrients. The complex carbohydrates in the flour, which are slow to digest, gradually release glucose in small doses and on a consistent basis. Thus, they provide the energy needs of our muscles and brain over a long period of time. The exact opposite of what sugar, which suddenly raises blood glucose levels, does.
On the other hand, mozzarella contains high doses of animal protein and calcium. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber . Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals benefit us in countless ways: they help slow down aging, help prevent certain diseases and strengthen our immune system. For their part, fiber promotes intestinal transit.
Olives also provide us with vitamins and, in addition, HDL fats, which are well known for their role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Aromatic herbs such as oregano have antiseptic and cleansing properties. Vegetables such as peppers, onions or mushrooms such as tomatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. If the pizza contains tuna or other types of fish, we can take advantage of the properties of omega-3 fatty acids, popular because of their contribution to the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.
One of the great advantages of pizza is that it is a very versatile food, so it allows you to combine different ingredients and thus get all the nutrients in the food pyramid.
What does scientific research say about pizza?
According to a scientific study from the University of Maryland, USA, eating pizza once or three times a week may be beneficial and advisable for disease prevention. The study found that pizza dough made from wheat flour, which is rich in antioxidants, is good for health. Studies have shown that the amount of antioxidants increases by 82% when pizza is baked at high temperatures or for long periods of time. Dr. Marla Luther, a member of the research team, states that “wheat flour pizza, when baked, contains more antioxidants than any other type of flour.
Antioxidants mitigate the damage caused by free radicals, substances our bodies release under adverse conditions such as stress. These substances oxidize different parts of our cells, accelerating aging and contributing to disease. This gives us an idea of the many benefits of antioxidants, and with them, pizza.
Pizza is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, a diet based on the consumption of foods derived from traditional crops. As we all know, it is a model of healthy and balanced eating. So it is not surprising that it offers us so many benefits when made the traditional way.
Food can immerse you in a world of excitement because of the skill with which different chefs can prepare their dishes. A good meal can also take you back in time and make you relive the feeling your grandmother made you that dish you liked so much. In our restaurant La Piccola, the traditional recipe for pizza dough is combined with the use of seasonal and nearby products so that you can take a trip to Italy without leaving Granada. Because, in the end, language doesn’t matter, it’s the taste that counts.
Because pizza is one of those dishes that can relate directly to each of us . Although it is not a traditional Spanish dish, the truth is that the Mediterranean connection to Italy can make us feel that our food, above all, is an idea as simple as it is magnificent. Whoever came up with the idea of putting tomatoes, cheese and more on flour dough had a very good idea.
On the Vitónica website, they look at all the features a good pizza can have, but be warned, not all cooking is worth it. The key, as always, is to use quality products to get a good product. Here are the most important benefits a good Neapolitan pizza can have (besides filling the stomach):
- It is a nutrient-rich food because of the mixture of its composition.
It has complex carbohydrates , which are slowly digested by the body and give the body constant energy, like porridge in dough.
- The use of products such as olives, very tasty in pizza, means that we also consume oils rich in cholesterol and vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Cheese contains high doses of animal protein.
- Species such as oregano have antiseptic and cleansing properties and are rich in iron and vitamins.
In addition, at La Piccola, our restaurant in Granada specializing in Italian cuisine, we combine Italian traditions with local and seasonal products .
To open your mouth, we tell you that we have pizzas with fresh sausage; with vegetables from the garden present in the fields of Granada, such as pumpkin, eggplant or cherry tomatoes , one of the symbols of the Costa Tropical, where they grow thanks to the mild climate.
Besides pizza, we also have fish, meat and delicious desserts. This is our menu, so you can connect with the Italian tradition.
Properties of pizza ingredients
Many people claim that pizza is healthy and wholesome food. Either for each of its ingredients or for the whole. It is important to keep in mind that although pizza is made at home, it is more likely to be possible to control its preparation and thus avoid some of the ingredients that come from large pizza chains or pizzerias. such as excess saturated fats, which are bad for the body.
This type of carbohydrate is found in pizza flour and provides the energy and satiety the body needs because they release energy more slowly than simple carbohydrates. They help the brain function properly. Lighter versions of pizza can be made without wheat flour, which can include grains, seed flour or nuts.
Cheese is a derivative of milk, rich in calcium, vitamins such as C, iron, vitamin D, E and K. It is also rich in nutrients and is an important source of protein. Some of the benefits of pizza cheese include increased muscle mass and calorie expenditure, which, when combined with exercise, can reduce the numbers in problem areas while shaping the figure. If fewer calories are needed, it is very easy to substitute cheese with lighter or low-fat cheese that has less fat.
Not all fats are bad. Olive oil on pizza is a great option in cooking. This type of unsaturated fatty acid helps lower cholesterol and also improves circulation.
Tomato as an antioxidant
The tomato on pizza has aicopene. It is an antioxidant, great for preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. Tomato helps digestion, strengthens the autoimmune system and prevents uric acid.
Additional ingredients that shouldn’t be missing
Obviously, the choice of toppings is important to making a healthy pizza. You should choose as many vegetables and fruits as possible, such as red peppers, onions, olives, garlic, broccoli and spinach. Choosing low-fat ham is also important. If meat is put in, it should be lean. Alternatively, anchovies or some fish such as salmon or tuna can be added.
Ingredients to avoid
Just as it is necessary to include vegetables and fruits, it is important to avoid some ingredients that are high in saturated fats, which can be harmful to your health. It’s best not to add oils other than olive oil (or first cold-pressed olive oil), such as vegetable oil or soybean oil, to pizza.
As far as meats are concerned, you should definitely avoid pepperoni, salami, pepperoni and sausages. They cause cardiovascular problems and weight problems if consumed consistently over a long period of time. They also greatly increase the number of calories consumed.
Another important piece of information is the type of drink or garnish the pizza is eaten with. Companions are very often fries or sauces such as flavored butter. As for drinks, soft drinks or colas are very common, as well as drinks with lots of sugar. To avoid unnecessary calories, it is best not to include these products in the pizza.
pizza for the soul.
In addition to its benefits from the nutrients it provides to the body, pizza helps the mind. When you eat something delicious, there is joy and the body produces serotonin, known as the happiness hormone, which promotes emotional and overall well-being. Therefore, when one feels emotionally good, what is immediately produced in a person is unavoidable. In fact, eating pizza is associated with improved mood and productivity at work. It is also related to socializing, sharing between friends and family.