Pizza: My Friend and Yes It’s Healthy

I love pizza.  It’s no secret.  I can eat pizza 2-3x per week and never get sick of it.  You can make a multitude of flavor combinations with pizza.  You can have a various toppings such as vegetables, grilled chicken, and tempeh.  You can also have various bases to the pizza such as a red gravy (sauce), white (ricotta cheese), pesto.  And if that wasn’t enough your crust can be whole wheat, toast, english muffin, naan, flat bread, pita, corn tortilla.

There is an endless combination of pizzas that can be made and they can be healthy for you too.  Vegetables speak for themselves.  Grilled chicken is a wise choice as well.  Obviously a whole wheat pizza crust or whole wheat english muffin is better than white flour crust but the key to a healthy pizza lies in the tomato.

Tomato is one of the main ingredients of pizza and it contains lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is known to help fight many different types of cancer. Studies have shown that people who eat pizza at least once a week were much less likely to develop colon and mouth cancer as well as stomach and lung cancer. It is known to be especially helpful in fighting prostate cancer. Studies have shown that eating pizza can lower your chance of developing esophageal cancer by nearly 59%.

IMG00627 20110525 1751 300x264 Pizza:  My Friend and Yes Its Healthy

Naan Pizza

It is the tomato that is the main cancer-fighting ingredient of pizza. I have read studies that state that processed tomatoes such as those found in pizza or spaghetti sauce are actually higher in lycopene than fresh tomatoes. The reason for this is that during the process of cooking and processing the tomatoes, the water content evaporates leaving a higher concentration of the antioxidant.

Tomato sauce is extremely healthy, and for this reason so is pizza, but there are additional pizza toppings that can also enhance your health. Onions are rich in chromium, vitamin C, and fiber. They help to lower your blood sugar, cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Black olives are another great addition to pizza. Olives contain ingredients that help ward off heart disease and lower your cholesterol. The red pepper is a great pizza topping. They are sweet and tasty as well as full of Vitamin C, A, and B6.

When I make pizza at home my favorite toppings tend to be red sauce, broccolini, mushrooms, olives and garlic (lots of garlic.)  Ever since I made Tempeh Meat(less)balls I have been contemplating putting that on a pizza and might just make that this week.  The first pizzas that I made were Pesto Pizzas that contained sprouts, olives and feta cheese and placed on top of a pesto sauce before baking for 15 minutes.

This article, written by Lisa Mosing,MS, RD, FADA, Special to LifeScript, details the many benefits of  pizza but then adds the following and it is something I think you will love to read:

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Veggie Pizza with homemade crust

Crust:

  • corn tortilla
  • French or Italian bread slice
  • Homemade pizza dough
  • Prepared pizza crust
  • Wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat bagel
  • Whole wheat pita pocket
Sauce:
  • BBQ sauce
  • Pesto
  • Pizza sauce
  • Salsa
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Tomato sauce
Cheese:
  • IMG00572 20110502 1957 300x225 Pizza:  My Friend and Yes Its Healthy

    Dessert Pizza....chocolate with almonds and coconut

    Cheddar cheese, reduced fat

  • Feta cheese
  • Goat milk cheese
  • Jack cheese, reduced fat
  • Mozzarella cheese, part skim milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ricotta cheese, fat free
  • Soy cheese, reduced fat
  • Swiss cheese, reduced fat
Toppings:
  • Beans
  • Canadian bacon
  • Cooked poultry breast
  • Cooked fish and seafood
  • Fruit
  • Lean red meat
  • Leftover fajitas mixture
  • Tofu

    IMG 0048 Pizza:  My Friend and Yes Its Healthy

    Kale, Onions, Mushroom on Ricotta Cheese Pizza with side of Buffalo Tempeh

  • Vegetables
  • Veggie meat substitutes

 

What is the one food that you can eat over and over and never get sick of?

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  • http://www.teammancuso.blogspot.com Nora

    Absolutely agree.. but when do I not agree with you?? LOL Pizza can be such a great healthy meal! I <3 PIZZA!
    Nora recently posted..HookieMy Profile

  • http://www.runemz.com Emz

    I love how you felt like you needed to tell us it was healthy?! ;) why don’t you let me know when something ISN’T healthy.

  • http://mattheworavec.blogspot.com Matt Oravec

    Pizza is one of those quick easy things you can make. We started making our own pizzas last year and never realized how quick and tasty it can be.

    I love putting veggies on our pizza, we typically will make a pizza when we want to purge our fridge haha.

  • http://tri4success.blogspot.com Chris

    I find it interesting that the tomato actually ends up healthier after being processed. Essentially the opposite reaction of every other food out there.
    Chris recently posted..Trying but not TriingMy Profile

  • http://marleneontherun.blogspot.com marlene

    Pizza is a definite fave on my list but for some reason I always think of it as a “treat” food. With these suggestions, there’s no reason it can’t be a regular in a healthy & balanced diet!
    marlene recently posted..Back to realityMy Profile

  • http://youjusthavetotri.blogspot.com/ julie

    Oh yes I’ve been lovin the pizza recently….just plain old tomato paste (you wouldn’t believe how good it tastes!) with a little seasoning, and garlic then some spinach, mushrooms, onion, chicken and cheese oh yea…I’ll be making one of those really soon…
    julie recently posted..Lookout Mountain Conqured!My Profile

  • http://www.midwestmultisportlife.com Kovas

    Pizza and burritos are 2 favorites and both, funny enough, are only unhealthy when you add meat.
    Kovas recently posted..Barefoot Running is Bad and a Healthy Transition to Barefoot RunningMy Profile

  • http://www.runningwithattitude.com Michelle @ Running with Attitude

    Couldn’t agree more – love pizza in all its variations! Hadn’t thought about a dessert pizza – will have to try!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Running on Empty – Review &amp GiveawayMy Profile

  • http://50after40.blogspot jim

    Pizza is my weakness … mine usually doesn’t look that good, but I try to keep it simple.

  • http://www.Feerlessfood.com Chuck

    I’ve always thought pizza healthy- when I make it myself or can direct how its made: Crust = healthy carbs, cheese = healthy fat, toppings (chicken and vegetables for me) = healthy protein and vegetables! Served with fruit and more vegetables on the side!

  • http://enduranceisntonlyphysical.com tricia

    my first thought “wait, is 2-3times a week a lot?” :) I might have you beat! we do a lot of grilled pizza,yum

    • Jason

      Yeah, 2-3x is not that much in the grand scheme 7 lunches and 7 dinners = 14 meals in a week, so 2-3x is small. That doesn’t include a breakfast pizza either…..

      Grilled pizza is great. I made some with cornmeal on the outside and it provided a great crunch and texture to the pizza.

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