Pizza has made a steady climb in popularity over the years and today you may find that you are never at a loss for a pizzeria. Researchers have found that pizza is nutritious and it holds a lot of health benefits.
Pizza is often thought of as being the type of food you should stay away from. When some people think of pizza, the first thing that comes to mind is weight gain and high cholesterol. If you eat too much of this Italian treat then, yes, you may put on weight and, yes, your cholesterol level may rise. Pizza, like any other food, should be eaten in moderation.
The tomato sauce on pizza contains vitamins A, C, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, choline, lycopene and lutein. The vitamins in the whole milk mozzarella cheese on pizza include vitamins A, B12, D, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, choline and retinol. The saturated fat in whole milk mozzarella cheese is 25 grams per cup and the cholesterol is 88 milligrams per cup. The vitamins in pizza dough made with all-purpose, enriched and unbleached white flour include vitamins A, B6, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, folic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Minerals and Amino Acids
Tomato sauce contains 18 amino acids and the minerals it contains include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Mozzarella cheese is high in calcium and it contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. The minerals in the dough include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Pizza dough contains some saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and 18 amino acids.
Many establishments that make pizza use whole milk mozzarella cheese and refined white flour. The nutritional information given here is on pizza made with these ingredients. What you should take into consideration is if the pizza is made with low-fat mozzarella cheese and whole-wheat flour, the nutritional information will be different. You should also keep in mind the health benefits of eating the low-fat, whole-grain version will be greater than the health benefits that come with eating pizza made with whole milk mozzarella cheese and refined white flour.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, pizza is one of America’s favorite foods and eating cheese is a good way of getting calcium and protein. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases puts pizza on its list of calcium sources. The USDA also states studies have shown that the consumption of tomatoes may lessen your chance of getting cancer because tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene. A prostate cancer study showed a drop in prostate cancer risk when the amount of lycopene in the blood was elevated. Studies have also shown that when you eat tomatoes, you may be able to lessen your risk of developing heart disease, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and lung cancer.
- United States Department of Agriculture: Cooking up Tempting, Fat-Fighting Foods and Ingredients
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Bone Health for Life
- United States Department of Agriculture: About Tomatoes and Lycopene
- United States Department of Agriculture: Cheese, Mozzarella, Whole Milk
- pizza image by Jens Klingebiel from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.