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Pepperoni and Pizza are like peanut butter and jelly: they go hand in hand, but the latest trend in the pizza oven are pies topped with more nutritional ingredients. Consumers are demanding food that is real and real healthy. “I think the single biggest trend impacting menus in all segments of the restaurant industry is the demand for real and authentic foods, said Nancy Kruse, menu trends expert and a speaker at the International Pizza Expo.
Casual dining restaurants like Panera Bread, Chipolte and Subway are increasing in popularity due to their healthier menu selections and even the large pizza giant, Dominoes has rearranged its menu to engage this health seeking consumer. Today pizza is a healthier food choice than ever before. Here’s six reasons why:
1. Rich in Protein
A slice of cheese pizza has approximately 15 grams of protein, Protein helps the body repair and builds muscle and generates energy. Adding lean meats and protein rich olives will increase the protein power on your favorite slice.
2. Fiber Full
The pizza’s crust, especially if wheat is chosen is full of fiber, a nutrient necessary for keeping our digestive tracts regular, maintain a healthy weight and lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Adding fiber rich toppings like broccoli, onions and spinach will colorfully add more fiber to a slice.
3. Cheesy Calcium
Calcium is key for strong bones and muscles and pizza’s cheese is one of the best ways to get it. Dairy products are rich in calcium. Topping your favorite pie with broccoli, mushrooms and spinach can increase the calcium, too.
4. Powerful Antioxidants
Tomato sauce is a powerful antioxidant and is what covers the crust of most pizza pies. Cooked tomatoes can offer more than six times the antioxidant lycopene than their fresh counterparts. Antioxidants protect and strengthen the immune system. Pizza sauce also has Vitamin C, an important component in immune system health.
5. Energy Boosting Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates not only give us energy, “good carbs” are important for immune system health. A pizza’s crust, whether it thick or thin is full of carbohydrates. Opt for a whole wheat crust for a healthier dose. Even some toppings can offer a carb boost including mushrooms, veggies and pineapple.
6. Perfect Portion
Pizza is one of the easiest foods to decide portion size. You can decide how big the slice is, what it’s topped with and how healthy “or not” it is. Instead of going for the second or third slice, have a side salad to complete your pizza meal.”Mangi la pizza!”