Can Foods like Pizza Prevent Disease?

Playing Can a Special Type of Pizza Prevent Cancer?

Could some of the deadliest diseases we face be prevented with certain types of foods -- even something like pizza?

The Doctors and oncologist expert  Dr. Lawrence Piro discuss a special type of pizza that some think helps to prevent cancer. The specific type of pizza is from Italy and has been dubbed "the pizza that extends life." It is made with whole wheat flour, cherry tomatoes, rapini (a type of broccoli), olives, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and chili pepper. But do these ingredients have cancer-fighting benefits? (The Doctors note this type of pizza is not a typical pizza and does not include cheese or meat.)

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Dr. Piro says the ingredients of this pizza, do in fact, have anti-cancer properties: He says the tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to decrease chronic diseases, including prostate and lung cancer. He says the unsaturated fat in the pizza's olive oil has been linked to a decrease in breast cancer. He does note that pizza, in general, might not be the best food choice, but says this version makes "something bad, a little bit better for us."    

ER physician expert Dr. Travis Stork reiterates his popular mantra: "Pizza can be a vegetable delivery system." He suggests swapping out a carb-heavy dough for a crust made from a whole wheat tortilla, cauliflower or beets in order to cut back on calories and carbohydrates. 

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The panel also notes the importance of maintaining a healthy weight when it comes to preventing diseases like cancer, and strongly suggest not indulging in an entire pizza as a meal and including other healthy options like a salad or a side of vegetables with your pizza.

 

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