Pizza for your health? Yes, please! The Doctors taste the Pizza Pascalina, a pizza from Italy that is known as the pizza that extends life. This pizza is made with whole wheat flour, San Marzano tomatoes, rapini (a type of broccoli), olives, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and chili pepper.
The Doctors agree the pizza is tasty, but dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra points out that it is not like the typical delivery pizza which has cheese and often a meat topping. ER physician Dr. Travis loves cheese but even without it, he likes this pie.
Oncologist Dr. Lawrence Piro weighs in and says this pizza is basically taking something we like to eat that is bad, and making it better for us. The ingredients are full of possible anti-cancer properties. For example, the tomatoes contain lycopene which is great for fighting prostate and lung cancer, but the tomatoes have to be cooked, as these are, to release the lycopene. Olive oil is a healthy unsaturated fat which Dr. Piro says is known to reduce breast cancer by 50%!
Dr. Travis explains this pizza was created as a teamed-up effort between Italian cancer researchers and chefs. Dr. Piro says it grew out of one chef having a relative with cancer and wanting to do something to help. He used his skills to create the Pizza Pascalina as a way to raise money for the National Cancer Institute of Italy. For every pizza sold, one euro goes to cancer research.
The Doctors want to point out that even this pizza is still very caloric and eating the entire pie would not be healthy. Dr. Piro says the key to preventing cancer is having the ideal body weight. Obesity is an inflammatory condition.
Dr. Travis adds that you want nutrients but not too many calories. He likes to think of pizza as a “vegetable delivery system.” He recommends making your own pizza and substituting a traditional crust for a whole wheat tortilla, cauliflower, or even beets!
Be wary of thick crusts because one slice contains a lot of calories in the bread. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes even when dining out, you can add tons of vegetables to your pizza. Follow these tips and pizza can be a part of your regular diet!