As delicious as pizza can be, it isn’t always the healthiest food choice. Pizza can be high in calories, lack essential nutrients, and also store unhealthy fats. Fortunately, if pizza is one of your favourite foods, you don’t have to give up pizza forever! If you use a fine selection of healthy pizza toppings, it can still be quite healthy without sacrificing the most important part: taste!
The healthiest pizza toppings are rich with nutrients, perfect for those who are health-conscious about what they put on their pizzas. If you are already feeling hungry, below is a list of seven tasty and healthy pizza toppings:
Due to its numerous health benefits, spinach is one of the most popular healthy pizza toppings. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that adds a bitter flavour to pizza, but is great in combination with cheese and other vegetables! Studies have shown that spinach consumption leads to better eye health, prevents cancer and reduces blood pressure levels.
Other health benefits of spinach is that it is a non-meat source of protein, which is ideal for vegetarians, and contains lots of insoluble fiber, which is good for digestion. Spinach is also a great source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. Spinach is actually one of the world’s healthiest foods, try it on your next pizza!
Perhaps one of the most controversial pizza toppings, pineapple is a nutritious, sweet addition to any pizza. Definitely don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Even if you’re skeptical, maybe a Hawaiian style pizza should be your next experiment in the kitchen!
Despite pineapple’s sweetness, it is low in calories, fat free and contains high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants and manganese. The components of pineapple make it ideal for immune system support, bone strength, eye health, better digestion, anti-inflammatory benefits and blood clot reduction. Who knew something so sweet could be so good for you!
3. Grilled or Baked Chicken
This might be a surprising choice in a list of healthy pizza toppings, but its inclusion is justified. Sure, chicken can be unhealthy for you if it has the skin on it, is fried or immersed in unhealthy sauces. All of these things add unnecessary calories and fats to chicken that is otherwise healthy for you. However, boneless, skinless chicken that is grilled or baked can be a very lean source of animal protein that is a staple of many healthy individual’s diets.
The drawback of chicken is that a whole breast is usually high in calories and more than you need. Luckily, it is easy to add chicken to a pizza without adding too many calories and compromising taste! Merely sprinkle several chucks over the pizza, generally half a chicken breast will do. Chicken is also high in selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and niacin which are necessary vitamins and nutrients for a healthy diet.
Something you may or may not have known is that white vegetables and fruits are the least consumed plants leading to people being deficient in the respective nutrients. A great way to give your body a boost is by adding onions to your pizza!
These healthy pizza toppings are rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6 and potassium. These components have positive effects on the microorganisms in our bodies, helps our bodies regulate blood sugar, improves bone health and helps prevent cancer.
A fun fact about tomatoes is that they’re actually a fruit, despite commonly being referred to as a vegetable. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K1 and folate. In addition, tomatoes are notorious for containing lycopene which is an antioxidant that is linked to significant health benefits. Lycopene is also what gives tomatoes their red colour.
One additional way to cut calories is by using tomato sauce, which are lower in calories and higher in nutrients. Tomato sauce contains all the same health benefits as whole tomatoes, except that the sauce usually lacks fiber. Tomato consumption is linked to better heart health, cancer prevention and skin health. Another benefit to tomatoes is that they give pizza a juicy and fresh texture!
Mushrooms are another white vegetable that are a delicious savoury and earthy addition to pizza! They are rich in copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Mushrooms also contain ample antioxidants which protect the body from damage and disease, thereby making it a tasty option for healthy pizza toppings.
Olives can be cooked with pizza in two ways, as a topping or sauce in the form of olive oil. Even though olives are quite high in fat, this fat is an essential component of a healthy diet and olives contain healthy fats that are good for our bodies. Vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium and sodium are all nutrients that olives contain.
Consumption of olives is linked to better heart health, increased bone health and reduced cancer development. The biggest drawback of olives is that they’re high in sodium, however, so long as you monitor your consumption, it is harmless. In any case, part of a delicious pizza is having a salty and savoury kick!