Pizza is a savory dish of Italian origin consisting of a usually round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and often various other ingredients (such as anchovies, mushrooms, onions, olives, pineapple, meat, etc. It is then baked at a high temperature, traditionally in a wood-fired oven. A small pizza is sometimes called a pizzetta, A person who makes pizza is known as a pizzaiolo.
The term pizza was first recorded in the 10th century in a Latin manuscript from the Southern Italian town of Gaeta in Lazio, on the border with Campania. Modern pizza was invented in Naples, and the dish and its variants have since become popular in many countries. It has become one of the most popular foods in the world and a common fast food item in Europe and North America, available at pizzerias (restaurants specializing in pizza etc. Many companies sell ready-baked frozen pizzas to be reheated in an ordinary home oven.
In Italy, pizza served in formal settings, such as at a restaurant, is presented unsliced, and is eaten with the use of a knife and fork. In casual settings, however, it is cut into wedges to be eaten while held in hand.
Pizza undoubtedly contains more nutrient packed vegetables than most take-out choices and can help contribute to your daily requirements. Tomatoes are the main ingredient in pizza sauce and contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Scientific research has found a link between lycopene and lower levels of certain cancers. Lycopene has also been found to be beneficial to the heart and blood vessels, skin, and bones. When tomatoes are cooked, as they are for pizza or pasta sauce, the lycopene levels are higher and easier for the body to absorb.
Other vegetable toppings also contain nutrients that promote better health. All vegetables contain fiber. Onions also contain chromium and vitamin C, and can help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Bell peppers contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins C, B6, and A, which help keep cells healthy. Those vitamins also support the immune system, metabolism, digestive health and good vision. Mushrooms contain riboflavin and potassium. Both are necessary for many important functions in the body and help keep the central nervous system healthy.
Olives contain vitamin E, polyphenols, flavonoids and healthy monounsaturated fat. Vitamin E helps prevent cell damage, polyphenols and flavonoids help prevent inflammation and monounsaturated fats help increase “good” cholesterol. Combined, these nutrients go a long way to protect your heart and prevent disease.Other sources of nutrients in pizza include cheese, which contains calcium, protein and vitamin A. Another source of nutrients in pizza is the dough, which contains some antioxidants due to the chemical reactions of the yeast. Pizza dough is made from a higher protein flour than bread dough.
One slice of Pizza contains the minerals such as 201 mg of calcium, 2.65 mg of iron, 26 mg of magnesium, 231 mg of phosphorus, 184 mg of potassium, 640 mg of sodium, 1.43 mg of zinc, 0.112 mg of copper, 0.385 mg of manganese and 21.3 µg of selenium. The vitamins such as 0.417 mg of thiamine, 0.209 mg of vitamin B2, 4.093 mg of niacin, 0.086 mg of pyridoxine, 100 µg of folate, 56 µg of folic acid, 43 µg of folate, 17.5 mg of choline, 0.45 µg of vitamin B12, 1.5 mg of vitamin C, 74 µg of Vitamin A, 383 IU of Vitamin A, 65 µg of retinol, 98 µg of Beta carotene, 29.7 mg of betaine, 2049 µg of lycopene, 62 µg of lutein + zeaxanthin, 0.89 mg of Vitamin E, 0.05 mg of beta tocopherol, 1.27 mg of gamma tocopherol, 0.36 mg of delta tocopherol and 7.2 µg of Vitamin K.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PIZZA
Sugar with Vitamin B1 helps to oxidize for formation of usable energy. It plays a vital role in the enzyme system known as pyruvate dehydrogenase system that assists in the sugar oxidation. Thiamin is essential for the enzyme functions that release energy for the normal functions.
- Forms hemoglobin
Iron plays a vital role in the formation of hemoglobin. It provides the shade of dark red and transports oxygen to the cells of the body. Extra hemoglobin is essential as we lose blood through internal and external injuries. Mostly the women lose more blood during the periods due to which they has more chances to get anemia.
The presence of phosphorus helps to eliminate the health ailments such as numbness, weakness and fatigue. The adequate amount of phosphorus helps to maintain the people active and fit. It also helps to treat sexual weakness such as frigidity, loss of libido, sperm motility and impotence.
- Assist digestion
Niacin or Vitamin B helps to assist in the functions of digestive system that promotes the nerve functions, healthy appetite and skin health.
- Prevent cancer
Folate or Vitamin B9 is vital for the reduction of cancer in the body. It eliminates the cancers such as colon cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer. The doctors recommend to include folate in the diets.
Protein helps to promote the immune system. It prevents the chances of diseases and infections due to the presence of antibodies that eliminate the antigens from the body. It deactivates the production of antigens.
- Prevent obesity
Calcium helps to maintain the body weight of females and males. It releases the parathyroid hormones that promote the bones to release in the blood stream. It also enhance the fat production and prevents break down.
- Level of sugar
Manganese effectively controls the sugar level in blood. It prevents the chances of diseases such as diabetics. Pizza maintains the sugar level and normalizes the secretion and synthesis of insulin. It also prevents the unpredictable drops of blood sugar.
- Nervous system
Riboflavin treats the nervous ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, numbness, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Vitamin B6 with Vitamin B2 helps to treat the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Excessive intake of pizza causes the following:
Gain in weight: Pizza is also a junk food which could lead to weight gain because it contains 3500 calories that could raise the weight by one pound. In a week, 500 calories are consumed if eaten daily
Chances of stroke: Sodium helps to maintain the balance of fluid in the body but the excessive amount of sodium raise the level of blood pressure that increases the chances of stroke. It has high amount of sodium and the studies shows that excessive amount of sodium increases the chances of stroke by seventeen percent.
Intestinal problems: Pizza is also loaded with high amount of carbohydrates which might be difficult to digest. The daily intake of pizza might result in constipation and cause the gastrointestinal problems.
Skin problems: Pizza contains high amount of fat, cheese and sugar that could affect the activities of hormones of the teenagers. The daily intake of oily foods raises the production of sebum oils that could result acne or breakouts. The daily intake of pizza should be avoided to maintain the skin health.