Pizza is the pride and joy of Italy. It’s one of the most popular dishes across the globe and first became popular in the US after World War 2, with their many different tastes and sizes to suit different people.
They are widely considered to be an unhealthy option, as they are high in calories, sodium and cholesterol-raising saturated fat, meaning an increased chance of obesity and heart-related problems.
However, this doesn’t need to be the case. We live in a society that encourages people to live a more-healthy lifestyle, with many tips and cooking advice out there to teach us how to manipulate ingredients to create a more-healthy option. And we can do this with pizza!
If you want a delicious but nutritious pizza, then how about trying the sweet potato pizza crust. Here are some key ingredients that make it full of healthy goodness.
Sweet Potato Pizza Crust (Please see recipe here)
#1 Sweet potato:
This sweet tasting root vegetable makes up most of the pizza base. It’s a rich source of fibre which promotes a healthy digestive system and prevents the risk of heart disease.
It’s high in antioxidant beta-carotene that protects the body from cell damaging free radicals. Some studies have shown that consuming at least four daily servings of beta carotene lowers the risk of developing certain types of cancers.
Sweet potato also contains Vitamin A, allowing for healthy: skin, mucus membranes, immune system and eye vision.
#2 Oat flour:
Oats contain fibres that are water soluble. Meaning they dissolve in water to form a gel-like material in part of the gut known as the colon. Water soluble fibres have many benefits, some including:
Lowering cholesterol – Oats contain Beta-glucan found in the cell wall that are responsible for lowering cholesterol by 5-10% according to some studies.
Stabilising glucose levels – Soluble fibres slow down the digestion rate of carbohydrates, meaning a reduced likelihood of dramatic increases in blood sugar levels.
Feeding healthy gut bacteria – Gut bacteria loves to feast on water soluble fibre, which helps the bacteria to thrive longer.
#3 Almond meal:
Almonds are low on carbs, full of antioxidants and have many additional benefits. Some of these include:
Vitamin E - Helps to prevent damage from harmful molecules that accelerate ageing and is an essential ingredient in many skin care products. Several studies have also correlated high intake of vitamin E with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Lowers blood pressure – Almonds are packed with magnesium. Deficiencies of this mineral have strongly correlated with high blood pressure, which can lead to the onset of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failures.
Helps reduce hunger – Numerous studies have shown that almonds cause feelings of fullness, as they are high in protein and fibre and low on carbs.
#4 Chia seeds:
Chia seeds are another god send for fighting off health conditions, including obesity and heart disease.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that chia seeds helps to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
They are abundant in phosphorus - a mineral critical for protein synthesis, healthy tissue function and cell growth. It is suggested to add drops of ‘Chia Serum’ on your face, to even sun-damaged skin, reduce redness and give you a healthy complexion.
They also contain high levels of omega-3-fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid that has shown to aid in weight loss, according to several studies.
How can we forget tomato sauce? It’s a commonly used ingredient and here’s why:
Great source of vitamins - A single tomato can provide 40% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. They also contain vitamin A to support immunity, and potassium to support muscle contractions, fluid balance and proper functioning of the heart.
Lycopene – Tomatoes are jam packed of this antioxidant, with several studies showing that it decreases certain types of cancers. Other research has shown that lycopene also supports healthy vision and protects against eye conditions, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
Does this mean we can create a pizza crust with almond meal? Sounds very healthy - would love a recipe.
i would say that oat flour is only good for pancakes, but not sure it's intended to be used on this pizza
that sweet potato crust is a great idea, I'll definitely be trying that. I find standard pizza bases really stodgy.