Italian Foods Are Not the Enemy

Lycopene in Italian Food

When you’re dieting and trying to eat healthily, what the first thing that you give up? Junk food and pasta, pizza and all your favorite, cheese-laden Italian fares. Let me tell you now—you don’t have to.

In fact, it’s likely that giving these up will likely cause you to miss out on the numerous heart healthy, nutrient rich benefits that these tomato based recipes are known for. Everything from preventing heart disease to numerous cancers can be prevented, simply by loading up on the right kind of Italian dishes.

Chalk it all up to the Lycopene—a natural antioxidant found in tomatoes. Here’s the best thing about it—lycopene is released after you start cooking your tomatoes. So everything from pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti, they should all have the necessary phytochemicals derived from tomatoes that can provide Vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, resveratrol and most especially, lycopene.

While it’s typically found in tomatoes, you can also source it from pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya or apricots. But by far, upping your tomato dosage can go a long way towards upping your lycopene intake.

Now, I am not saying you should scarf down an entire family sized pizza by yourself, or eat nothing but pasta every day for every meal, but adding a few sources of lycopene into your daily diet will do so much towards improving your health.

For breakfast, try roasting a couple of beef tomatoes to go with your eggs. Follow that up with a few slices of papaya or apricots. Include good fats from olive oil to draw out the lycopene in your tomatoes. Some light sautéing of your tomatoes will go a long way.

Now, here’s a personal favorite recipe that’s rich in lycopene that you can easily make using your oven or even a microwave. It’s healthy, low carb, low sugar and rich in antioxidants.

  • 1 loaf of low carb bread, choose your favorite brand.
  • ¼ cup unsweetened tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Handful of your preferred toppings—olives, arugula, maybe some pepperoni slices.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl (except for the bread) and mix well. Place mixture on top of the bread and pop in the oven to toast. You’ll know it’s ready once you see the cheese bubbling.

There you have it, a healthy, home made alternative to the classic pizza. Did you know that they even made Italian-inspired slot machines? Head over  to Casumo to find out.

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