Pizza is one of America’s favorite menu items. Who could blame you for wanting to order one when the pizza has piping hot melted cheese, a crispy but chewy crust, a flavorful sauce, and Italian spices? However, you also want to order a pizza that’s healthy. You can make your pizza healthier through the toppings you select. Our Pequod’s Pizza team invites you to explore some of the healthiest pizza toppings available.
Everyone seems to have their favorites when it comes to pizza toppings. Plus, there’s the long-standing debate to think about when creating your masterpiece: Does pineapple really belong on a pizza? The variety of pizza toppings makes your pizza delicious, whether you enjoy a meat lover’s pizza, a deluxe, or a simple Italian sausage and cheese. If you’re looking to keep your pizza healthier, you may want to consider extra vegetables for your toppings.
Anchovies, fresh basil, fresh garlic, black olives, jalapeno, tomato, green olives, green peppers, mushroom, or giardiniera with peppers, celery, cauliflower, and carrots can make a pizza more filling. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of several of these pizza toppings from our Pequod’s Pizza menu:
Green peppers are a tasty topping that’ll give your pizza a fresh, soft crunch. While they taste slightly bitter, they’re still a favorite of many as a pizza topping. Green peppers are high in iron but also packed with vitamin C, which helps absorb iron. Combining the two benefits of green peppers makes them a superfood that can prevent and treat anemia with iron deficiency.
Vitamin C is vital to many of your body’s essential functions, including nutrient metabolism, collagen synthesis, proper immune function, and more. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, which helps protects your cells from harmful oxidative damage.
Mushrooms bring an earthy taste rich in savory umami flavor to your pizza. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all supporting your health. They’re high in vitamin D, a component that provides excellent support for bones and immune health. Mushrooms are also a great source of the essential trace element zinc, especially the cremini mushroom variety. As a vital nutrient, zinc supports the immune system and is critical for growth in infants and children.
Onions are versatile and can provide a range of flavors depending on how they’re cooked. Raw onions can be crisp and sharp, and some varieties are almost spicy. Onions cooked low and slow can be caramelized and lend sweet and savory notes to your pizza.
Different kinds of onions have different flavors. Some popular varieties are white onions, yellow onions, Vidalia onions, and purple onions. They’re nutrient-rich and an excellent source of vitamin C; they’re also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. Some additional health benefits of onions are that they improve digestive health, help regulate blood sugar levels, and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Garlic has a versatile flavor ranging from pungent if cooked less to luscious and sweet when cooked for longer and caramelized. When cooked longer, it also turns soft and provides a creamy texture atop your pizza. Garlic has many health benefits. It helps cardiac health and is antimicrobial and anticancer.
A component of garlic oil has remarkable benefits for the heart, including protecting the heart after a heart attack, as well as during heart surgery by lessening damage to the affected cardiac tissue. It also helps reduce the incidence of specific forms of cancer, including colon, gastric, and lung cancer.
Garlic can even fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Freshly crushed garlic has an active component, allicin, that has antiviral properties and can fight off a broad range of bacteria, such as multidrug-resistant E. coli. Allicin also has antifungal properties, including fighting Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections. It also functions as an antiparasitic agent, capable of fighting major intestinal parasites, including giardia. Garlic can also inhibit the growth of the bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Whether diced or sliced, tomatoes lend a semisweet taste and a chewy texture to your pizza. Tomatoes are packed with an ingredient called lycopene. This is what gives them their bright red color, which protects them from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This same function is why tomatoes can help protect your cells from damage. Tomatoes are also nutrient-packed, containing potassium and vitamins B and E.
Tomatoes are great for your immune system too. Their lycopene component is an antioxidant capable of fighting molecules called free radicals that can affect your immune system and damage your cells. Lycopene can lower your risk of stomach, lung, or prostate cancer. Lycopene may also help lower your blood pressure, as well as your levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, which in turn may reduce your chance of heart disease. It has other heart-healthy ingredients, including antioxidants called flavonoids, as well as vitamins B and E.
Italian Giardiniera Relish
Giardiniera is a blend of peppers, celery, carrots, and cauliflower pickled in vinegar and marinated in a mix of oils seasoned for the right taste. It’s often called “Chicago’s condiment,” as Chicagoans are said to be obsessed with this delicacy. Many in the Chicago area will eat giardiniera on breakfast sandwiches, pasta, and, of course, pizza. Giardiniera is a perfect blend of smooth, spicy, and crunchy, making any pizza irresistible. If you add this to your pizza, you get a healthy dose of probiotics that help promote good gut health, along with the delicious taste.
Are You Ready To Order a Healthier Pizza?
Pequod’s Pizza has proudly served the best pizza in the Chicagoland area since 1970, with two locations available in Chicago and Morton Grove. We offer dine-in, delivery, and pickup options for our fresh-made pizzas, as well as nationwide delivery of our frozen pizzas. Our famous caramelized crust has everyone talking about our pizzas. Order your pizza online, piled high with healthy toppings. You can also call our Chicago location at 773-327-1512 or our Morton Grove location at 847-470-9161 to place an order.