Keep Your Eye on the Pie

Finally, after 30+ years of consuming more pizza than a conveyor belt oven, the medical community has finally reached the conclusion I’d arrived at years ago: cheese pizza actually does a body good!

Now I’m the first to admit that overindulging in anything good will eventually lead to something bad.  Stay with me. I’m still talking about food.

I also admit that I have a cheese pizza habit, and I’m proud to state that I’ve taken the first step to recovery by acknowledging my addiction to pie, an addiction that started long ago with dinner at a German gasthaus named Romantica outside of Ramstein AFB – a family-owned bar and restaurant that served a thin crust pizza with a delicate flavor and just the right amount of sauce and cheese to make you drool. Yes, it was that good.

If there’s pizza in heaven, it came from Romantica. For me, it was love at first sight, smell, and taste. An infatuation with an oven-baked product that put its hooks in me and never let go. There are many foods I can live without. Pizza will never be one of them.

So how is it possible that something so delicious can actually be good for you? Check out “The Doctors Book of Healing Foods” and find out. Among various other tidbits of useful knowledge, the book explains how pizza can help you live longer by preventing cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s! Talk about a miracle drug.

So what’s the secret?

Aside from wishful thinking, the sauce.

It turns out that the processed tomato sauce in pizza is loaded with disease-fighting compounds such as lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) and vitamin C. Some studies have shown that lycopene is known to help fight many different types of cancer and that people who eat pizza at least once a week (like that’s a problem) are much less likely to develop colon, mouth, lung, or even prostate cancer. Tomato sauce and healthy vegetable toppings aside, the pizza dough itself is known to be high in antioxidants.

So the next time someone asks if you’ve had your vitamins lately, tell them you’ve got it covered – with a chewy crust, a tangy sauce, and a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. I know my favorite pizza place delivers on its promises. Let’s hope the medical research does the same.

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