Is Pizza Good For You? These Healthy Pizza Toppings Add Nutritional Value and Flavor

Even though we don’t want to admit it, pizza is not a healthy meal choice. Not only is it heavy in carbs and dairy, but it also contains unhealthy saturated fats that can damage health. That said, there are ways to make a pizza healthier — starting with the toppings. We take a look at some of the best healthy pizza toppings for flavor and nutrition, below.

Pizza covered in fresh kale

Adding kale to pizza is a great way to up the health ante. | cudger/Getty Images

Healthy pizza toppings

While cheese pizza might not be the healthier item on the menu, it can be easily transformed into a vessel of nutrients. The easiest way to do so? Aside from swapping traditional shredded cheese out for something less fattening — such as fresh mozzarella — you can add a host of veggies and other healthy pizza toppings. Keep reading for some mouth-watering ideas.

Grilled chicken

If you’re a fan of pepperoni, you might want to reconsider. Processed meats — such as pepperoni — are rich in saturated fats and sodium, which can have a negative effect on the body. Instead of traditional pepperoni, swap it out for sliced chicken sausage — or, better yet: grilled chicken. Adding lean protein to your pizza can give you similar satisfaction without the risk factors.

Tofu

Tofu is another great way to add protein to your pizza. You can buy special tofu “cheese” or use small pieces as a healthy pizza topping. Swapping pepperoni out for tofu will automatically help turn your pizza into a healthier pie.

Beans

Another excellent healthy pizza topping to try? Beans! With a variety to choose from — including black beans, white beans, and red beans — you won’t get bored of the topping and each bite will pack a nutritional punch. Beans are best known for their protein properties, but they are also beneficial to heart health, are rich in antioxidants, and contain vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and fiber.

Tomato

The sauce isn’t the only way to reap the benefits of tomatoes. You can add tomato slices to the top of your pizza to ensure you get all the nutrients. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the body from various diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Also, they are rich in vitamins C and K — both of which can benefit the body from the inside out.

Nuts

Add some crunch to your pizza with a handful of crushed almonds or walnuts. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients, nuts are packed with protein and can help protect the body from various risk factors of heart disease and more.

Kale

Adding kale to your pizza is one of the best — read: most delicious — ways to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. Kale is flavorful and rich in necessary nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and K that help brain function, fight off disease and keep the body’s health in order.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods on the planet and tastes amazing on pizza. The healthy pizza topping boasts beneficial nutrients like vitamins C and K, as well as potassium, fiber, and folate acid that work together to keep the body in check and help promote a healthier system altogether.

Arugula

Need another healthy green to add to your pizza? Try arugula! Arugula is a popular pizza topping for its peppery flavor and health benefits. It helps reduce inflammation, protects against cancer, aids the body’s detoxification process, and more.

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