For many, Italian cuisine can be summed up with two words: pasta & pizza. Carb-heavy, covered in cheese, these two culinary delights are probably the last thing on your mind when you’re searching for healthy options. The world of Italian food however is much more diverse than meets the stereotypical eye. Embracing the best of a Mediterranean diet, Italian food in its diverse array has some wonderful health benefits. At Bella Cosa, we love to explore these healthy options in our Canary Wharf restaurant. Here’s more details on our favourite ingredients!
1. Tomatoes. One of your five a day, tomatoes are a staple of Italian cuisine. A fibre-rich fruit, the tomato is also high in vitamin C, which helps maintain health bones and tissues. Along with C, vitamin K is also abundant within tomatoes. Once again, important for healthy bones, Vitamin K also promotes correct blood clotting. Our Tomato salad with Mozzarella, Avocado & Basil is a fabulous tasting dish, and not to be missed
2. Seafood. Italian cuisine is famed for its used of a diverse variety of fresh seafood. From tuna, to mussels, prawns to octopus, we have a huge variety to offer. Seafood contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. High protein, but low fat, seafood is especially good for those counting the calories. Eating a diet containing seafood helps lower your cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of heart disease. For the maximum benefit, try to to eat fish at least twice a week
3. Garlic. While good for keeping vampires at bay, garlic has a wide variety of health benefits, and luckily for you, is a staple of Italian food. Garlic can promote the immune system, helping to keep you fighting fit. Garlic also contains Vitamin C, manganese and selenium. There has been a variety of evidence to show garlic’s usefulness when it comes to lowering blood pressure, keeping cholesterol low and even helping prevent certain types of cancer. For a garlic burst, try our Penne Spicy Chicken with Garlic, Chilli, Roasted Peppers and Olives in a Tomato Sauce.
4. Olive Oil. This little number is again, a base ingredient for many Italian classics. It’s saturated fats help lower the bad type of cholesterol, while boosting the positive variety.
5. Wholegrains. Featuring heavily in traditional Italian cuisine, wholegrains pack a punch when it comes to providing a range of health benefits. Once again, fibre rich, helping promote a health digestion system, antioxidants and vitamin can also be sourced from this food. When eaten regularly wholegrains can help maintain a healthy heart, as well as reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and some cancers too.
6. Social Benefits. For our final reason, let’s also consider the positive aspects. Italian food is all about sharing, eating together and celebrating friends & family. Our platters and sharing boards are a great way of bonding together to break bread. Eating like this, as a group is wonderful soul food, and help us maintain and develop life-long relationships.
There we have it, 6 ways in which an Italian diet can promote a healthy lifestyle. As with all things in life, eating in balance and moderation is key. Not sure where to start at home? Our A la carte menu has a wide range of delicious options, perfect for weekday working lunches or weekend celebratory dinners.