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True or False: Pizza is Health Food (Hint: Rejoice)

Psst. Pizza is good for you.

So say the authors of The 10 Things You Need to Eat: And More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Them, a new book written by New York Times Health columnist Anahad O’Connor and Food Network chef Dave Lieberman. O’Connor and Leiberman give it to us straight: ten foods, lots of ways to eat them. They have culled only the luminaries of nutrition that can lower our risk of developing a host of ailments, from heart disease to prostate cancer, grabbed them from the grocery store shelves, and whipped into more than 100 recipes. It’s a fun, chatty and exceptionally accessible book for eaters of all kinds.

Hey, what about the pizza?

Ok, pizza is not actually on the list, but it’s close. The authors say it actually meets the requirements of being the new “health food” with its heavy doses of tomatoes, their pick for one of the top foods you need to eat. Here’s one reason: a study shows that people who eat pizza regularly were 40% less likely suffer a heart attack that those who never ate it. Those who ate pizza two or more times a week? 60% less likely.

Tomatoes are busting with lycopene, phytonutrients and vitamins that work synergistically – that is, they work better together to deliver their high nutritional value. Plus, O’Connor and Lieberman say cooked tomatoes deliver higher nutritional value – making the tomatoes in pizza sauce even better than those in salad! Buon appetito!

Besides tomatoes, their ten things list includes avocadoes, nuts, berries, fish and quinoa.  You can share your thoughts about this must-eat list at the The 10 Things You Need to Eat Facebook page.

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