We all love the decadence of an authentic Italian meal, but few of us can enjoy it guilt-free whilst well aware that we are tucking into a creamy, rich and carbo-crammed meal.
The good news is: if you choose your options wisely and enjoy these dishes in moderation, there are plenty of legitimate health benefits for you to enjoy!
High quality cheeses like Parmesan and Romano are typically used in traditional Italian dishes.
Whilst it is only a small amount that stands to benefit you, a dashing of these delicious cheeses will give you bone-strengthening calcium whilst adding richness to your meal.
A staple in almost any Italian dish, cooked tomatoes have extra credibility over their raw counterparts.
The levels of the powerful antioxidant lycopene increase as they are heated, banishing free radicals with every bite of that bolognaise.
Traditional Italian dishes often provide us with an excellent excuse for glugging that olive oil into sauces and pastas, but remember it is only raw olive oil that holds health benefits for you. Enjoying it as an appetiser with fresh bread, drizzling it over your salads and pastas or using it in homemade pesto are all excellent ways to improve your heart health. It is still high in fat though, so do your best to enjoy a maximum of one teaspoon per meal.
This immune-boosting entity is excellent at warding off illnesses as it has antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties. It is almost a given with any delicious pizza and pasta, so enjoy using this as a well-deserved excuse for garlic breath!
So there you have it. Even the most decadent and delicious foods can have healthy benefits if you enjoy them correctly – the proof is in the pasta!
Lisa Raleigh, TV personality, Author, Lifestyle and Wellness expert.
@LisaRaleighSA – twitter