When asked what the first health-related word that comes to mind when Italian cuisine is mentioned, often carbs (carbohydrates) is the top answer, maybe cheese would be a close second. In a society that is constantly bombarded with health-conscious ideas and diet/workout fads, how am I supposed to convince you that a cuisine based on pasta, bread, and cheese is very healthy? Is Italian food healthy? Italy is a Mediterranean country and many studies conducted on such diets that are found in that region of the world revealed health benefits ranging from reducing the risk of cancer to life longevity.
So, in fact, healthy Italian meals do exist, and in the next few minutes of your time, you will understand just why traditional Italian dishes can be some of the healthiest meal choices you can make.
Perhaps the most obvious reason why Italian cuisine is good for you is because very little ingredients used in a traditional menu are processed. Pasta, bread, oils and even the dairy are all found to be minimally processed. Natural grains and quality oils are essential for quality Italian but don’t be fooled by restaurants claiming to be “authentic” that utilize heavily processed flour or pasta and low-grade oils.
Fresh is Key
Unlike the modified American-Italian menu that barely resembles anything found in Italy, authentic menus include a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Tomatoes, spinach, citrus fruit, seafood, onions, and garlic tend to be the main staples, and each one provides abundant health benefits range from Vitamin A and C to healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Numerous studies have found convincing support that an Italian diet helps speed up the body’s metabolism and help detoxify it. Antioxidants such as lycopene, Vitamins A, C and E, selenium, beta-carotene, and lutein are all good for you and help remove free radical particles from the body that harm tissues and may be linked to cancer.
Seafood and olive oil are two of the essential ingredients used in Italian cuisine, and both are extremely beneficial to heart health. Healthy, unsaturated fats, healthy cholesterol, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Grains found in the bread and pasta, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes all contain fiber (indigestible carbohydrate) that helps promote healthy digestion, stabilizes blood sugar and reduces bad blood cholesterol levels.
The important part when it comes to eating healthy Italian food is making the right choice of where to eat. Toscana Divino of Miami serves up an authentically inspired menu with modern twists that emphasizes the traditional Italian aspect of making everything in-house. From fresh seafood to handmade pasta and bread, Toscana’s menu is full of delectable yet healthy choices ranging from pasta dishes to seafood and everything in-between. Here are some of the most popular choices that can be found on their spring and summer menu.
Maccheroncini neri– homemade squid ink maccheroncini pasta with shrimp, calamari, octopus and bottarga (salted, cured roe) in a homemade tomato sauce. Indulge in a collection of fresh seafood and soak up the benefits of the rich tomatoes.
Branzino ai ferri– Mediterranean Sea bass that is grilled to perfection and topped with fresh parsley, capers and served with seasonal vegetables. This dish features the classic pairing of meat and vegetables but provides abundant health benefits.
Pollo croccante– tender chicken breast with parsnip, fingerling potatoes and a variety of seeds. The classic Italian diet relies heavily on poultry and seafood rather than red meat which can be healthier for the heart.
These are just a few of the many dishes that will leave you feeling full and healthy on Toscana’s diverse menu. Don’t forget to pair the perfect wine (many health benefits as well) with your meal from Miami’s largest selection of Italian wines. To see the full menu and wine list, visit https://www.toscanadivino.com/italian-menu-miami-fl/.