Sunday, 18 November 2018 | News today: 7

Italian scientists use Mediterranean vegetables to create healthier version of pizza

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Scientists and chefs in Italy say they have made a pizza which prevents cancer and heart disease.

The Pizza Pascalina, designed by scientists in Naples, has been called ‘the pizza that extends life’ and an ‘anti-tumour’ pizza.

The Pascalina is packed with ingredients from the Mediterranean diet which are known to have health benefits.

Neither cheese nor meat feature on the dish; its toppings include tomatoes, olives and rapini – a type of broccoli.

Scientists from the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Naples – the national cancer institute – say the pizza is healthy enough to eat twice a week.

A group of researchers, restaurateurs, food producers and consumers came together the invent the pizza, according to Italian news site Affar Italiani.

They hope to encourage people to eat well – and show that even pizza can healthy – the site reports.

The pizza has a wheat flour base and is topped with cherry tomatoes, rapini, olives and extra virgin olive oil, garlic and chilli.

The Pascalina does not include cheese or meat, both of which are popular toppings but are also fatty and can contribute to heart disease.

Its healthy ingredients were chosen for their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer in the digestive system, including bowel cancer.

Scientists have long praised the health-giving benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and studies suggest it could help tackle obesity, cancer, heart problems and brain disease.

Research last year showed tomatoes can slow the growth of stomach cancer, and the World Health Organization recommended in May that other countries follow a diet high in olive oil, fruits and vegetables.