Nutrition: The Runner's guide to Pizza

Prepped the right way and consumed in reasonable quantities, the slice is definitely right. Choose pizza for fuelling, recovery...and, yes, reward



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‘Cooked tomato is especially rich in lycopene, which reduces cancer risk and muscle cell damage,’ says Gidus. Other tasty sauces have different nutritional perks. Here are five key recipes.


Garlic and white bean

• 410g haricot beans, drained

• 1 garlic bulb

• 125g ricotta cheese

• 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 tsp fresh thyme

• Juice of ½ lemon

• ¼ tsp salt

METHOD Heat the oven to 190°C. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb, drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, let it cool, then squeeze the garlic pulp into a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

BONUS White beans are a leading source of dietary fibre, making each slice more filling. 


Purple tapenade

• 3 anchovy fillets

• 200g pitted kalamata olives

• 55g sun-dried tomatoes

• Bunch parsley, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 3 tbsp olive oil

• 2 tbsp capers, drained

• Juice of ½ lemon

• ¼ tsp black pepper

 METHOD Blend all the ingredients into a paste.

 BONUS Olives offer disease-fighting recovery-boosting phenolic antioxidants.


Red tomato sauce

• 800g chopped tomatoes    

• 3 garlic cloves, crushed

• 2 tbsp tomato puree

• 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar

• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tsp dried basil

• 1 tsp dried oregano

• ½ tsp salt

• ½ tsp chilli flakes

METHOD Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened – about 20 minutes.

BONUS Compounds in garlic have been shown to help lower harmful cholesterol.


Butternut sauce

• 280g butternut squash, pureed

• 40g parmesan cheese, grated

• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• ¾ tsp paprika

• ½ tsp ground cumin

• ¼ tsp each nutmeg, salt and black pepper

METHOD After you puree the butternut squash, stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl.

BONUS Butternut squash is loaded with vitamin A, which can improve bone, immune-system and eye health.


Rocket pesto

• 2 handfuls rocket

• Handful basil

• 40g walnuts

• 3 garlic cloves, chopped

• 60ml olive oil

• 25g grated parmesan

• Juice of ½ lemon

• ¼ tsp salt

METHOD In a food processor, pulse the rocket, basil, walnuts and garlic until coarse. Add the remaining ingredients and blend.

BONUS Extra-virgin olive oil contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound called oleocanthal.


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