At Casa Bellisima in New Jersey, we focus on providing an upscale environment with a casual feel. This isn’t your typical Italian restaurant, but we serve up a wide variety of authentic Italian food in our restaurant. This is partly because of how much we love it, partly because our loyal patrons in Andover request it, and partly because it is surprisingly healthy! While you may think of Italian food as loaded up with carbs and oil, these surprising health benefits of Italian food may have your mouth watering for a delicious Italian meal at Casa Bellisima.

Tomatoes: These tasty foods, technically fruits but usually used as vegetables, are common in everything from soups, to appetizers, to main courses. This is great for your health, because tomatoes are jam-packed with fiber, Vitamin C, and lycopene, which can help promote eye health.

Olive Oil: While many oils add nothing but fat to your waistline, olive oil is one that is healthy for your heart, as it contains monounsaturated fats that can lower your LDL (bad!) cholesterol. Olive oil is also known for reducing inflammation and increasing the absorption of vitamins—such as those from tomatoes!

Wine: Yep, our favorite Italian beverage makes this list, although it is important to note that red wine in particular is known for its heart-healthy benefits. Even more important? These benefits only occur when consumed in moderation—one glass for women, two for men.

Garlic: This hallmark of Italian food comes with a wide variety of benefits for your heart, inflammation, and cancer risk! It is known to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, and many suggest that garlic helps with immune functioning.

Were any of these health benefits surprising? If so, check back on our blog often—we post useful, interesting articles about food, health, and more each month!