Focaccia is a type of flat bread of Italian origin. People of Liguria region of Italy consume it traditionally at breakfast. What are its ingredients? Is it healthy?

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What is focaccia?

Focaccia is a type of leavened flat bread that is a Ligurian tradition. In this part of Italy, people prefer it to croissants or muffins. It can be square, rectangular or round in shape and comes in different sizes. It has flour, yeast, salt, water and extra virgin olive oil in it. This composition is similar to the dough of pizza. But in pizza yeast used is less. And in focaccia, the amount of yeast is more. This makes the bread soft and fluffy. It is a healthy alternative for baked sweets, cookies, or pastries.

Focaccia (Source: Alexandra’s kitchen)

Dietitian Valentina Schirò explains:

“If it’s made according to tradition with simple, barely processed ingredients, it makes the morning meal healthier,”

“In fact, it provides carbohydrates that keep you full longer, as well as vitamins – especially B vitamins that facilitate the metabolism of fats, sugars and proteins and help produce energy – and ‘good’ fats, allies for the heart and brain health,”

Nutritive value

Each 100 grams of this bread has 250 calories. Total carbs are 36 grams, while sugars are 1.8 grams. Fats are 8 g and saturated is 0.9 g. There is no trans fats or cholesterol in it. Total proteins are 9 grams. And dietary fiber is 1.8 grams.

Focaccia (Source: Wikipedia)

There is ample amounts of iron, magnesium and vitamin B6 in it. Calcium is present too but in small amounts. The olive oil used in its making is a healthy oil. Potassium is 114 mg while sodium is 561 mg. This is 23% of the daily requirements for a person on 2000 calories diet.

Combining it with cappuccino, milk, cheese, or yoghurt is healthy. Valentina has this to say about this combination:

“Milk provides many noble proteins, complete with all the essential amino acids, which promote building lean body mass. Or you can eat it together with other protein sources such as plain yogurt or some cheese,”

Health benefits

Focaccia is good and healthy. It prevents weight gain and keeps one slim and fit. Elaborating on it, Valentina states:

“It does not contain simple sugars like sucrose, the classic white sugar, which promotes blood glucose spikes responsible for sudden hunger pangs. Rather, focaccia provides complex carbohydrates that slowly give the body energy and help better regulate blood sugar levels,”

Also, read Sourdough bread: Process, nutrition, and health benefits

Focaccia with rosemary and cherry tomatoes (Source: Fun food frolic)

If one uses whole wheat flour in place of refined flour, its nutritive value increases. Throwing more light on this, Valentina adds:

“It provides a greater amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The latter helps slow down the absorption of sugars and prolongs the feeling of fullness, reducing the appetite in the morning. Another advantage of focaccia is that it’s made with extra-virgin olive oil, which is full of ‘good’ fats, as opposed to lard, butter or palm oil found in commercial baked goods, which can contain hydrogenated fats and which, when consumed in excess, favor a rise in levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, to the detriment of your figure and health,”