When we speak about the benefits of any food item, we normally speak about it in isolation. But truth is food like any other thing in life, works the best, when they team up with right partner or combination. Taking food as pair is so beneficial that it can work like 1 + 1 giving 4. According to Elaine Magee, author of the book food synergy, “By eating foods that have a synergistic effect, you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.”
So let’s explore some incredible “Food pair”
Tomato and Beans
Beans serves as a great source of non-heme iron. Body but is not very capable to absorb the non-heme form of iron. This can change, if beans is taken along with a food rich in vitamin C like tomatoes. Vitamin C present in tomato can significantly increase absorption of non-heme iron. So next time you take some beans, add some tomatoes too.
Green tea and Lemon juice
Green tea is loaded with health benefits. Based on Harvard Health data, green tea may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Study carried out by Purdue university points out that benefits of green tea can be further increased, if it is taken with a dash of lemon juice. According to this team, lemon juice makes green tea’s antioxidants more readily available for absorption. Body can absorb as much as six times more catechins in presence of lemon juice. Lemon juice also can reduce the effect of certain compounds in green tea that can restrict ability to absorb iron from foods.
Egg and Green salad
Next time when you are making green salad, add some cooked egg. Study says that adding egg to veggies can increase the absorption of carotenoids – beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene and that also up to three to nine times more. It’s no fad. Carotenoids are fat soluble and the fat in eggs make them more available for absorption. The study used scrambled eggs.
Spinach and Walnut
Spinach needs no introduction. It is rich in vitamins and iron. The benefits we get from spinach can be increased several fold by adding some walnuts to it. The omega-3 fatty acids present in the nuts can boost the vitamin K’s absorption. This would mean better cell growth, blood circulation, and bone strength.
Onion and Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. You would be in for surprise to learn that sulfur containing onion can increase significantly Manganese bioaccessibility from chickpea. So toss some onions to chickpea salad next time.
Orange Juice and Oatmeal
Best way to start your day!. Having this combination can prevent heart attacks and clean arteries twice effectively compared to taking it either one on its own. The organic compounds known as phenols, present in both, helps to stabilize cholesterol levels when consumed together.
Fish and Garlic
Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can actually help in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels by lowering triglyceride levels. They also can increase HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are just not good for heart, but also for brain functions and are even thought to affect mood and pain. Add some garlic to this fish to get better health benefits. According to researchers at the University of Guelph, when garlic and fish oil supplements were taken together, on men with moderately high blood cholesterol, the combination lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Carrot and Avocado
Who doesn’t like glowing skin. Beta-carotene present in carrot gets converted to vitamin A in body and gives skin a youthful glow. But for beta-carotene to get converted to vitamin A, presence of good fat is needed, which is present in plenty in avocado. So for beautiful skin try the combination of carrot and avocado.
Turmeric and Black pepper
Turmeric is more or less considered as a wonder drug. People use turmeric as is or its bioactive form Curcumin for skin care to heart health. As a commoner we assume that when we take turmeric, we get complete benefit from it. But the fact is body absorbs less than 0.02 percent of this. Whereas, to this curcumin, piperine is added in the form of black pepper the absorption increases 20 fold. So next time you include turmeric in diet, mix it up with some black pepper too.
Milk and Honey
Struggling to get good sleep. Try a glass of milk with some honey. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan gets converted to neurotransmitter serotonin, also called ‘feel good hormone’, which in turn can gets converted into the hormone melatonin, also called the darkness hormone. Honey too promotes release of tryptophan into the brain.
So now you are informed and all set. Try out these ten combination food and ramp up more nutrition !