Some foods are simply known for their nutritional benefits. As stand-alone items, certain fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes have proven time and again to be excellent choices for total body wellness as they boost immunity, burn fat and help your body operate at peak.
It makes sense that certain super food combinations would increase the benefits many times over. Some food combinations seem like they are meant to work together.
By adding these duos to your diet a couple of times each week, you’re going to multiply the overall wellness effect. Food Synergy author and dietician, Elaine Magee, puts it best, “The total is greater than the sum of the individual parts.”
Top Ten Food Combinations for Better Health
#1 Vitamin C and Iron Combining iron-rich foods (leafy greens, dried fruit, artichokes and legumes) with those packed with vitamin C (tomatoes, peppers, citrus and leafy greens) helps your body absorb iron more efficiently.
Bean and tomato salad tossed with steamed broccoli, chopped peppers and olive oil will boost your absorption of iron and vitamin C so that you get more oxygen to the muscles and brain.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana found that the combination of broccoli and tomatoes reduced the size of tumors in rats.
#2 Green Tea with Lemon
Adding lemon juice to green tea increases the benefit of the powerful catechins green tea contains – making the tea five times stronger.
Purdue University discovered that adding lemon to green tea also slowed the breakdown of these antioxidants in your digestive system so your body achieved more complete absorption.
Consuming green tea when you eat fish helps block mercury from entering your bloodstream. You can drink several cups each day without harmful side effects. You’ll see a difference in your skin health and weight. People who drink green tea daily tend to lose ten pounds more per year than those who don’t.
#3 Salads with Healthy Fat
Salads that contain leafy greens (such as spinach) and tomatoes are rich in carotenoid antioxidants. Your body will absorb these antioxidants better if you add olive oil or avocado, healthy fats that are heart-healthy and delicious.
A study conducted at the University of Geneva found that eating a salad with a cup of green tea as your last meal stops your body from storing excess fat and boosts your metabolism by 4% while you sleep.
#4 Avocados and Tomatoes
Eaten together these vegetables are extremely healthy for you.
Researchers at Ohio State University discovered that the monounsaturated fat found in avocados boosts the cancer-fighting properties of lycopene found in tomatoes – making it four times more effective.
Beta-carotene – proven to boost overall immunity – is three times more effective when combined with fresh avocado. Add these fruits to salads and pasta, or make salsa and guacamole for a powerful antioxidant snack.
#5 Iron-Rich Grains and Vitamin C
According to Boston University professor of nutrition, Joan Salge Blake, when you add orange juice or fresh berries to whole grain cereal, your body is able to absorb six times the amount of iron, while providing sustained energy for far longer than either of these foods consumed alone.
#6 Dark Chocolate and Apples
Apples are rich in quercetin – an anti-inflammatory crucial to heart health. Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. Eaten in moderation, this pair forms a tasty snack that fights blood clots, improves circulation and reduces your chances of heart disease.
Tossing the phytochemical strengths of raspberries, pomegranates and red grapes in to the mix adds cancer-fighting to an already delicious and nutritious combination.
#7 Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate and Milk
Creating a ‘peanut butter cup smoothie’ is a quick and delicious way to strengthen your heart and keep your bones strong. A study done at Hackensack University Medical Center showed that the combination of monounsaturated fat in peanut butter helped the body absorb more vitamin D from milk than was possible from drinking milk alone. Boost the effects even more by adding fresh berries!
#8 Bananas and Yogurt
Monique Ryan, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, suggests a smoothie containing bananas and yogurt for better absorption of muscle-repairing glucose and amino acids. After intense physical exertion, this combination speeds up muscle recovery while adding strength.
A study in Australia suggests that combining carbs with caffeine post-workout also boosts muscle energy better than do carbohydrates alone.
#9 Omega-3 Fish and Broccoli
The carotenoids and vitamin C found in broccoli combined with the omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as salmon and tuna create a brain booster of intense proportions.
Separately, both protect the cells of the brain, increase alertness and focus, improve memory and overall cognitive ability. Combined, they have been shown to improve the scores of students who eat it prior to testing.
Number #10…Vegetables and Water…Your Secret Weight Loss Weapons
Dieticians around the world believe that changing two simple things will improve your chances of shedding unwanted weight and keeping it off: Eat your vegetables and drink more water.
Vegetables are naturally high in vitamins and nutrients, low in calories and provide antioxidants that boost immunity, increase energy and improve your metabolism.
Adding vegetables throughout your day will give you digestion-improving fiber. Making sure you’re properly hydrated will positively impact every cell in your body and keep you out of the 75% of Americans who are chronically dehydrated.
Learning how to combine your foods will ensure you’re making every bite count.
Reducing inflammation, slowing aging, improving heart and brain health, getting control of your weight and preventing disease, all depend on nutrition.
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