Eating healthy foods is an essential aspect of living a long and healthy life. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and proteins are the best foods to include in your diet to prevent many diseases.
Though there is no doubt regarding how healthy these foods are, there are definitely some ways, which can help you make them healthier.
Yes, there are some classic pairings of these healthy foods that can enhance their benefits significantly as compared to the benefits you can achieve by eating them separately. This concept is called “food synergy.” Here are some of the best food combinations that will keep you healthier:
1. Olive oil + Tomatoes
Olive oil is a healthy form of fat that can boost the “good” HDL cholesterol levels and reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels thereby promoting the heart health. On the other hand, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. You can boost the superpowers of these two foods by consuming them together.
2. Red bell pepper + Black beans
Black beans are rich in iron. But, the problem is the iron obtained from such plant foods, which is called a non-heme iron, cannot be readily absorbed by the body like the iron found in meat.
An interesting way to increase the absorption of iron from black beans is to combine it with a vitamin C-rich food, and this is where the red bell pepper comes in the picture.
Red bell peppers have the ability to increase the absorption of non-heme iron by almost six times. So, just combine black beans with red bell papers to get a whopping dose of iron as well vitamin C!
3. Whole grains + Garlic + Onions
The zinc and iron found in whole grains have a very low bio-availability, which means they get metabolized in the body faster than they are absorbed. The natural substances in whole grains can bind with the minerals, which reduces their absorbability. As a result, your body hardly gets any of these nutrients even after consuming this healthy food.
To get the most out of whole grains, combine them with garlic and onion. The high amount of sulfur in these veggies can make whole grains more nutritious by increasing their bio-availability.
4. Collard greens + Salmon
Collard greens are one of the best sources of calcium, which is essential for the health of bones and teeth. But, consuming calcium-rich foods is not enough to get the benefits of this nutrient. You need another nutrient, vitamin D, to ensure proper absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D helps to maintain the level of calcium in the blood.
Though the exposure to the sunlight is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D, some people develop a deficiency of this nutrient simply because of their geographical location where sunlight is scarce.
Do not worry! You can still get a vitamin D boost by eating foods like salmon. Combine it with your collard green to get a good amount of calcium supported by vitamin D to promote its absorption.
5. Red grapes + Honeydew
Honeydew with red grapes is the best food pairing to fight fats and banish the bloating. Honeydew is a natural diuretic, which can help you fight water retention that is responsible for making you appear puffy.
Red grapes act as a fuel to fire the belly fat thanks to its rich content of an antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin works by countering the action of fat-promoting genes.
This dynamic duo can make up for a healthy, delicious dessert to please your taste buds and lose some pounds.
6. Oatmeal + Berries
This one’s a tempting combo, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Just top your oatmeal with chopped berries for a delicious fat-burning breakfast and also to get a good dose of nutrients.
What makes this combo so powerful is these foods contain an insoluble fiber, which can modify the levels of ghrelin, the bad hormone controlling your hunger. So, when you eat oatmeal and berries together, the ghrelin production falls due to which the feeling of hunger and cravings do not bother you for several hours.
Plus, the berries are packed with polyphenols, which aid in weight loss by preventing the storage of fats in the body. These are reasons enough to begin your mornings with an oatmeal/berries combo.
7. Banana + Spinach
Bananas, especially the light green varieties, are rich in resistant starch, which not only boosts your satiety but also resists digestion. This means; your body has to put in more efforts and in turn, burn more calories to break down the bananas. When combined with spinach, bananas also promote the fat oxidation and reduce the abdominal fat.
Also, bananas are rich in potassium, which can banish that pesky bloating arising out of water retention. Pairing this mighty fruit with a low-calorie veggie like spinach can boost your satiety and stimulate the fat burning thus helping you to lose much more weight than you would have if you ate both of them separately!
8. Almonds + Pistachio
A snack comprised of pretzels and cereal might taste good, but it may not help you feel tight in the stomach. So, it’s time to ditch these starchy carbs and replace them with a dynamic combo of almonds and pistachios.
Snacking on a bowl of almonds and pistachio instead of the carbohydrate-based foods can speed up the rate of weight loss.
Plus, the amino acid, L-arginine, present in almonds can help the body to burn more fat during workouts. So, while you are sweating out at the gym, put your diet on the double duty, too!
Some more food pairs to add a punch of nutrition:
- Spinach and avocado oil
- Tuna with ginger
- Apples with watermelon
- Corn and beans
- Cinnamon with coffee
- Pepper and potatoes
- Raspberries with yogurt
- Fish and garlic
- Banana with nut butter
- Sweet potatoes and Greek yogurt
The idea here is some foods have an ability to interact with one another in a way that provides more value. So, eat your superfoods in these combos to pack a more powerful punch of nutrition.