5 Food Pairings That Are More Nutritious TogetherArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Nutritious food pairings are a practice you’ll want to start today because, truthfully, there’s nothing better than the perfect pair.
Sure, there’s the tasty combo of the perfect PB&J, but sometimes you find a wonderful combination of foods that not only taste better together, but also support each other by boosting their nutritional powers.
Think of food pairings as sort of a health hack, to boost the health benefits of the food you eat. Combining certain foods together on a regular basis can aid in absorption, as well as the availability of the active nutrients. We’ve rounded up some of our top dynamic duos to incorporate into your Nutrisystem weight loss plan.
Below are just five of our favorite food pairings to crank your diet up a notch:
1. Spinach and Strawberries
Vitamin C is essential for your health. It aids in the growth and repair of tissues, may help heal wounds, and contributes to healthy teeth and skin. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that might even help protect us from certain cancers and heart disease. But, it’s a little nutrient booster, too! Adding vitamin C to a meal containing iron from a plant source could increase iron absorption from the meal. This is the perfect excuse to combine deliciously sweet strawberry with fresh and crunchy spinach. Add a sprinkle of nuts, quinoa and some healthy olive oil for a balanced and nutritious meal, or try our recipe for Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad, here >
2. Turmeric and Black Pepper
You’ve probably seen headlines shouting turmeric from the roof tops: Studies have suggested that this spice, long used in Indian cooking, may have some serious health benefits. The antioxidant found in turmeric called curcumin, which gives the spice its yellow hue, is also responsible for its possible anti-inflammatory benefits. Adding this spice into your diet is a good idea in itself. But, there is a simple way to help your body absorb it—sprinkle on black pepper!
3. Red Peppers and Eggs
Red peppers are rich in carotenoids, and carotenoids are beneficial antioxidants that might help fight inflammation in our bodies. Diets rich in carotenoids are shown to have some anti-cancer benefits and are important for supporting eye health. However, these antioxidants need the help of fat in order to be absorbed into the body. A research study performed by the American Egg Board showed an increase in carotenoid absorption when paired with an egg by almost four times. The American Egg Board recommends adding a cooked egg to your salad to boost the nutrition. So, load up on peppers and eggs, or use a dressing with healthy fats for a similar effect. Not an egg fan? Pair your peppers with health-fat-filled avocado!
4. Iced Green Tea with Fruit
Looking for something healthy and refreshing to keep you energized this summer? Green tea is known for its powerful antioxidants. It may also aid in digestion, reduce some cancer risk and help fight heart disease. Unfortunately, these antioxidants don’t always make it to the point of absorption. A study done at Purdue in 2007 showed that combining citrus with green tea could help boost the availability of the powerful antioxidants. A squeeze of lemon, some orange peel, grapefruit juice or a little pineapple infusion can make a delicious and light summer drink that delivers some of this antioxidant power.
5. Hummus with Whole Wheat Pita
We all need essential amino acids in our daily diet. They are the building blocks of protein and protein is a key component to maintaining a healthy diet or reaching any weight loss goals. There are nine essential amino acids our bodies need from food and whole wheat pita provides all but one of them, lysine. Luckily, lysine is found in chickpeas in plentiful amounts! Hummus to the rescue. Not only is this creamy, hearty, chickpea-based spread, delicious, but it can also kick up the nutrition of your plain pita in the form of a complete protein source. Keep dipping! Need a good recipe? We’ve got you covered here >