In general, a whole foods plant-based diet is construed to be the bedrock of good health and lifestyle. Time and time again, we are alerted and reminded about the significance of including vegetables in our daily diet. As a rule of thumb, we are well aware of the positive or adverse effects the food we consume day in and day out have on our overall health. But while we do pay attention to the benefits of each food item, we tend to ignore the combination of foods and the synergic effect on our health.
The synthesis is key to derive the maximum benefits from our meals as it has a favourable impact on our metabolism process. The breakdown of vitamins and other nutrients and the ensuing assimilation mechanism is crucial to gaining absolute nourishment for the growth and maintenance of a healthy life. Thus, you must start paying heed to the constituents that make up your salad or the side items that accompany your entrée. Brierley Horton, MS, RD of Director of Food and Nutrition, has shared her valuable insights on the combinations of food items. She strongly recommends the following list of wholesome food duos that ought to be paired together to gain maximum health benefits.
Include These Combination of Foods In Your Diet
Iron + vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants and has multiple benefits ranging from reducing the risk of serious diseases to accelerating growth and development of body tissues and muscles. Research suggests that consuming this water-soluble vitamin along with iron expedites the absorption process of the latter into our bodies.
Try: Berry Green Smoothie. The spinach is rich in iron, while the berries provide vitamin C.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K + healthy fats
These four fat-soluble vitamins in our diet that do not dissolve in water like the water-soluble vitamins. They are present in high-fat foods, and thus eating them along with the fat is a more effective way of absorbing them in your body.
Try: A spinach, bacon, and gruyere breakfast strata. The spinach, dairy, and eggs are all immunity-boosting foods that provide the four vitamins. Bacon and milk provide a good amount of fat.
Meat + rosemary
Red meat and processed meat are good sources of protein, but they are also infamous for increasing the chances of stomach and colorectal cancers. There are certain chemicals in addition to the nitrate preservatives that make them carcinogenic. When you cook meat at high temperatures, it forms chemical compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs can cause certain types of cancers. Thus, it is recommended to pair your all-meat diet with rosemary. Rosemary is a favourite seasoning for many dishes, and it is rich in antioxidants that can prevent the formation of HCAs.
Try: Olive-Oil Basted Grass-Fed Strip Steak. The red meat is cooked in high heat without compromising on the taste, but it also contains sprigs of rosemary for the health benefits.
Calcium+ inulin fibre
Calcium not only keeps your teeth and bones healthy, but it is also an essential nutrient for your muscles, nerves, and even heart. When you pair your calcium intake with inulin fibre-rich food items, it results in better consolidation of calcium in your body. This helps to enhance your bone mineral mass and density. Inulin fibre is a type of natural dietary fibre that is known for improving your gut health, among several other benefits. Examples of inulin fibre-rich foods include bananas, asparagus, leeks, garlic, etc.
Try: Potato along with Leek Gratin. Leeks are an inulin fiber-rich food item, where cheese contains a high dose of calcium.
Vitamin D + calcium
Vitamin D has multiple benefits like keeping your immune system in an excellent condition, helping to maintain strong teeth and bones, reducing depression, etc. This fat-soluble vitamin is also known for helping our body to absorb calcium better. Vitamin D sources are limited in food. Fish liver oils and certain types of fishes contain a good amount of this essential vitamin.
Try: Smoked salmon breakfast casserole. The cheese likewise provides calcium, while the tasty fish is rich in vitamin D.
Zinc + vitamin A
Zinc is vital for many important health-related issues, including metabolism, DNA synthesis, and immunity. It also has an intimate relationship with vitamin A as it helps with absorption, transport, and synthesis of the latter.
Try: Roasted Oysters with Pancetta. Pair them with a side of Balsamic Onion and Thyme Carrots. Rich in zinc and vitamin A.
Green tea + lemon
Green tea contains an abundance of antioxidants. It is one of the healthiest drinks you can have and certainly tops the chart in the numerous varieties of tea when it comes to health benefits. Green tea contains catechins (like EGCG), which are polyphenols known for their anti-carcinogenic effects. They also repair cell damages and are good for metabolism.
A study conducted by Purdue University revealed that adding lemon juice to your green tea not only infuses that quintessential citric flavour into it but also the absorption rate of antioxidants redoubles by a whopping 5 times.
Try: Green tea and lemon
Fruit + chocolate or red wine
This is one combination that no one will turn down for sure. Fruits like apples and grapes are important immunity-boosting foods, which are rich in an antioxidant called quercetin that has several biological properties. Just like green tea, red wine, and chocolates also contain catechins. When you pair these combination of foods , the benefits are enormous. They help regulate your cardiovascular system preventing heart diseases resulting from blood clots.
Try: A bar of dark chocolate with a glass of wine or 1/2 cup of raspberries.
Turmeric + black Pepper
Turmeric is a common spice in our household kitchen. It contains a chemical called curcumin that lends the yellow colour to it. Curcumin is hard to absorb, and that is why it is needed to be twinned with piperine, which is found in black pepper. It is because piperine improves the amount of curcumin absorption into your bloodstream by 1000 times. Curcumin has multifarious advantages like anti-inflammatory functions, improving heart conditions, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Try: Corn Cakes with Bacon and Turmeric Yogurt