We all know the nutritional benefits of certain foods. But did you know that choosing the right foods to combine them with can make them even healthier?
Here are seven easy food pairings that your body will thank you for:
Avocado and tomato
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties - and the monounsaturated fat in avocados boosts lycopene’s effectiveness by up to four times. The combination also gives you almost three times more of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which boosts immunity.
Asparagus and parmesan cheese
Inulin (a type of fibre found in asparagus and leeks) helps calcium absorption – so topping it with cheese (a good source of calcium) will be good for your bones. The magical combination of inulin and calcium also helps to balance the levels of ‘friendly’ bacteria in your body, helping with digestion.
Bananas and yoghurt
Combining bananas with a zinc-rich food like yoghurt maximises your body’s absorption of glucose and amino acids –which in turn will help to strengthen your muscles and speed up muscle recovery.
Leafy greens and orange juice
You can enhance your body’s absorption of iron by drinking juice high in Vitamin C (such as orange juice) or eating other foods rich in the vitamin (such as tomatoes, peppers and broccoli) at the same time. Leafy greens like spinach – and starchy beans and chickpeas – are great sources of iron.
Green tea and lemon
Green tea is already rich in catechins – a natural antioxidant. But adding a slice of lemon – or even better, a squeeze of lemon juice – to your daily cup can increase the benefit of these catechins by up to five times.
Green leaf salad and olive oil
Salads that are full of tomatoes and leafy greens like spinach are high in carotenoid antioxidants, which are thought to decrease the risk of eye disease and certain cancers. Adding a healthy fat like olive oil or avocado will help your body to absorb these even better.
Salmon and cheese
Yes, we get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight. But salmon has the most Vitamin D of any food – and this vitamin helps calcium to be absorbed by the body. So next time you bake it, why not top it with some cheddar – or next time you make an omelette (egg yolks are a good source of Vitamin D, too), why not make it a cheese one?