Food pairings are not something we really consciously think about. Sure, we know hummus and red peppers works and we know salmon is delicious with spinach and pasta. We also know of very strangely wonderful food pairings that others may scoff at, but tastes magical together. Ever tried a hummus and peanut butter sandwich? Knowing what to eat is one thing, but knowing what foods should be consumed with other foods for the maximum health benefits is entirely new information for many of us.
According to recent reports, some vitamins and minerals are more effective when eaten together. This means taking your produce and adding a bit of creativity to your meals. The results are a healthier and tastier meal!
Here are a few suggestions:
Spinach Needs Vitamin C
If you eat spinach alone you’re missing out on a lot of the potent iron which isn’t easily absorbed by your body. If you combine plant-based iron foods, however, with vitamin C-rich options, the iron becomes much more digestible. Try a spinach and grapefruit salad. Or combine orange slices with spinach and black bean pasta to add even more fiber, which spinach already has in abundance.
Calcium and Magnesium
Consuming enough calcium is a challenge for many women. And if you just try to down it in one glass – whether of the cow or non-dairy variety – you might be missing out on an important piece of the puzzle. For the calcium to be absorbed into your body you need to consume it with magnesium. (This is why most calcium supplements now contain magnesium as well.) So try adding magnesium-rich grains to your dairy (whole grain cereal or bread with milk). Or, if your calcium is coming from greens like kale, be sure to balance it out with some whole grains like wild or brown rice.
Tomatoes and Heart Healthy Fat
Raw tomatoes are delicious, but when cooked, tomatoes release even more nutrients. When you pair a cooked tomato with a fat, such as olive oil, you’re able to absorb more lycopene in the system. This isn’t the only product variety that prefers to be consumed with a bit of healthy fat. Grapefruit is also better utilized when you combine it with a healthy fat. Try it with Greek yogurt or toss a salad with grapefruit and almonds.