Nature takes care of us in funny ways. Not only does it provide a huge range of fruit and vegetables, potent with health-giving nutrients, it also gives us the opportunity to boost these benefits further when 2 or more foods are combined. Try out these food pairings which taste great together and compliment each other’s natural health benefits.
Bread + balsamic vinegar
Bread and balsamic vinegar is a great way to help you feel full for longer, compared with eating bread alone. Bread contains simple carbohydrates which, after digestion, cause glucose levels to rise , then drop rapidly. This drop leaves us feeling hungry and weak, and often leading us to eat more. If trying to lose weight, it is important to choose foods which leave you feeling full to avoid excessive snacking. The balsamic vinegar helps to control the glucose spike, leaving you feeling fuller for longer and reducing the impact that the drop in glucose has on your body.
Green tea + lemon
Green tea has long been used to for its antioxidant properties, acting against free radicals and cleansing and purifying the body. When drunk, however, the antioxidants- catechins, start to break down in the body. Adding just a squeeze of lemon to your green tea tops up its vitamin C content, slowing down the breakdown of the catechins and letting them work their antioxidant magic for longer.
Tomatoes + olive oil
Tomatoes are a great food for helping to give your immune system a boost, thanks to their high levels of vitamin C. They are also a good source of beta-carotene, which also strengthens the immune system, but this can only be absorbed by the body if eaten alongside a source of fat. Fortunately, a drizzle of olive oil is all you need for your body to make the most of that precious beta-carotene, so throw together a tasty salad and enjoy.
Yoghurt + bananas
If you’re prone to stomach or digestive problems, combining bananas and yoghurt is a good way to maintain better digestive health than eating yoghurt alone. Yoghurt is a source of probiotic bacteria, which regulates a healthy digestive tract. However, prebiotics are also required to feed these helpful bacteria and help them do their job. Bananas are a good source of oligofructose, a natural prebiotic which supports the growth of probiotic bacteria, helping them to stave off indigestion and other stomach problems.
Brown rice + onion + garlic
Adding some sautéed onion and garlic to a serving of brown rice doesn’t just give it more flavour. The high levels of sulphur found in garlic and onions has been shown to increase the absorption of the zinc and iron found in the grains. This helps to boost the immune system, lift energy levels and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Beetroot leaves + chickpeas
A lot of things can affect your mood, but many people don’t realise that magnesium plays a large role in decreasing anxiety levels and promoting a more positive outlook. Magnesium levels can be topped up by eating plenty of beetroot leaves, while chickpeas are full of vitamin B6, which maximises the body’s absorption of magnesium.
Egg + cheese
We’ve all grown up being told how important calcium is in promoting healthy bones. But in order for our bodies to absorb it efficiently, we need a sufficient vitamin D intake too. Vitamin D occurs naturally in high levels in egg yolk, so, when eaten with cheese, allows the calcium to be absorbed easily. Along with bone health, sufficient levels of calcium help to stabilize hormones, making this pairing particularly helpful for women suffering with PMS.
Apples + raspberries
When it comes to harnessing the antioxidant power of fruit, it can’t get any more effective than the pairing of apples and raspberries. Studies have shown that ellagic acid- an antioxidant found in raspberries, as well as pomegranates, walnuts and cranberries, significantly enhances the ability of quercetin, an antioxidant found in apples, onions and grapes, to kill off and slow the growth of cancerous cells. Fruit has long been used for its antioxidant, cancer-preventing properties but it now appears that eating fruit in these powerful combinations is the best way to keep sickness away. Try combining sliced apples, raspberries, grapes, walnuts and pomegranate seeds in a fruit salad for a real health boost.
Image sourced: Alpha
tagsfood pairingshealthy eatingnatural treatmentsorganic food