Dynamic Duos: Foods to pair together for maximum benefit
Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Pair these foods together to maximize nutrient absorption!
Peanut butter and jelly or guacamole and tortilla chips, some food sources are best when paired together. Just like how combining certain foods together can boost flavor, it can also help you absorb certain nutrients more effectively. Take a look below for 5 different food pairings with meal or snack examples that can help you get the most nutrients out of what you eat!
Healthy Fats + Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins can be placed into two categories, fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K have an increased bioavailability when paired with healthy fat sources. Some sources these fat-soluble vitamins can be found in produce like carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes. For example, you can add healthy fats like avocados or oil-based dressings into salads to better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins found in the colorful veggies. Another example is a delicious snack combo of olive-oil based hummus and carrot sticks.
Turmeric and Black Pepper
Black pepper and the golden spice, turmeric both have active components(curcmin in turmeric and piperine in black pepper) that contribute to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. When coupled up, piperine may help enhance the absorption of curcumin found in tumeric that has been linked to improving arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. My favorite ways to use this power duo is in my Golden Galore Milk. I also like to add a dash of turmeric and black pepper into rice which also adds a beautiful golden hue.
Vitamin C and Plant-Based Iron
Non-heme iron found in plant-foods like spinach is less readily absorbable than heme iron found in sources like meat, poultry, seafood. When paired with vitamin C rich produce, non-heme iron plant sources are more efficiently absorbed. A perfect example of this duo is spinach(iron) and strawberry (vitmain C) salad, roasted bell peppers(vitamin C) and beans(iron), or lentils(iron) with drizzle of lemon juice(vitamin C).
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D is needed to help absorb calcium for functions like bone development in children and maintaining bone health in adults. This power duo is found in many dairy based products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Not a fan of dairy? You can also find this duo in fortified foods like orange juice, soy milk and cereals or foods like kale(calcium) and salmon(vitamin D). My favorite way to enjoy this pair is breakfast eggs(vitamin D in egg yolks) with cheese (calcium) or quick yogurt smoothie on-the-go.
Grilled Meat and Herbs
This dynamic duo can help protect your body from cancer producing compounds. When cooking meat over high heat such as grilling, cancer producing compounds like HCA's(heterocyclic amines) can be produced. Adding fresh herbs to the meat marinade can help reduce the exposure to those cancer-causing compounds due to the antioxidant properties of herbs. Rosemary and cilantro are some of my favorite aromatic herbs to pair with grilled meat.
Bottom line- It is important to enjoy a well balanced diet to get exposed to a variety of nutrients your body needs. Including these food parings in your daily meal or snack choices can be a great way to boost food variety and nutrients.
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