As I was cleaning my desk, I found a couple articles that contained great information about how the combination of specific foods can have great health benefits and here are some of the highlights that I wanted to share with you. Several studies have show that the pairing of particular food items can help increase the amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body absorbs. These food pairings are often referred to as “power couples” or “synergy of nutrients”.
Sulforaphane + Selenium = cancer fighting team!
Sulforaphane is an antioxidant in cruciferous vegetables and is up to 13 times more effective at fighting cancer-causing free radicals when paired with the mineral selenium, then when used separately.
Foods with Sulforaphane: broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, watercress, kale.
Foods with Selenium: nuts, poultry, seafood, eggs, sunflower seeds, mushrooms.
NutriFit Power Couples: Kale and Mushroom Soup, Harvest Turkey Wrap, Hungarian Stuffed Turkey Loaf, Chinese Dim Sum.
Lycopene and Vitamin E
The combination of these two antioxidants can reduce the rate that the body breaks down LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by as much as half, which may cut down your risk of heart disease.
Foods with Lycopene: tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, guava, papaya
Foods with Vitamin E: wheat germ oil, spinach, almonds, turnip greens, peanuts,
NutriFit Power Couples: Spicy Citrus & Jicama Salad, Tropical Dried Fruit & Nut Mix, Papaya Salsa, Stuffed Tomatoes with Creamed Spinach.
Avocado with any Vegetable
You’ll absorb four times more lutein, eight times more alpha-carotene and 13 times more beta-carotene by consuming veggies with a half-cup of avocado.
NutriFit Power Couples: Avocado, Corn & Tomato Salsa, Eggs Mimosa, Mango Avocado Salad, Taboulleh with Avocado Wrap.
Vitamin C and Iron
Paring items rich in vitamin C can increase the amount of iron the body absorbs. Low levels of iron can lead to fatigue and make you more vulnerable to infections.
Foods rich in Vitamin C: red/green peppers, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, oranges, papaya, mango, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, potatoes, tomato products.
Iron rich foods: lean red meats, seafood, beans, whole grains, greens.
NutriFit Power Couples: Pan Wilted Balsamic Greens, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, Peppers & Greens, Super Foods Veggie Delight.
Inulin and Bifidus
Inulin, a type of carbohydrate, serves as nourishment for beneficial bacteria, such as yogurt’s Bifidus, which aids digestion and boosts immunity.
Inulin foods: leeks, artichokes, asparagus, onions, garlic, bananas, wheat, rye.
NutriFit Power Couples: Banana and Orange Oatmeal, Thai Tofu Kabobs, Pasta, Corn & Leek Salad.
- Redmond, Cheryl. EatingWell. August/September, 2005.
2. Molvar, Kari. Self.com. January, 2005.