Nutritionists highly recommend eating a balanced diet so we can maximize their nutritional and health benefits. There is a reason why people recommend certain food combinations, and researchers and nutritionists couldn’t agree more.
Here are 10 Best Food Combinations that give the best health benefits:
1. Tomatoes + Avocadoes
Lycopene, which is a pigment-rich antioxidant known as a carotenoid, is found in tomatoes. It decreases cancer risk and lessens the risk for cardiovascular disease. Fats, which is present in avocadoes, help these carotenoids to become more available for the human body. This is why adding tomatoes to your guacamole is best. Guacomole is a dish of mashed avocado combined with tomatoes, chopped onions, chili peppers and seasoning. Since avocado is rich in fats (vegetable fat), it is best when combined with tomatoes.
2. Oatmeal + Orange Juice
A study from the Antioxidants Research Lab at the USDA revealed that a drink of orange juice and eating oatmeal cleans the arteries and prevents heart attacks with two times as much efficacy than eating either breakfast staple alone. The phenols found in orange juice and oatmeal, even out the LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) when taken together.
3. Broccoli + Tomatoes
This combination prevents prostate cancer according to a new study. However, the reason why has not yet been identified. “We know that tomato powder lowers the growth of tumors. We know that broccoli does, too. And we know they’re better together. But it’s going to take years to find out why”, says John W. Erdman Jr., Ph.D., of the University of Illinois.
4. Apples + Chocolate
Red apples are high in quercetin which is a flavonoid known to be an anti-inflammatory agent. It also reduces the risk of heart attack, Parkinson’s disease, prostate and lung cancers, and allergies. Chocolates, red wine, grapes, and tea, conversely, contain the flavonoid catechin. This is an antioxidant which lessens the risks of cancer and arteriosclerosis. Quercetin and catechins, when taken together loosen clustering blood platelets because it has anti-coagulant properties. This improves cardiovascular health according to a study by Barry Halliwell, Ph.D. , chief food science professor at the National University of Singapore.
5. Peanuts + Whole Wheat
These two food items surely complement each other because the specific amino acids not found in wheat are actually present in peanuts, according to Diane Birt, Ph.D., a food synergy expert and a professor at Iowa State University. To sum it up, while this food combination shows only what Birt terms as a “loose definition” of food synergy, it proves that peanut butter sandwich is not junk food if whole wheat bread is used instead of white bread. Just make sure you eat it in moderation.
6. Red Meat + Rosemary
Open flame grilling is known to be carcinogenic, but if you add spices like the herb rosemary, you can lighten the cancer-causing effects of the charred flesh. Herb rosemary contains the antioxidants carnosic and rosmarinic acid, which decreases the amount of the cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (or HCAs) that comes out of the charred meat when grilling at 375°F to 400°F according to a Kansas State University study.
7. Turmeric + Black Pepper
Turmeric is known for its anticancer properties, tumor-fighting activities and anti-inflammatory effects. According to Stacy Kennedy of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, a setback with using turmeric to improve health is its low bioavailability when eaten alone. The good news is adding black pepper to turmeric improves curcumin’s (the active agent in turmeric) bioavailability by 1000 times. This is the black pepper’s hot ingredient called piperine.
8. Fish + Garlic
The minerals iron, zinc, iodine, copper and selenium in fish work as co-factors to make the best use of its natural anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-reducing fish oils DHA and EPA. When fish is cooked with garlic, it decreases the total cholesterol better than eating fillets or garlic cloves alone.
9. Eggs + Cantaloupe
Eggs and cantaloupe may not be a popular combination for most Asians, but eating them together for breakfast makes you feel full and prevents the sudden increase of blood sugar. According to Kennedy, an essential food synergy is the formed when eating protein found in eggs with foods that contain beneficial carbohydrates like cantaloupes. This synergy aids by reducing insulin and blood sugar spikes, which is followed by a breaking down, zapping energy. The absorption of glucose is slowed down and you feel that you are already full which prevents overeating and indigestion.
10. Yoghurt + Almonds
Yoghurt and almonds is a popular breakfast or snack combination. Not only is it tasty but it eating them together activates the fat soluble vitamins. Yoghurt is rich in Vitamin D while almonds have good fat.
While these food combinations give the best health benefits, always remember to eat any food in moderation. And while nutritionists recommend eating a variety of foods, it is also important to know that there are food combinations that are not only bad, but may pose a risk to our health.