Tomatoes and Broccdi
While both tomatoes and broccoli are highly nutritious on their own, when combined they offer supercharged cancer fighting ability. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an important nutrient that is a natural cancer preventative. The sulphur contained in broccoli helps to eliminate tumor-causing toxins. Together they offer a powerhouse of nutritional protection. According to research published in the journal, Cancer Research, this combination has a startling effect on the slow- down of prostate tumor growth in rats. Researchers say that this happens because the different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti- cancer pathways. Chopping and heating the vegetables makes the cancer fighting compounds more active. Pasta with fresh tomato sauce eaten with a plate of steamed broccoli is a good way of packing in the punch of both vegetables.
Green tea is very high in antioxidants. However, just by adding a little bit of lemon to your tea you will help you absorb up to 13 times the amount of antioxidants you receive. The citric acid and vitamin C in the lemon increase the efficacy of the catechins in the green tea. This is beneficial in boosting immunity, reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Carrots offer beta-carotene, or the provitamin-A, which, according to research, offers protective benefits against cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Nutrition scientists say that the beta-carotene in carrots and other colored vegetables (bell peppers, cherry tomatoes) are oil soluble, so adding olive oil to your vegetables will enable you to absorb more of it. As the beta-carotene dissolves in oil, absorption into the body is facilitated. Eating a bowl full of a grated carrot and apple salad with an olive oil dressing is one way of packing in plenty of nutrition. Carrots sautéed in olive oil is another option.
Apart from providing your body the perfect mix of nutrients and oxidants, almonds are good for the heart since they have been shown to lower LDL or “ bad” cholesterol, which is important for heart health. The apricot is rich in easily- digestible natural sugars, vitamins A and C, riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3) and is also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and traces of sodium, sulphur, manganese, cobalt and bromine. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and when paired with apricots that are rich in vitamin C, provide a boost to both the cardiovascular and immune system. The absorption of vitamin E is enhanced by vitamin C, and almonds have both vitamin E and selenium. Both apricots and almonds come from the same family, the prunus group, which also contains plums, cherries and peaches, so it’s perhaps not surprising that they should work so well together.
The color of green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach can be attributed to their high chlorophyll content. These vegetables are rich in magnesium, which is essential for healthy metabolism as well as strong bones, healthy muscles and nerves. Sources of probiotics, such as live yogurt, boost the bioavailability of magnesium because they help ‘release’ the mineral in the food, say nutritional experts. Yogurt also helps in the absorption of magnesium, calcium and iron though interest is focused on calcium since a lack of this damages the bones, often irreversibly. That’s why green vegetables and calcium rich yogurt are an ideal combination. Dress a green bean or broccoli salad with a yogurt dressing or make a cold yogurt spinach dish with raisins to make the most of this combo.
This extremely popular combination is a favorite in Britain. The balance of protein, carbohydrate and vitamins makes it a hit among the British. The essential fatty acids in the fish help protect the vitamin C in the potato chips. Fish fats also contain vitamin E, which is complemented perfectly by the vitamin C, to some extent recycling each other and extending each other’s life.
Rice is rich in starch, iron, vitamin B and protein, while beans are also protein rich and contain a good amount of iron and other minerals. The consumption of two in tandem provides essential amino acids, creating a complete protein not available in either alone. Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein, available in different foods. Combining sources of proteins from cereals with those coming from pulses provides the full complement of essential amino acids. Other such nutritious combinations are a whole meal peanut butter sandwich, beans on toast or whole-wheat pita bread and hummus.
Spinach and oranges are both considered to be super foods because of their antioxidant capacity and superior nutrition. But if you really want to boost your ability to absorb the iron that is contained in your spinach salad, add some oranges to it. They taste delicious together, but more importantly the vitamin C will help your body to absorb up to twice as much iron from the same amount of spinach.
Apples are high in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant. When combined with the catechins in blueberries, grapes or acai berries, both react together in the body to stop platelet clumping, which can prevent heart attacks and strokes. When you combine apples with berries, you will absorb more of the important antioxidants in a much smaller serving than if you were to consume either the berries or the apple on its own.
If you want to live long and healthy, there couldn’t be a better alternative than help your body absorb vital nutrition through such time-tested food combinations.
Food combinations to avoid
- Don’t eat fruit, especially melons, with any other food (including vegetables). They’re too acidic. They sit and ferment while slowing digestion of other foods.
- Don’t combine proteins with starchy carbohydrates. They interfere with each other’s digestion. Hence, eat protein-only or carbohydrate-only meals. For example, breakfast might be an egg omelette with turkey bacon, or a fruit smoothie with a banana.
- Drink only pure water before, during, and after a meal.
- Do not add excessive fats to proteins (i.e. cooking fish and chicken in excessive butter or serving with a creamy sauce).
- Do not consume starch and sugar foods together, like jam on toast or honey on oatmeal.
*Based on these rules, food combinations to avoid include: bread or potatoes with butter; rolls or toast with bacon; cereals with cream or milk; steak, chicken or fish with potatoes, bread or rice; rolls and hot dogs; whipped cream or any cream on starchy desserts; pork with baked beans; or vinegar and oil dressing with chicken on a salad.