Salt and pepper. Sugar and spice. Peanut butter and jelly. Some things were just made to go together. But did you know that certain food combinations are healthier together than they are alone?
Men’s Health Magazine reports that this phenomenon is called food synergy, and can be applied to oatmeal and orange juice, olive oil and tomatoes, and raw fish and soybeans. While we are so familiar with these food combinations that we rarely give a thought to how they came to be, Men’s Health goes on to suggest that these cooperative pairings might have been the intuitive product of testing by evolution. This testing-through-lifestyle might explain the commonly puzzled over fact that people who eat traditional diets live longer, healthier lives.
Food Combination For Health
Armed with this knowledge, you can use the science behind food combination to create better snacks and meals. Try out one of these scientifically approved combined foods for your next snack:
- Tomato and Avocado – This Mediterranean-influenced snack has more benefits than just delicious flavor. Researchers have found that lycopene, an essential nutrient that is found in tomatoes, is better absorbed when combined with fat. This can be in the form of avocado, olive oil, nuts, or cheese.
- Citrus Fruit and Oats – Oats are great because they are high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. But that fiber benefit can be multiplied by a whopping dose of Vitamin C, like the amount found in citrus fruit. When the fiber in oats combines with the vitamin C in citrus, oxidation of LDL cholesterol can be prevented.
- Blueberries and Walnuts – Respectively, blueberries and walnuts are both super foods. So it is no surprise that this food combination is off-the-wall powerful. The combined medley of polyphenols can help keep the brain strong by warding off inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Apples and Chocolate – An apple with chocolate a day keeps the doctor away? Researchers have found that the chemicals in apples, which have the anti-inflammatory flavonoids quercetins, and chocolate, with the antioxidant catechin, combine to improve cardiovascular health by supporting anticoagulation and loosening blood platelets.
- Peanuts and Whole Wheat – There is no question that peanut butter and bread is a winning combination. But this childhood staple is more than just a tasty after school snack. Researchers at Iowa State found that peanuts possess the amino acid that is missing in wheat, making peanut butter sandwiches on wheat bread a complete protein.
Why have one healthy ingredient when you can have two? Combining foods is an easy way to get a quick, powerful health boost at snack time.
- “The Most Powerful Food Combinations”, Men’s Health
- “Surprising Food Combos That Boost Your Health”, Redbook