Power Food Pairings

Cereal with milk. Tomatoes and olive oil. Some foods just seem meant for each other, and according to many health experts, they are! Certain vitamins and mineral are most effective when eaten together. By pairing certain foods together we can help our bodies absorb, store and utilize nutrients, and your likely eating some of these combos already!

LEMON &SPINACH

Spinach is packed with a plant-based form of IRON that is not easily absorbed by the human body. VITAMIN C, found in high concentration in citrus fruit, changes the molecular structure of this type of iron, making it more digestible

*Similar options include: Orange juice and fortified oatmeal, or broccoli and tofu.

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA  (A personal favourite!)

Bananas are loaded with POTASSIUM, which causes the body to retain less of the SODIUM found in salty foods like peanut butter. When potassium enters our cells, sodium exits, and vice versa. So make sure you put more banana of your sandwich than peanut butter because too much sodium can result in hypertension and water retention.

*Similar options include: Soy sauce and tuna, caesar dressing and romaine lettuce.

TOMATO & OLIVE OIL

Red coloured foods such as tomatoes and watermelon contain LYCOPENE, a powerful antioxidant that needs to be paired with FAT in order to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocados, fish and nuts are healthiest.

*Similar options include: Pink grapefruit and avocado, cooked tomatoes and salmon.

WHOLE-GRAIN CEREAL & MILK

Dairy products, seeds (sesame, pumpkin, flax and chia) and dark leafy greens contain CALCIUM, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Without MAGNESIUM, found in whole grains, nuts, and soy, your bones and teeth cannot retain calcium long enough for the mineral to do its job effectively.

*Similar options include: Whole-wheat bread and cheese, brown rice and kale.

CHICKEN & CARROTS

ZINC found in poultry, shellfish, milk, nuts, and beans, produces a protein that transports VITAMIN A (found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens) to the retina. The retina needs vitamin A to make retinal, a molecule necessary for low-light and colour vision.

*Similar options include: Dark-meat turkey and sweet potatoes, or beans and cheddar cheese.

I know not all of these food pairs may be appealing to everyone, but there are lots of options! Use this information and come up with your own combinations that work for you!

Sources: marthastewart.com-Healthy Living News. April, 2012

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