Mother Earth Living

The Secret Science of Food Synergy

Some foods become more nutritious when paired together. Use this guide to learn about food matches made in heaven.
By Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, M.D
September/October 2014
Add to My MSN

Eat tomatoes with olive oil to boost cancer- and heart disease-fighting compounds.
Photo by iStock
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Save a Buck the Frugal Foodie Way

The Frugal Foodie Cookbook (Viva Edtions, 2009) offers excellent recipes and tips for the everyday c...

Live Well: Food, Herbs and Your Health

Whether you're worried about the effects of aging or just looking to be healthier every day, the foo...

In The News: Cantaloupe Linked to the Deadliest Listeria Outbreak in a Decade

Get all the information about how to protect yourself from the latest listeria outbreak.

For Your Health: 4 Superfoods for Women

Learn how to incoporate healthy, antioxidant-rich superfoods into your daily meals.

Many of the dishes humans have eaten for generations—such as rice and beans, or tomatoes drizzled with olive oil—have withstood the test of time not simply because the ingredients taste delicious together. Health experts believe we enjoy these combinations because they’re more nutritious together than they are on their own. The concept is called “food synergy,” and it explains how two foods can be greater than the sum of their parts. Here are some of the most powerful food synergies currently known to science.

Fish + Broccoli

Fish contains the mineral selenium, and broccoli is rich in a disease-fighting compound known as sulforaphane. Research shows that selenium and sulforaphane together are 13 times more effective at slowing cancer cell growth than when eaten alone.

Bananas + Yogurt

Bananas contain inulin; research indicates inulin fuels the growth of yogurt’s healthy bacteria, which helps regulate digestion and boost immunity.

Tomatoes + Olive Oil or Cheese

Cancer- and heart disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids (the most well-known of which is lycopene) are found in abundance in tomatoes. Because they’re fat-soluble, they’re more available to our bodies when
we eat them with fats such as olive oil or mozzarella.

Vinegar + Rice

Vinegar decreases rice’s ability to raise blood sugar levels by 20 to 40 percent. Consider eating a stir-fry with a vinegar- based sauce or a brown rice casserole with a salad and vinegar dressing.

Apples + Cranberries

These Thanksgiving staples are rich in a wide variety of antioxidants, including quercetin and anthocyanidins; research shows that when we eat these foods together, their antioxidant activity is significantly higher than if we eat the foods separately.

Green Tea+ Lemon

The vitamin C in lemon makes more of the catechins (a type of antioxidant) in green tea available to our bodies.

Raspberries + Chocolate

Scientists have discovered that when raspberries and chocolate are paired together, their disease-fighting flavonoids (quercetin in raspberries and catechin in chocolate) are even more effective at thinning the blood and improving heart health.

Turmeric + Black Pepper

The spice turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties—it’s being studied for its potential to fight cancer, improve liver function, lower cholesterol and stave off Alzheimer’s disease. When we combine it with black pepper, our bodies absorb 1,000 times more curcumin (turmeric’s active ingredient) than when turmeric is consumed alone.

Blueberries + Walnuts

Blueberries contain phytochemicals known as anthocyanins that protect the brain from oxidative damage, and walnuts are a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids that help make us smarter. Research has shown that these compounds are even more powerful at sharpening memory and improving communication between brain cells when they work together.

Whole Grain Bread+ Peanut Butter

Together, these two foods contain all nine of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build bones, muscles and hormones.

Chicken + Carrots

Chicken contains zinc, which is what our bodies need to efficiently metabolize the beta-carotene in carrots into vitamin A, a nutrient we need for healthy skin, strong eyes and a robust immune system.

Garlic + Onions

The organosulfur compounds in garlic and onions are more powerful in combination than alone. Together, they help remove plaque from arteries and keep blood vessels flexible and healthy.

Rosemary + Steak

Marinate your steak with rosemary before cooking: The herb is rich in antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid that help neutralize carcinogenic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that form when steak reaches temperatures of 325 degrees or higher.

Eggs + Cheese or Milk

The vitamin D in egg yolks makes the calcium in dairy more available to our bodies—important for bones and heart health as well. A study conducted by Mother Earth News in 2008 confirmed that pastured hens lay eggs with higher concentrations of vitamin D than those raised in confinement. Learn more at motherearthnews.com/eggs.

Oatmeal + Oranges

Phenols (a plant compound) in oatmeal and vitamin C in oranges both lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eaten together, their ability to improve cholesterol and prevent heart disease is four times greater than what they’re capable of individually. (Try cooking oatmeal in orange juice instead of water.)

Salmon + Red Wine

Plant compounds in grapes known as polyphenols do more than promote good circulation—they also help our bodies absorb more of the brain-healthy omega-3s in fish.

Garlic + Fish

Both of these foods fight inflammation and disease, but together, they’re even more powerful: Research has shown that a combination of garlic and fish lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol more effectively than eating the foods on their own.

Lemon + Spinach

The vitamin C in lemons helps our bodies absorb more of spinach’s plant-based iron, a mineral that prevents mood swings and promotes happiness.

Red Wine + Almonds

Together, the antioxidant resveratrol in red wine and the vitamin E in almonds boost the body’s ability to thin the blood and improve the health of blood vessel linings.

Beet Greens + Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a good source of vitamin B6, which helps our bodies absorb the magnesium found in beet greens (B6 helps facilitate the transport of magnesium across cell membranes). These nutrients work together in the body to ease the symptoms of PMS and ADHD.

Broccoli + Pine Nuts

The vitamin C in broccoli helps keep the vitamin E in pine nuts active and potent.


Excerpted from The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body by Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, M.D.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 

valerykenery
8/29/2014 12:04:10 AM
Buy from us Today and Earn Big ! We supply All brand of mobile phones like Apple,Samsung, Blackberry in wholesalers To Europe, USA , UK (London etc.),Europe, Asia, Africa,Oceanian E.t.c WE OFFER : Buy 2 units of Apple iPhone 5s 64GB --@ $400 Each = $800 USD and get 1 unit FREE Buy 4 units of Apple iPhone 5s 64GB --@ $380 Each = $1,520 USD and get 2 units FREE Buy 5 units of Apple iPhone 5s 64GB --@ $350 Each = $1,750 USD and get 3 units FREE Buy 2 units of Samsung Galaxy S5 32GB --@ $800 USD and get 1 unit FREE Samsung Galaxy Alpha (Unlocked)--$400 Try Us Today , A Trial will convince you !!! Why buy from us ? * Your privacy is guaranteed * Our prices are second to none * Insurance Secured Transactions * We ship Monday to Saturday. * Free shipping to any country . * We offer a reasonable discount on bulk purchase * We ship the same day after confirmation of payment. * We offer a 45-days return policy and a 100% money back guarantee. Why waiting ? Contact Us Today Skype ID : averteclimited www.averteclimited.com

Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM
We've known that pairing foods makes them more nutritious so that you're better able to absorb the vitamins and minerals in them. There are a few pairings in this short article that I didn't know about. I've been sprinkling vinegar on spinach, but after reading this I'll switch to lemon.








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.