Food synergy - Supercharge your superfoods!

Most people these days have a pretty good grasp of what foods are good for us and what foods aren't. But did you know that pairing certain foods can increase the benefit of both, many times over? This is what I like to call food synergy; simply put this is where 1 + 1 = 3. 

Here's a bunch of food pairings that really do work well together; my personal favourite is the red wine and almonds.. :-)

Steak + Rosemary
The Health Benefit: Neutralizing of carcinogens created when meat is cooked above 325 degrees Fahrenheit 

Why It Works: Rosemary is rich in rosmarinic and carnosic acids that stop cancer-causing heterocyclic amines from forming on cooked meat. Many health conscious people have a lot of concerns about eating grilled meat. "This combination is one way that I like to use food synergy to increase the health of a dish."

Beet Greens + Chickpeas

The Health Benefit: Natural mood boost from a much-needed mineral

Why It Works: Magnesium is essential for low anxiety and happiness, but 70 percent of Americans don't get enough. Beet greens are loaded with the calming mineral, and the B6 in chickpeas maximizes magnesium absorption in the body.

Fish + Broccoli

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to stifle cancer growth 

Why It Works: Many fish, salmon, and mackerel are rich in the thyroid-protecting, cancer-fighting mineral selenium. When paired with broccoli, a veggie rich in sulforaphane, the compounds are 13 times more effective in slowing cancer cell growth than when eaten solo.

Red Wine + Almonds
The Health Benefit: A natural combo that keeps your heart happy

Why It Works: The antioxidant resveratrol in red wine and almond's naturally high levels of vitamin E work together to thin the blood and improve blood vessel health.

Green Tea + Lemon

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to sip your way to natural cancer prevention while jump-starting weight loss

Why It Works: Vitamin C-rich lemons help to maximize your body's ability to absorb catechins, the heroic disease-fighting antioxidant found in green tea.

Turmeric & Black Pepper
The Health Benefit: Superstar spice combo erases inflammation and could ward off Alzheimer's disease and cancer while combating high cholesterol and improving liver function

Why It Works: Turmeric is one spice that everyone needs to use. Just be sure to combine it with black pepper, which helps your body absorb a thousand times more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. 

Pastured Pork + Sauerkraut
The Health Benefit: Non-starchy and fermented veggies/animal protein combo will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track

Why It Works: Steering clear of starches when eating meat will help your digestive system focus on breaking down the animal protein, boosting absorption and reducing uncomfortable bloating, heartburn, gas, and stomach pain. Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, bolster digestion-friendly probiotics in your body, building up your immune system in the process. As a general rule of thumb, Gates notes that animal protein meals go best with non-starchy vegetables like green beans, broccoli, kale, collards, and spinach. 

Eggs + Cheese
The Health Benefit: Clearer thinking, reduced PMS symptoms, weight loss

Why It Works: Naturally occurring vitamin D in egg yolks optimizes your body's absorption of the cheese's bone- and heart-protecting calcium. Sufficient calcium levels also promote neurotransmitter health and stabilize hormones, which reduces PMS symptoms and weight gain.

Tortilla + Veggies

The Health Benefit: A flatter belly, thanks to reduce bloating and gassiness

Why It Works: Pairing vegetables with grains or grain-like seeds like millet or quinoa—and leaving out the meat—will reduce unpleasant bloating and gassiness, according to gut guru Gates. Starchy vegetables like artichokes, peas, potatoes, yams, and corn and non-starchy veggies like broccoli, kale, and green beans will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track. "A corn tortilla filled with stirred fried vegetables like onions, red pepper, zucchini, and broccoli and seasoned with Tex Mex seasoning is actually delicious and so much more easy to digest than a tortilla made with beef or chicken," Gates says. 

Fermented Food + Anything

The Health Benefit: Sugar cravings float away with kimchi and other sour superfoods. 

Why It Works: "I can't say enough how wise it is to add a fermented food to any meal—no matter what you are eating," says Gates. Superstars in the natural food world, fermented foods like kimchi are loaded with feel-good probiotics that not only improve digestion, but also help stave off sugar cravings. "They must be in a program if you are trying to lose weight," Gates adds. "They taste sour and take away the desire for sweets."

NB Some of the above information was adapted from Rodale News one of the most authoritative sources for trusted content in health, fitness, and wellness around the world.

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