Sunday, March 6, 2011

Improve Life with Better Effects from Food Combos
Do you know that you can actually achieve better effect than just drinking green tea? Want greater, faster result to a better skin, stronger skeleton or a slimmer waistline? There are 14 food pairs here for you to read and learn more. I didn't know about these before as well! xD Thanks iVillage!

Green Tea + Lemon
Want a healthier heart? Mix your green tea with lemon! Green tea has been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks due to it's catechins (antioxidants). Too bad studies show that only about 20% of these would be available to be absorbed by our body.

food combo pairing for health

Good news: Recently, scientists discovered that adding lemon juice to green tea enables the body to absorb 80% of catechins! Vitamin C in citrus fruits can also increase the catechin absorption level.
Strategy: After brewing your favorite cup of green tea, squeeze one whole lemon juice (you can use orange, lime or grapefruit). Lazy to DIY teas? Look for bottled green teas that have ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C).

Broccoli + Tomatoes
Broccoli and tomatoes are both cancer-fighting foods that we can eat. Research reveals that by eating them together may offer even more protection! Recent study shows that eating tomato and broccoli at the same time is more effective at slowing the growth of cancerous prostate tumors than eating any of the vegetable alone. Wow wow wow..

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: The amount used in the study was about one and a half cups of broccoli and two and a half cups of fresh tomato (or one cup of tomato sauce). You can just simply eat these amount by ordering pizza with broccoli or sprinkle some florets on your next plate of spaghetti. Easy right? =)

Red Bell Peppers + Black Beans
Iron in beans exists in a form called non heme iron that's harder for your body to absorb than the iron found in red meat (heme iron). Adding a dose of vitamin C-rich produce like red bell peppers converts the non heme iron into a type that's easier for the body to use, registered dietitian Heidi McIndoo explained.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women absorbed nearly 3 times more iron from their meal by adding just 63 miligrams of vitamin C (about half a cup of chopped red bell peppers). You can just toss these peppers into your chili pot next time. =)

Eggs + Mango
Want to improve your skin's appearance and strength? I do! Eggs are rich with two special amino acids (building blocks of protein) that are essential for the formation of collagen (plumps the skin). Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian in New York City explained that foods that are rich in vitamin C like mango, work with these acids to boost collagen production. This help to build lost stores in the body which can improve the skin's appearance.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Pair an omelet with a cup of fresh mango chunks which supply nearly an entire day's supply of vitamin C. Nyum2! Interesting pairing here.

Green Tea + Black Pepper
Recent study found that consuming green tea with some black pepper boosts the absorption of EGCG (a key antioxidant in tea that burns calories) by 130%! Whoa! According to a research published in "Nutrition Journal", people who drank green tea with their meal reported feeling more full and were less likely to want a second helping than those who drank plain water. This, experts explained that the compounds in green tea can affect the hormones that regulate hunger and fullness.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Sip a cup of green tea and shake some black pepper over it. Studies say that as little as a half-teaspoon of black pepper can increase the absorption rate of green tea's beneficial compounds.

Radicchio + Kale
Kale is the king of calcium (has 3 times more than spinach!). Food scientists say that you'll get more of calcium by combining kale with some radicchio (left pic). Why? According to a recent study in the "Nutrition Research" journal, Radicchio is rich in inulin- a carbohydrate that naturally enhances calcium absorption in the intestines.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Eat with salad!

Avocado + Green Salad
Carotenoids, a skin-protecting plant compound, can be absorbed more from green salad by adding a little avocado. Carotenoids reduce free radical damage and thus protects skin effectively from harmful UV rays. One study at the Ohio State University showed that people who ate avocado in their salad of spinach, lettuce and carrots absorbed up to 15 times more carotenoids that those who didn't eat their salad with avocado. Wow! It seems that according to studies, carotenoids require some fat to be optimally absorbed by the body.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Slice a half of avocado into your green salad. Pretty easy huh, but it's going to be hard when it's not the season for avocadoes!

Yogurt + Bran Cereal
Yogurt is full of good bacteria and acts as a probiotic. Meaning, it encourages healthy bacteria to flourish in our digestive tract, keeping sickness- causing bugs away. Probiotics, work even better when paired with prebiotics found in wheat bran it seems. Prebiotics act as nourishment for probiotics, helping them thrive better in the gut so they can do their immnunity-boosting magic. Registered dietitician Dave Grotto said so. xD

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Look for probotic-rich yogurts that have "live and active cultures" label on them. Then, mix one cup of this yogurt with 3 quarters of a cup of wheat bran cereal.

Apricots + Almonds
Pairing apricots with Almonds help prevent LDL (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing (a process that happens when LDL reacts to free radicals). Registred dietitican Elaine Magee says that oxidized LDL is harmful because it encourages dangerous plaque build-up in the arteris. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed the phytochemicals in almonds reduce LDL oxidation when paired with the antioxidant vitamins- vitamin E and vitamin C, which are both found abundantly in apricots.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Combine a quarter-cup each of raw almonds and dried apricots.

Yogurt + Blueberries
This delicious pair is advised to be taken after a workout in the gym. Why? Research reveals that blueberries possess brain-boosting benefits while yogurt, rich in protein, helps to repair the little tears in your muscles. The carbs in both yogurt and blueberry will naturally replenish your muscles with glycogen (a stored form of energy) and if your glycogen is too low, you'll feel tired. And to top it all off, yogurt's protein also stimulates a hormone that transports these carbs into your muscles to give your next work out more energetic.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Our body is most efficient at storing glycogen in the first 15 minutes after working out, so eat this snack right after your workout!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Tomatoes
Tomatoes boast all four major carotenoids- alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene and also 3 antioxidants- beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C. All these may help fight cancer and heart disease. Pairing tomatoes with olive oil will enable us to absorb more of these protective chemicals. It is high in healthy monosaturated fats and slows digestion.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Mix a little olive oil in your marinara or get bigger phytochemical absorption with cooked tomatoes (leave the skin on since it's loaded with them). Why extra virgin olive oil? It's the least processed form and so contains the most beneficial compounds.

Oatmeal + Strawberries
Oat contains two important phytochemicals named avenanthramides and phenolic acids that have been found to work synergistically with vitamin C to reduce the effects of LDL cholesterol and help prevent the plague build-up that can lead to heart attacks.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Enjoy your breakfast of oatmeal with a half cup of sliced strawberries or oranges! Nyum2...

Cinnamon + Whole Grain Toast
Cinnamon may help keep blood sugar level at a healthier one, which prevents low energy levels and spikes in our hungry-ness. xD "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" published that cinnamon slows the rate of stomach emptying and reduce the rise of blood sugar after meals.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Have your breakfast with whole-grain bread, trans-free margarine with a study-backed teaspoon of cinnamon.

Garlic + Onions
Both vegetables contain a number of organosulfur compounds- heart-healthy plant chemicals that help keep arteries flexible and free of plaque. Some of the compounds have been shown to detoxify carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in the body.

food combo pairing for health

Strategy: Together, they make a delicious base for soups and sauces. Or you can simply sauté them together with other vegetables and make a healthy vegetable dish out of it.

There you go! Get healthy and start utilizing all the wonderful food that we have!

Shine on,


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