It’s not just what you eat, it’s what you eat it with. There are a variety of different foods who’s nutritional benefits explode off of the charts when they are paired with other specific foods (No, I’m not talking about PB&J!). Knowing which foods to always eat together will increase your absorption of certain nutrients and will help you reap the benefits of your food intake.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Spinach And Lemon Juice:
Spinach is a good source of iron, which fights fatigue, improves focus and helps to regulate body temperature. Vitamin C is known to boost the absorption of iron when consumed together. You can get 25% of your daily dose of vitamin C from the juice of 1 lemon! Not sure what to do with those cans of spinach? Squeeze a lemon over it and serve it in a casserole! Or eat a fresh spinach salad salad with lemon and vinegar!
Chick Peas And Onions:
Ahh chick peas! Such a versatile legume! Zinc seems to be the ‘buzz mineral’ of the media in response to the fight against covid-19. You might notice that most of the pharmacy’s and grocery stores are not only out of toilet paper, but they were also stripped of their zinc supplements. I have good news…you can get 20% of your daily value of zinc from chick peas! Okay, I also have bad news…the caveat is that there are certain compounds in garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) that actually inhibit the absorption of zinc. Okay, good news again!…If you eat chick peas with onions, these compounds are counteracted, helping you to absorb more zinc! So go check out my ‘Butternut Squash Boats with Sausage, Eggplant and Toasted Chick Peas’ recipe, and add onions!
Tomatoes and Pesto:
How many of you have a cherry tomato plant that is just about ready to bloom? Well, when you pluck those bright red vegetables, consider serving them in a pasta dish with pesto. The reason being, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which fights free radicals. Fat helps you to absorb lycopene, and what better high in natural fat condiment than pesto?! Cooking the tomatoes in olive oil (or pesto which contains a lot of oil) will immediately increase the amount of lycopene circulating in your blood, which will help to fight those free radical bullies. (3)
Carrots and Fat:
Another food that loves fat are carrots! When beta carotene is ingested with a dietary fat, it facilitates the utilization of carotenoids which in turn aids in the absorption of vitamin A. So bust out that extra virgin olive oil next time you roast those carrots! (1)
Black Pepper and Tumeric:
Curcumin, the main compound in tumeric, is difficult for our bodies to absorb, due to difficulties in the process of absorption in our intestinal wall. The science behind why piperine, the main compound in black pepper, helps aid in the absorption of curcumin is not fully understood. But we DO know that it works. The research does support that adding peperine to curcumin enhances curcumin absorption by 2000%! (2) Go check out my ‘How To Make Golden Milk At Home‘ recipe for how to incorporate the two!
Check out this Golden Milk with both tumeric and black pepper!
Tofu & Broccoli:
Not your typical ‘Batman and Robin’ duo, however when you think of tofu, you should probably immediately think of broccoli. The reason for this is that tofu contains isoflavone, a glycoside that, when paired with calcium, significantly increases the bodys absorption of calcium. 1/2 of a cup of broccoli has just as much calcium as a glass of milk. A study done by purdue university found that when rats were given isoflavone and calcium, their blood calcium and bone calcium levels were significantly higher, concluding that isoflavones enhance calcium absorption (4). Go check out my ‘Crispy Tofu Bites‘ recipe to try them together!
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