An essential part of one’s daily routine is a nutritious diet. People, especially those who strive to be healthy, always have foods in their kitchen that are full of vitamins and minerals. Healthy high-fat foods like avocado and whole eggs, and foods that prevent heart disease like coconut oil, are essentials. But did you know that they can be even healthier if combined with certain nutrients?
When you whip up an omelet, fill it with plenty of veggies, Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, says. “Combining cooked eggs with foods offering vitamin E, such as mixed veggies, helps you better absorb that vitamin E, per a study in The Journal of Nutrition.” Avocado also contains vitamin E, so you could top an omelet with avocado slivers or add it to an avocado deviled egg recipe, she adds. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that's involved in the body’s immune function.
When you pair a protein with a fiber-rich food, this combo helps keep you fuller for longer and helps to prevent extra snacking. Gorin says. “So for instance, when I eat a Maple Hill 100% Grassfed Blended Plain Yogurt, I’m getting 6 grams of satiating protein per single-serve container—plus the benefits of dairy made with grass-fed milk, including a higher concentration of heart-healthy omega-3s.” Then by adding two tablespoons of almonds to the yogurt, you get 2 grams of filling fiber, as well as additional protein, she adds.
Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, offer protein. However, this protein is incomplete, meaning it doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids that the human body needs to get from food and isn't able to produce on its own, Gorin says. “That's why you need to pair complementary proteins together.” So for instance, you could pair Sabra Classic Hummus with whole-wheat pita bread, such as in a vegan hummus pita pizza, to make a complete protein, she adds. “Pairing complementary proteins together in one meal isn't a hard and fast rule, though—you just need to make sure to eat a wide variety of foods within the same day to get all the amino acids you need.”
Next time you cook up some spinach, add a squeeze of lemon juice to it, Gorin says. “Combining a food rich in plant-based iron, such as cooked spinach, with one that offers vitamin C, such as lemon juice, helps your body absorb more of that iron.” We need iron because it plays a necessary role in many bodily functions, including assisting in the creation of the hemoglobin that transports oxygen throughout the body to playing a part in the creation of some of the body’s hormones and connective tissues, she adds. Other combos work, too, such as white beans and tomatoes in a white bean naan pizza and lentils and peaches in a chilled lentil salad.
You would think grilled steak is a healthy meal, right? However, grilling or cooking at high temperatures leads to the formation of suspected human carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). What inhibits them are commercial marinades rich in polyphenolic antioxidant containing spices, according to a study.
This is a good combination because you get lost of Vitamin D (from the fish) and lots of magnesium (from the spinach). Research has shown that magnesium helps elevate levels of Vitamin D in the body. Considering how common D-deficiency is, this is a welcome mix. “Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.”
Turmeric is a super-spice, just like avocado is a superfood. What makes the herb so powerful is the curcumin, its anti-cancer organic active compound. The body is not very efficient in absorbing it, however. This is why you add black pepper, according to a study. Black pepper has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin.
Isn’t it wonderful when something is not only delicious but healthy as well? Black pepper makes almost every dish better. What makes it so good is its compound piperine. A study demonstrated that piperine significantly improves the in vivo bioavailability of resveratrol, which is found in wine. The antioxidant has many health‐promoting properties. So just add some black pepper to your pasta dish next time.