- Combining certain foods together can help the body absorb more nutrients.
- A nutritionist has shared the food combinations you need to know if you want to reap the benefits.
- Try eating healthy fats with green leafy vegetables to absorb more vitamins A and K.
lemon and honey, peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, some flavors taste better together. And it turns out that combining certain foods can also benefit your health.
Jordan: “There are certain nutrients that help absorb other nutrients, and sometimes, there are two nutrients that work together, so they help each other in the processes that our bodies go through. through every day”. Hill, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist works with Top nutrition coachingtold Insider.
And the good news is that many of these combinations are very popular and taste delicious, Hill says.
Hill recommends eating a combination of foods in the same meal or snack to reap the benefits.
Salmon and asparagus
Hill says healthy fats help us absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, which support the body in a variety of ways, from promoting bone and eye health to reducing inflammation and regulating mood.
“If you don’t get enough healthy fats in your diet, you won’t be able to break down those vitamins, which can lead to deficiencies,” she says.
Therefore, it is helpful to combine healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados, with foods containing vitamins. Green leafy vegetables like kale have both vitamins K and A, and eggs contain vitamins A, D and K. Salmon also contains vitamins D and E, Hill says.
“You can combine olive oil with a salad that has spinach and kale, or you can snack on nuts and apricots for dinner, or salmon and asparagus,” she says. Those fatty foods will help absorb vitamins.”
Tomato and avocado
Healthy fats also help us absorb carotenoids, which are fat-soluble molecules with antioxidant properties. They are good for eye health and help protect us against heart disease and some types of cancer, says Hill.
Common forms include lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein, which can be found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and spinach, she said.
“Anything that is orange has carotenoids in it,” she says. It is also responsible for creating the red and yellow colors we see in foods.
Combining any of these vegetables with olive oil, salmon, avocado or nuts will enhance the solubility of carotenoids, making them easier to absorb.
Eggs and Greek yogurt
We tend to get most of our vitamin D from the sun and not many foods contain it, but it’s important to get enough because we need it to absorb calcium, says Hill.
“If we don’t get enough, the amount of calcium in our bodies can be affected,” she says.
Combinations that contain both vitamin D and calcium include salmon and greens, eggs and Greek yogurt, and vitamin D-fortified orange juice with breakfast cereal and milk.
Oranges and nuts
Getting enough iron is really important. It helps deliver oxygen to our muscles through our blood, and people with low iron often feel very tired or fatigued, says Hill.
The iron we get from animal products, called heme iron, is easily absorbed, but plant or non-heme iron is less soluble. If you’re a vegetarian or rely primarily on plant-based iron, she says, combining it with vitamin C will help enhance absorption and improve absorption once it reaches the intestines.
“Almost any fruit or vegetable that is yellow, orange or red is likely to contain vitamin C, and many green vegetables also have vitamin C,” she says.
Some foods that combine non-heme iron and vitamin C include bell peppers and spinach, orange juice and iron-fortified cereals, or oranges and nuts.
Prebiotics and probiotics
Hill says prebiotics and probiotics work together for overall gut health and improved immune function.
Probiotics are the trillions of bacteria that live inside our intestines, and prebiotics are the food they need to grow and function. “Without prebiotics, our probiotics don’t grow properly,” she says. They don’t multiply and do their job in the intestines.”
Eating prebiotics and probiotics together helps their “synergistic relationship.”
The combination includes oats, prebiotics and probiotic yogurt.
“A snack might be an apple, which contains prebiotic fiber, and then you drink a glass of kombucha, which is a probiotic,” Hill says.
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