Healthy You: Pairing Foods To Increase Nutrition

You know kale is good, pizza is bad. You spend your lunch breaks eating a spinach salad, and dinners trying tofu. You ROCK you healthy thing you. But did you know that how you pair your healthy foods makes a difference? It’s true! Certain foods, when paired together, can help you reap double the benefits.

Here are some to try!
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Spinach + Olive Oil.
Next time you indulge in your tasty spinach salad drizzle some olive oil as a natural dressing (I usually also add balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon). The vitamin A you get out of these leafy greens helps keep your vision sharp and your immune system strong. Here’s the key though: Vitamin A is fat-soluble meaning it needs fat in order to be absorbed properly, so while you’re still getting nutrients it’s not the full potential. A Tbsp of olive oil per cup should do the trick. Happy eating.

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Red Bell Peppers + Black Beans.
Black beans are a wonder food, supplying you with tons of iron, protein, and fiber. Unfortunately though, they contain acids called phytates, which can inhibit your body’s absorption of Iron. Fortunately for you though, the Vitamin C in the red pepper counteracts the phytates, making it easier for your body to take advantage of all that good stuff.
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Eggs + Cheese.
Your breakfast omelet was right all along! The reason is that your body can’t absorb all the calcium in cheese without a little help from the Vitamin D in the eggs. A match made in breakfast heaven. Try 2 eggs (which is 20% of your vitamin D needs) with 1/4 c shredded cheddar or mozzarella.
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Meat + Rosemary.
Tasty and nutritious! Cooking meat at high temperatures (think grilling or frying) can lead to the formation of harmful compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) that can increase cancer risk. Scary. Thankfully, rosemary packs powerful antioxidants like rosmarinic acid and carnosol that can keep HCAs from forming during the cooking process. Add 2 tbsp fresh rosemary to your favorite marinade and soak at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.