5 Food Pairings To Give Your Meals A Nutrition Boost

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There are some foods combinations that just seem to go together perfectly. And we’re not talking about chocolate and peanut butter (although that is a delicious combo). The food pairings below increase the nutrients your body absorbs, making your meals healthier with no extra effort.

Try these pairings, along with a healthy recipe that uses both nutritious ingredients.

Avocado and Tomato
Studies suggest that eating avocado and tomatoes together increases the absorption of a certain carotenoid called provitamin A and converts it into a specific form of Vitamin A our bodies can use more readily. Research suggests this hard-to-absorb nutrient aids our vision and boosts immunity.
Recipe: Tomato-Avocado Toasts

Spinach and Oranges
Iron, the mineral that carries oxygen throughout the blood stream and produces red blood cells, is essential to your health. A lack of the nutrient can lead to fatigue and cognitive decline. Although iron is found in many foods (including beef, lentils, tofu, and spinach), research suggests that the mineral is more likely to be absorbed by the body when it’s consumed along with Vitamin C.
Recipe: Orange Spinach Salad

Rice and Beans
Not only are they a tasty side dish at Mexican restaurants, but rice and beans pair well on the nutrition front too. Studies suggest that the protein and fiber in beans help to regulate the blood sugar spike that accompanies the carbs in rice. And beans have certain amino acids (such as lysine) while rice has other amino acids (like methionine) that when combined, lead to a complete protein that’s on par with meat (minus the fat and calories).
Recipe: Chili Lime Walnut Buddha Bowls

Turmeric and Black Pepper
Studies suggest that the curcumin found in the spice turmeric may help prevent cancer and diabetes, while also improving cognitive function. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients from the spice. That’s where black pepper comes in. Research suggests that when turmeric and piperine (an alkaloid in black pepper) are eaten together, the healthy compounds from the turmeric are better able to be absorbed.
Recipe: Turmeric and Black Pepper Roasted Cauliflower

Eggs and Raw Veggies
Research suggests that eating cooked eggs with raw veggies increases the absorption of the carotenoids (phytonutrients that have strong cancer-fighting properties) in the vegetables. Because carotenoids are fat-soluble, the fat in the eggs may help to make the nutrients more readily available.
Recipe: Vegetarian Chopped Salad

Are there other healthy food pairings you’d add to this list? Tell us on Facebook or in the discussion!

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This content is made possible in part by the generosity of Sodexo, supporting Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ in Quality of Life and Nutrition.

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Posted by Holly E Carpenter, RN, BSN on Oct 11, 2018 12:37 PM CDT

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