We all know a colorful plate is important, but new research is giving us even more reason to add color and variety. Food synergy is a hot topic: some foods work better together by increasing the bioavailability of nutrients (Bioavailability is the amount of useful nutrients our bodies can absorb from food). Here are a few food pairings you may be missing:
Broccoli and Tomatoes
The American Institute of Cancer Research knows all about phytochemicals and their impact on cancerous cells. One well-studied phytochemical is lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelon), which has been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, pairing tomatoes with broccoli can increase the amount of lycopene your body can use and has also been shown to successfully decrease tumor size.
Grains and Orange Juice
The World Health Organization reported that iron is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. Although iron is found in grains, it’s not as readily available from these sources as from meat and other proteins. The fix: a little vitamin C. Pair fortified breakfast cereals with orange juice and fresh fruit to get the most iron in your breakfast.
Beans and Rice
Beans are rich in protein and fiber, making them a staple in any healthy lifestyle. However, the protein in beans is lacking some essential amino acids our bodies need for protein synthesis. Adding a complementary protein (like rice, corn, or whole grains) supplies the missing essential amino acids to make a complete protein.