A key is designed to fit into a certain lock, and when that perfect combination occurs doors open and opportunities are realized. This analogy can also be applied to food, too. How pairing particular foods together can unlock countless health benefits to our bodies. Mother Nature is truly clever. She has provided a tremendous assortment of whole foods that have the ability to become a powerhouse when eaten in unique combinations – for one is the key and the other the lock.
Take for example, raisins and dark chocolate. There is a vital trace mineral in raisins called boron that allows the body to absorb more magnesium from the dark chocolate if they are eaten together. Magnesium provides many essential benefits to our body such as:
- helping to prevent osteoporosis with the formation of healthy bones
- lowering the risk of heart disease
- regulating high blood pressure
- preventing type 2 diabetes
- treating migraines, insomnia, and depression
Eating foods rich in magnesium with foods that are rich in boron significantly increase the benefits to us. Another example of food synergy is found with green tea and lemon. The ascorbic acid found in lemons helps the body better absorb the antioxidant catechin which is found in the green tea. The medical community has long touted the benefits of antioxidants in protecting the body from its daily onslaught of free radicals. Free radicals are a danger to our well being. They are either created internally from normal metabolic processes or as the result of exposure to external sources such as X-rays, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and industrial chemicals. Antioxidants help the body protect itself. Unlocking more antioxidant absorption by combining two key foods together is a huge benefit to maintaing good health. Here are a few other great food pairings from the most recent issue of Experience Life (2015) magazine:
- Tomato Sauce & Olive Oil – the phytochemical lycopene needs the fat in the olive oil in order to be absorbed by the body.
- Avocado & Mixed Greens – the good fat in the avocados helps the body to absorb the phytochemicals from the greens.
- Broccoli & Steak – the iron in the meat needs the vitamin C from the broccoli to aid with absorption.
- Spinach & Tofu – the vitamin K in the spinach helps the body absorb the calcium in the tofu.
Take time to learn more about the benefits of not only whole foods, but which whole foods are best together and why. Not only will you do your body good, but you will undoubtedly find new foods and recipes to love as well.