Experienced chefs pair scrumptious foods such as red beans and rice for reasons beyond taste. Those who understand the nuances of food are well aware of the fact that certain food combinations are that much more nutritious when combined as opposed to being served alone.
The challenge is finding food pairings that taste amazing together and also prove healthy for the body. Those who work in the culinary and nutrition industries refer to the concept of two or more foods tasting better together than they do on their own as food synergy. Let’s take a look at some of the tastiest and most nutritionally-packed food synergies.
Cranberries and Apples
The average person does not enjoy eating handfuls of cranberries as they are fairly acidic. However, the combination of cranberries with apples proves quite delicious. Just as important is the fact that this food combination provides an array of antioxidants from anthocyanidins to quercetin.
Food scientists have found the pairing of cranberries with apples boosts antioxidant activity that much more than when these foods are consumed individually.
Cheese and Eggs
Eggs served with cheese are as good as it gets, especially when served in sandwich form between two muffins, pieces of toast or biscuits. Egg yolks are rife with vitamin D. This vitamin infusion makes the calcium in cheese that much more helpful for the entirety of your body. Calcium is important for enhancing bone strength as well as maintaining heart health.
So go ahead and sprinkle some cheddar or parmesan cheese into your scrambled eggs. This food pairing will benefit your taste buds just as much as your bones and heart.
Fish and Garlic Fish and garlic are extremely helpful in the battle against inflammation and diseases. However, fish and garlic prove that much more effective when consumed in unison. Studies show enjoying fish and garlic reduces LDL cholesterol more than consuming each food on its own.
This form of cholesterol is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol. So go ahead and slather the garlic butter onto your favorite fish without regret.
Steak and Rosemary
Instead of using barbecue sauce or salt to season your steak, marinate it in rosemary. Let the rosemary infuse directly into the steak prior to cooking. This herb is loaded with important antioxidants ranging from carnosic acid to rosmarinic acid. These antioxidants offset carcinogenic compounds referred to as HCAs. HCAs begin generating as soon as steak is cooked to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carrots and Chicken
Chicken is loaded with zinc. Zinc is essential for the body’s ability to metabolize the beta-carotene in carrots in the most efficient manner possible. Once metabolized, beta-carotene becomes vitamin A.
This vitamin is essential for a strong immune system, healthy eyes and healthy skin. The consumption of zinc is also tied to slowing hair loss to boot.
Olive Oil and Tomatoes
Nutritionists and doctors favor tomatoes for their carotenoids. Carotenoids are compounds that combat heart disease and cancer. In particular, lycopene is the most helpful and well-known carotenoid. Such carotenoids are soluble in fat, meaning they are more easily absorbed by the body when consumed with certain fats. As an example, adding olive oil or some types of cheese to tomatoes improves the availability of carotenoids to the body.
Broccoli and Fish
It seems like everyone dreads broccoli unless it is soaked in butter. However, broccoli sprinkled with lemon juice and consumed with fish proves quite delicious. Broccoli is chock full of the compound sulforaphane that fights diseases. Fish is laden with the important mineral known as selenium. Food researchers have found the combination of sulforaphane and selenium are a dozen times as effective at hindering the growth of cancer cells than when consumed alone.
Red Wine and Salmon
Grapes have important compounds referred to as polyphenols. These compounds are essential for reasons beyond promoting optimal circulation. Polyphenols are also essential in that they help the body soak up more omega-3s from all different types of fish.
Omega-3s are essential for brain health. So go ahead and drink a glass or two of red wine with your salmon entrée. There is no reason to feel guilty about this indulgence as the enhanced brain health provided through the activation of the omega-3s will offset any brain cells killed by the alcohol.
Chocolate and Raspberries
This is the food pairing of your dreams. Food scientists have determined the combination of chocolate and raspberries enhances their flavonoids. In particular, the flavonoids of catechin found in chocolate and quercetin found in raspberries are especially effective for enhancing heart and blood health.
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