A clear sign of a healthy relationship is when each person brings out the best in the other. Both parties seem to become better versions of themselves. The same can be said about food relationships. While a tomato may not develop romantic feelings for a piece of arugula, certain foods are meant to be eaten together to obtain maximum nutrient absorption.
Bioavailability refers to how easily each nutrient is broken down and used by the body. Foods that have special relationships can work together to increase the bioavailability, allowing the nutrients to be absorbed and utilized more efficiently in the body. Nutritionists believe that the complexity of food combinations may answer why people in certain regions live longer. When observing blue zones, in which people consume traditional diets, it is clear that longevity is attributed to diets that contain a lot of the food combinations below.
Kale And Lemon:
It can be difficult for the body to absorb plant-based iron, but vitamin C may be the solution to this problem. Kale and lemon (or any vitamin C-rich food) can help the body absorb the iron in kale and other dark leafy greens. This can help fight muscle fatigue! Research suggests that eating peppers, strawberries, citrus fruit, bell peppers, and other vitamin C-rich foods with kale helps the body absorb iron.
Sweet Potatoes And Coconut Oil:
While coconut oil contains moisturizing properties that hydrate the skin, vitamin A contributes to healthy skin and hair. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of vitamin A, which is absorbed more efficiently when paired with healthy fats like the ones in coconut oil. Cook sweet potatoes in coconut oil for healthier skin.
Blueberries And Grapes:
Certain people have digestive systems that are sensitive to fruit combinations, but studies have shown that consuming blueberries and grapes together can have powerful antioxidant effects. The antioxidants in both grapes and blueberries work synergistically to maximize the body’s ability to absorb their phytochemicals.
Tomatoes And Avocados:
Aside from tasting like they were meant for each other, tomatoes and avocados help the body in several ways. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid that is a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Healthy fats, like the ones in avocados or olive oil, increase the bioavailability of carotenoids. The monounsaturated fats work to take the carotenoids in the stomach and disperse them throughout the body.
Broccoli And Tomatoes:
According to a recent cancer research study at the University of Illinois, the combo of broccoli and tomatoes shrunk prostate tumors in rats. Alternate studies show that the antioxidants in tomatoes and broccoli help to lower the growth of tumors. More research needs to be conducted, but preliminary findings show that this combo is a force to be reckoned with.