Nutrient Combining for Health
Written by Sarah Jones
By: Jenny Tschiesche BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT
Some foods are best eaten together in order to increase your nutritional uptake. They’re already healthy foods made even healthier by putting them together in pairs. Sounds simple? It is simple. Let’s find out which these super combinations are and discover how well they marry together:
Turmeric and Black Pepper, Plus Ideally Some Oil
The active ingredient in turmeric that gives turmeric such a good name in the world of healthy living is a powerful antioxidant called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory properties. If you combine it with black pepper and oil you increase its effectiveness because curcumin is fat soluble and piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, improves it’s absorption.
Try turmeric and black pepper cauliflower roasted in olive oil for a delicious snack or addition to a nourish bowl.
Watercress and Seeds/Nuts
Many of the key vitamins you find in watercress, in particular Vitamins A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble. Therefore, it makes sense to combine watercress with fat because watercress is itself low in fat. Fats from nuts and seeds are especially useful because these seeds provide a healthy dose of zinc as well as fat and together that powerful combination of increased absorption plus additional zinc makes for a combination of nutrients extremely supportive of your immune system
Try a watercress salad, risotto or soup with toasted seeds or nuts on top.
Spinach and Citrus Fruits
It’s more difficult for your body to absorb iron from non-animal sources. Whilst spinach is a good source of plant-based iron its absorption will be enhanced by the presence of vitamin C. Combining a squeeze of lemon juice with your spinach therefore is an ideal solution.
Try a baby spinach salad with a citrus dressing or orange segments.
Tomatoes and Olive Oil
One particular antioxidant present in cooked tomatoes, lycopene, is associated with protecting your skin from sun damage. It is also one of the few antioxidants that is still active when heated. For this reason and that it is more easily absorbed when combined with fat means it lends itself to many Mediterranean dishes where tomatoes and olive oil are often combined.
Try cooking your pasta sauces with these ingredients for optimal nutritional uptake.
Eggs and Cheese
Calcium and vitamin D combined makes for improved calcium absorption over calcium-rich foods alone. Fortunately, you will find that foods that contain vitamin D are a good match for many calcium-rich foods. A classic combination is egg and cheese. However, salmon, mushrooms and sardines are also vitamin D sources and sesame seeds, dairy products and leafy greens are good sources of calcium. The possibilities are endless.
Try a mushroom, cheese omelette with some spinach wilted into the middle as you fold the omelette for a great nutrient-releasing combination.