Pretend you’re not reading a food blog right now…if I were to ask you to name a ‘power couple,’ what would you say? Brad and Angelina? William and Kate? What about chickpeas and red pepper? Probably not the last one – but I hope after you read this post that the term ‘power couple’ will have a whole new meaning to you.
Current research shows that by pairing certain foods together they produce health-promoting results that far outweigh what you’d get from eating either food alone. I guess that old adage was right: ‘the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts.’
Here are three big ones:
1. In July, I wrote a post called Two Best Friends – Iron and Vitamin C;using the same logic chickpeas and red peppers are our power couple #1. Chickpeas are a good source of iron. Unfortunately, the body has a hard time absorbing iron from whole grains, legumes, and leafy greens because of its chemical composition. However, the vitamin C that is found in red peppers is able to unlock the plant-based iron and allow your body to digest it. What a good team!
2. Spinach and Avocados – three cheers for better vision! One of the many functions of vitamin A is that it improves our vision. It’s also a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it’s absorbed by our bodies along with dietary fat. Therefore, when you combine spinach, which contains a high amount of vitamin A, and avocados, which contains our heart-healthy fat, we have another good team!
3. Green Tea and Lemon Juice – for cancer prevention. Green tea, green tea, green tea…it’s all about green tea. However, did you know that only 20% of the cancer-fighting catechins (the phytochemical found in tea) survive the digestive process to do your body any good? To help out these little guys add lemon juice to your tea, which has been shown to boost the number of catchins you digest up to 13 times.
Image courtesy of AndyCunningham