Looking for an easy, delicious way to improve your heath and arthritis? It’s all about filling your plate with the right combos. “Many nutrients have a synergistic effect. And what’s terrific is that the foods that contain these nutrients tend to taste great together,” says Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian and clinical associate professor at Boston University.
Here are five food duos that can supercharge your diet.
Green Tea + Lemon = Reduced Inflammation
Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to a cup of green tea helps the body take in up to five times more catechins – inflammation-fighting antioxidants abundant in green tea – than the body takes in from citrus-free tea, according to a study at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
Broccoli + Salmon = Stronger Bones
The body can’t form enough calcitrol – a hormone that facilitates calcium absorption – without vitamin D. Pair calcium-rich broccoli with salmon, one of the few plentiful dietary sources of vitamin D, to help your body take advantage of broccoli’s bone-strengthening benefits.
Salsa + Avocado = Reduced Cancer Risk and Increased Immunity
A 2005 study from Ohio State University in Columbus found that people who ate a half-cup of avocado with about 1.5 cups of salsa absorbed 4.4 times more lycopene – a nutrient that’s been linked to a reduced risk of prostate and ovarian cancers – and 2.6 times more immune-boosting beta-carotene than people who consumed plain salsa.
Whole-Grain Bread + Orange Juice = More Energy
Iron helps your blood transfer oxygen throughout your body, and too little of the mineral can leave you exhausted. “Whole grains are the most plentiful non-meat source of dietary iron. But iron is better absorbed with vitamin C,” notes Salge Blake. “Having just a quarter cup of orange juice doubles the amount of iron your body absorbs.”
Apples + Cranberries = Better Overall Health
Cranberries are one of the highest fruit sources of phytochemicals: compounds that have been tied to a reduced risk of a variety of diseases, from heart disease to cancer. But consuming the tart fruit with apples makes the antioxidants in both more active, according to research from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
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- Recipes: Food Duos