Food pairings. Have you heard of it?
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to pair my food with a wine that complements the meal. It would be simply hard for me to have a steak without glass of red wine to round out the meal. You know it’s a classic combo, steak + red wine = deliciousness. Why? A good bottle of wine has the ability to balance and enhance the beef’s flavor profile.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking food pairings. Foods can compliment each other as well. Sure, some foods are healthful on their own, but when paired with other foods they become nutritional powerhouses. Combining certain foods can help your body absorb and utilize all the nutrients more effectively. Pretty cool right?
So how do you know if you are pairing the right foods together to get most the nutrients out of your meal? Well never fear, that’s what I’m here for! Just follow these basic rules of thumb and you’ll be on your way to getting the most out of the foods you eat.
Try these food pairings to create greater health effects:
Iron + Vitamin C
Iron helps transport oxygen to working muscles and vitamin helps keep your heart and skin healthy. Iron can be found in plant-based or animal based foods. It’s harder for your body to absorb the iron from plant-based foods. Vitamin C helps convert the iron in plant-based food into a chemical form that promotes absorption.
Sources of plant-based iron foods: leafy greens, legumes (beans, lentils), quinoa, brown rice
Sources of vitamin C foods: citrus, bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, broccoli
Black beans with diced red bell peppers
Lemony Arugula Pesto
Calcium + Vitamin D
In order to keep your bones healthy, you’ll need the right amount of calcium and vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D in order for your body to absorb calcium.
Sources of calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice, kale, broccoli
Sources of vitamin D: Salmon, tuna, sardines, egg yolks, mushrooms
Salmon with sautéed kale
Fiddlehead Shiitake Saute topped with shaved Parmesan cheese
Zinc + Sulphur Compounds
Onions and garlic are good for more than just flavoring. Their sulfur compounds actually help the body absorb zinc found in whole grain goods. Zinc is important because it helps with wound healing and immunity.
Sources of sulphur compounds: garlic, onion
Sources of zinc: all whole grains, legumes
Roasted garlic spread on whole grain bread
White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup
Vitamin K + Healthy Fat
Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are considered “healthy fats” because they help lower cholesterol in your body. Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, can’t be absorbed by the body without fat.
Sources of healthy fat: any type of nuts, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, avocado
Sources of vitamin K: green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus
Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard
Steamed asparagus topped with chopped pistachios
Prebiotic + Probiotics
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that help promote healthful bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that is like those found in your gut. Both work together to restore and improve GI health.
Sources of prebiotics: bananas, blueberries, artichokes, soy beans, whole-wheat foods
Sources of probiotics: kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, aged cheeses
Steamed artichokes topped with parmesan shavings
Do you have any food pairing ideas?
Powered by Facebook Comments