Science tells us that some foods increase their nutritional value or importance to the body when they are consumed with other foods. This “Together is Better” effect is called “Food Synergy.” There are many of these food synergies to consider and there is a growing body of evidence showing the benefits of eating certain foods in combination will give you a better nutritional bang for the buck, so to speak, than eating the item by itself. Here are a five examples of food synergies described:
- Olive oil eaten with vegetables or salads helps increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E and K.
- The vitamin C in vegetables increases the absorption of iron in meat when meat and vegetables are combined, as in soups and stews.
- By adding lime or lemon juice to vegetables we can increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals and also consume a powerful antioxidants in our citrus!
- Avocados, a healthy fat, increases the absorption of these antioxidants: carotenoids, lycopene and lutein. So when avocados are combined with tomatoes, as in salsa or in a salad they are not only a healthy fat, but a healthy helper!
- Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory spice with well documented benefits including: lowering of LDL cholesterol, digestion aid, easing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and improving insulin regulation. However, turmeric is not well absorbed into the body if eaten alone or as a supplement. However, science shows that when turmeric and ground black pepper are combined, the absorption rate of the turmeric is enhanced by over a thousand times! Many people sprinkle turmeric and pepper in scrambled eggs, soups, stews or add to salad dressings.
So, get creative with these pairings that when eaten together help our bodies perform better and feel better!
Homemade salad dressings are a wonderful way to get synergistic. I have added a few links to some versions to choose from below.