Nutritional Dynamic Duos
Creating recipes shouldn’t just be about great flavours and a good balance of macro-nutrients. By combining certain foods you can actually increase the micronutrient impact of a meal by helping the body fully absorb the goodness contained within the individual ingredients.
Here is a selection of health-boosting partners, complete with delicious recipes on how you can combine the two.
Dymanic Duo 1 - lentils and broccoli
Iron is vital for haemoglobin production, the protein that carries oxygen around our bodies within our blood cells. Optimal iron intake can boost energy levels, support immune defences and encourage healthy skin and hair. Vitamin C, another nutrient famed for its links to the immune system, actually aids the absorption and utilisation of iron from our food. One of the most common ways we consume this combination is by eating an iron rich fortified breakfast cereal along with a glass of orange juice. Another tasty concoction to try is making an iron rich lentil and spinach curry and adding tomatoes and broccoli to boost the vitamin C.
Dymanic Duo 2 - natural yoghurt and garlic
The friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in ‘live’ natural yoghurt supports our intestinal health and digestion, reducing bloating, supporting regular bowel movements and potentially increasing our immune defences via our gut. Prebiotics, which are healthy fibres that feed and support the growth of the good bacteria, are rich in foods such as garlic. Try making a Tzatiki style dip with low fat live natural yoghurt, minced garlic, peeled and finely diced cucumber plus a little lemon juice, salt and pepper. This works especially well with lamb and the combination will support the breakdown of the red meat which can often be tough on digestion.
Dymanic Duo 3 - tomatoes and olive oil
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant in food that is thought to play a protective role against heart disease and even certain types of cancer. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red colour. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene and in addition, cooked tomatoes actually break down the cell walls and make the lycopene more available. It has also been suggested that a little olive oil will dramatically increase the body’s ability to absorb and utilise lycopene. Try roasting some baby cherry tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and spoon over a baked cod fillet with some tasty greens.
Dymanic Duo 4 - eggs and cheese
Egg yolks are rich in vitamin D, a nutrient vital to increase the absorption of calcium promoting healthy bones, muscle contractions and heart health. Recent media attention on vitamin D surrounds estimates that over 50% of UK adults over the age of 40 may actually be lacking in vitamin D. Try this tasty simple breakfast recipe to combine a bunch of bone friendly nutrients. Beat 2 eggs with 25g of ricotta cheese and a little skimmed milk, stir in a handful of chopped raw spinach and some strips of smoked salmon and cook in a small frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. Delicious!
These nutritional power pairings definitely show that there is some truth in the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.
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