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Foods beneficial to health if eaten together

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Maintaining a good diet doesn't just mean eating the right foods but also knowing how to combine them. In fact, there are nutrients which, despite having beneficial properties even when ingested individually, when combined with others expand their positive effects.

These are the better food pairings for health.

To fortify bones

The ideal combination for this purpose includes foods rich in calcium and phosphorus, and others from which to draw vitamin D.

The first two are present mainly in milk and derivatives; good concentrations of phosphorus, however, can be found in: brown rice, milk, yogurt, fish, bread, red meat and oats.

Various vegetables and oilseeds also provide calcium, although its bioavailability is more limited than animal sources.

Vitamin D is abundant in fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines and herring. Minor quantities are also found in eggs, as it remains concentrated only in the yolk, and even less in mushrooms. Its levels are significant in some alternatives, such as fortified milk and various breakfast cereals.

Did you know that… small fried fish, eaten whole, are an excellent source of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus? On the other hand, they provide considerable levels of added fat. For this reason, frequent and abundant use is not recommended, particularly if the person suffers from significant excess weight.

To reduce the risk of heart attack

The perfect two in this case is formed by foods sources of quercetin and catechins.

Quercetin is a powerful phytochemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which helps dilate blood vessels. However, its absorption is generally poor and appears to vary widely between people. Quercetin is present mainly in onions, apples, green peppers, tomatoes and asparagus It seems to be better absorbed when consumed as part of a meal and combined with a little oil.

Once absorbed, it appears that other plant compounds called catechins, present in broad beans, green tea, black grapes, grape juice, strawberries and apricots they amplify its ability to stop the aggregation of platelets in the blood and reduce the risk of heart attacks.

To protect against heart disease and macular degeneration

Pair monounsaturated fats with alpha-carotene and luetin it would help prevent heart disease.

Adding an avocado source of monounsaturated fat to a lettuce and spinach salad, for example, has been shown to help people increase the absorption of the antioxidant alpha-carotene by 8.3 times and of lutein, a yellow pigment in spinach, by just over four times, compared to those who do not experiment with this combination.

These antioxidants appear to play a role in helping protect heart health.

Monounsaturated fats are present in avocados, olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds; while lutein in lettuce, spinach, cabbage, red peppers, dark cabbage and sweet corn.

For the health of nerves and blood vessels

It is important for the health of nerves and blood vessels combine vitamin B12 and folate.

In fact, folate needs vitamin B12 for its absorption, storage and metabolism, but these two elements also act together on the processes involved in cell division and replication and are vital for metabolizing homocysteine, which, like bad LDL cholesterol, it can damage the walls of blood vessels and lead to both heart attacks and strokes when levels are too high.

Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, lean red meat, fish, milk, chicken and game while folate is found in orange juice, oranges, fortified breakfast cereals, beets, black-eyed peas and dark green leafy vegetables.

To increase UV protection for the skin

In this case thepairing perfect consists of beta-carotene and monounsaturated fats.

Beta-carotene is an orange antioxidant pigment found in carrots and is unlocked and made available to the body when mixed with certain vegetable oils.

A small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that two tablespoons of oil added to a food containing beta-carotene, such as carrots, would be enough to increase its benefits.

As well as in carrotsil Beta-carotene is present in dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale, sweet potatoes, apricots and mangoes. Monounsaturated fats instead in olive and canola oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Food pairs that should be kept separate

Just as they exist elements compatible with each other, there are others which if combined can reduce the beneficial properties.

It is therefore good to be careful not to eat these foods at the same time.

Wine and vegetables

The vitamin B folate present in dark green leafy vegetables, as well as legumes, it risks being poorly absorbed if it is ingested by drinking too much alcohol, because the latter directly interferes with the absorption process.

Spinach and cheese

Spinach contains a good dose of the mineral calciumfundamental for the construction of bone. With a portion of 80 g of cooked spinach you obtain 17% of your daily requirement. This vegetable however, it also contains oxalates, which bind with calcium, making it poorly absorbed by the body.

It is therefore better to avoid combining calcium-rich foods such as goat's cheese with spinach, for example, and fill up on calcium from dairy products or fortified dairy alternatives at a separate time from the meal containing spinach.

Broccoli and seafood

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower they are rich in glucosinolates, plant compounds that can prevent the body from taking in the iodine contained in many fish such as cod.

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