This might be a surprise, but when you eat certain foods on your healthy eating plan– and you eat them in combination together – they are more effective than they would have been eaten alone.
Certain food combos can have health boosting properties. And eating these food combos is an ideal way to boost health, as each food contains different compounds and properties that “pack a bigger punch” together than alone.
Research has also indicated that some vegetables could actually be better for you than eating them raw – despite the myth that raw vegetables are much better for you than cooked. Cooking some veggies can increase their antioxidant count – meaning that they are more nutritious cooked than raw.

Tomatoes & Broccoli

This simple yet delicious food combination could actually help men to prevent prostate problems and could fight off certain types of cancers in women.
Tomatoes and broccoli are both known for containing numerous vitamins and nutrients that have the potential to fight cancer, and research by the University of Illinois for Cancer Research showed that when broccoli and tomatoes were eaten together, they were much more effective at slowing down the growth of or even shrinking tumors than when the vegetables were eaten alone.
The theory behind how this works is that each of the foods contain different compounds, and these compounds work on completely different anti-cancer pathways, using different and completely separate strategies to shrink cancer cells.

Spinach & Oranges

We know that spinach is good for us – after all, it’s what Popeye used to eat! Spinach is packed with iron and folic acid, and iron is essential for health as it helps with the transportation of oxygen around the body.
However, just including foods in our diet that contain iron isn’t good enough, according to leading Dieticians. On average, we only absorb about 10-15% of the iron that we take in – so how can we absorb more? By eating vitamin C – it increases the amount of iron that you can absorb. Eating meals rich in both iron and vitamin C will ensure that you absorb as much iron as possible.
For example, add 1 cup of strawberries (rich in vitamin C) to a baby spinach salad (rich in iron), or a couple of diced bell peppers to a bean salad. You could also add a little lime or lemon juice to the foods in your diet that contain iron – for example, dress your salad with vitamin C rich juice, or sprinkle it over your steak to add extra flavour. Just 3 tsp. of lemon juice or 4 tsp. of lime juice will provide you with 10% of your RDA of vitamin C. Or add a handful of fresh spinach to your Healthy Mummy Smoothies for an extra boost

Yogurt & Oatmeal

Yoghurt and oatmeal, when eaten together, will provide you with prebiotic and probiotic benefits in one meal. For your breakfast, try layering oatmeal, Greek yoghurt and thinly slice bananas, finished with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Or add 1 tbsp of both oatmeal and yoghurt to your healthy mummy smoothie.
Prebiotics contain nutrients that are indigestible, and they are found in a number of high fibre foods, as well as oatmeal, bananas and honey. Probiotics are bacteria – the “good” bacteria – that live in your gut. Eating a combination of prebiotics and probiotics will help to boost your digestive health – because prebiotics are indigestible, they improve bowel health too by ensuring that you go to the toilet regularly.
Probiotics and prebiotics are a great combination – the prebiotics actually feed the probiotics, helping them to flourish.
To prevent bloating after lunch, try including both prebiotics and probiotics in your lunch. Chop sautéed spinach and cooked artichokes and stir into yoghurt, season with lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper and serve with wholegrain crackers or bread for a healthy bacteria-boosting lunch.

Whole Grains & Onion or Garlic

Hummus blended with garlic and shallots is a great mineral boost – spread it onto wholemeal bread or serve with granary crackers for a wonderful lunchtime meal.
Whole grains, eaten with onion or garlic, are another great combination for boosting the absorption of iron. Garlic or onions (which come from the same food family), when eaten with whole grains, can help to improve how much iron that you absorb and they can also boost your zinc absorption, which helps to improve your metabolism and your immune system.
Garlic and onions contain an amino acid known as cysteine – and according to research, cysteine can actually improve iron absorption from whole grains by up to 70% and zinc absorption by 160% – which is astonishing.
Just 1-2 chopped garlic cloves added to your meal can maximise the benefits of the vitamins and nutrients in your food. And to neutralise garlic breath? Eat a little fennel after your meal – it will banish smelly breath, but it will also bring additional cancer-fighting benefits.

Ideas on How to Prepare Your Food Combinations

Tomatoes and Broccoli
Dice a shallot and fry in a little oil or oil spray until sweet and golden. Add 4-5 diced tomatoes and half a broccoli head, separated into florets, and fry until the broccoli is crisp but tender. Whisk two eggs, season with salt, pepper and tarragon and add to the pan. Scramble until cooked to your liking and sprinkle with cheese.
Spinach and Oranges
Thinly slice a red onion and toast some sliced almonds in a dry frying pan. Sprinkle over some washed baby spinach and serve with a zingy orange dressing – finely dice one shallot and whisk with 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. white wine or cider vinegar, 2 tbsp. orange juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Dice onions, leeks and asparagus and fry in a little bit of oil until golden and tender. Whisk 2 eggs with a little bit of Greek yoghurt, salt and pepper and add to the pan, then scramble until cooked to your liking. Serve on wholegrain toast with a little cheese.
Whole Grains and Onion or Garlic
Place 1 cup bulgur wheat into a large bowl. Bring a 1 ¼ cups of orange juice to a simmer, then pour over the bulgur wheat, cover and leave to swell. Fry 1 onion and a few garlic cloves in oil until very soft and tender, add to the bulgur wheat, stir and leave to cool. Serve by stirring in chopped fresh herbs, salt, pepper and diced nuts.
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