Did you know that you can increase the nutrition of some of your favorite foods just by pairing them the right way?
Some nutrients are better absorbed by the body when paired with others, so eating certain ingredients together will actually help you get the most nutritional value possible. Some of these pairings are familiar and you won’t have to change a thing, while others may be a new to you, but they are still easy and delicious combinations!
Here are five food pairs for better nutrient absorption –
Vegetables & Olive Oil
Vegetables contain many fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are better absorbed when consumed with fat, so cook your vegetables with a bit of olive oil or dress your salad with an oil-based dressing to help you get the most benefit. You can also pair your veggies with the healthy fat found in avocado.
One pairing, in particular, that is doubly beneficial – tomatoes and olive oil. In addition to helping you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants in tomatoes, fat also helps your body convert a specific carotenoid that is a precursor to vitamin A, into a form of vitamin A it can use.
EB Eggs & Salad
Adding a whole EB egg to your salad can help you absorb more of the fat-soluble antioxidant carotenoids, beta-carotene, and lycopene, which can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Eggland’s Best eggs have more than double the healthy omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than regular eggs, helping you absorb more fat-soluble nutrients the heart healthy way!
Spinach and Strawberries
The body doesn’t absorb iron very well, so it needs a little help from vitamin C. Spinach is an iron-rich vegetable that your body can utilize more effectively with strawberries, which are loaded with vitamin C. Make a spinach salad, or try one of these other iron and vitamin C combos –
- Beans with bell peppers
- Iron-fortified cereal with orange juice
- Steak with broccoli
Garlic, Onions, & Whole Grains
One study found that the zinc and iron in whole grains are more effective when paired with onions and garlic.
Saute some diced onions and minced garlic in a saucepan before adding in your whole grains to cook, such as brown rice or quinoa. Not only will you be getting better flavor, but better nutrient absorption as well.
Salmon & Leafy Greens
Important nutrients for bone health like calcium and vitamin D are better absorbed when eaten together. Fatty fish like salmon contains vitamin D, while leafy greens are good plant-based sources of calcium. Plus, either one can be topped with an EB egg providing you with 6x more vitamin D than ordinary eggs. Talk about a nutrition punch!
Written by – Kaleigh McMordie
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Master of Nutrition