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Food for thought

Howdy all!  My home page MSN had an article re. food combining whereby (and I'm paraphrasing now) perfect combinations relate to food synergy to provide massive health benefits.  As this site is generally healthy and nutritious - save for the oodles of cakes and biscuits recipes (a little of what you fancy and all that  ;) ) - I thought certain combos may of interest.  So, here goes:

1. Adding strawberries to your cereal leads to improved iron absorption? Iron is one of the biggest nutritional deficiencies in the western diet. However, our body will only absorb a small amount (around 8%) of iron from the cereal if you eat it on its own, while sprinkling some delicious, vitamin C heavy foods like strawberries or a glass of orange juice will see this number go up and up.

2. Broccoli and tomatoes are well known for their cancer-fighting properties. The former facilitates DNA repair and prevents cells from becoming cancerous, while the latter contains high levels of lycopene, a carotenoid which is also thought to fight off cancer.

3. To maximise antioxidants in fruit and vegetables, try eating them with avocado or another source of good fats.

4. A study from Iowa State University found that adding olive oil to your mixed greens leads to higher absorption of beta-carotene, another carotenoid which protects us from cancer and Alzheimer’s. The research showed that almost no carotenoids were absorbed by those who ate their salad with a fat-free dressing because carotenoids require fat in order to be used by the body.

5. Whole-grain toast is an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which can protect us from heart disease. However, vitamin E isn’t easily absorbed by the body, so try combining it with those good fats again, such as peanut butter.

6. Turmeric is rich in the antioxidant curcumin, which is thought to protect from conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that adding black pepper to a dish containing curcumin boosts the absorption of the latter. Combining turmeric with cauliflower, meanwhile, is thought to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells.  Ever wondered why cancer rates are much lower in India than in the west?

7. Eating black beans with salsa leads to higher absorption of minerals such as zinc and iron. The phytic acid in the beans stops the body from absorbing these nutrients, but the vitamin C in the salsa counters the effects of the acid.

8. Adding a tablespoon of fresh marjoram to salad is thought to increase the antioxidant value of the latter by a whopping 200%.

9. Combining yoghurt with Jerusalem artichokes is thought to increase immunity by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria and calcium absorption in our intestines.

9. Quinoa is rich in protein, but eaten with pineapple it becomes even healthier as pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which helps the body to absorb protein.

10. Omega-3 oils are thought to be good at boosting brainpower and protecting our organs, but in order to do this they need to be converted by the body into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). You can help your body do this by adding pumpkin seeds and using hemp oil to make hummus. This also increases your zinc intake from the seeds.

11. Eating chopped up apple with mixed berries is believed to have an increased anti-cancer effect. The antioxidant quercetin, found in apple peel works with another antioxidant called ellagic acid from the berries to battle cancerous cells.

For more nutritional advice go to www.foodsforlife.co.uk

K:  And so endeth the lesson ... makes you think doesn't it?

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