DYNAMIC DUOS
Reader's Digest UK|May 2021
Researchers are continually finding that certain foods deliver an even bigger health boost when consumed together. Make the most of these nutritious foods by teaming them up

PASTA & VINEGAR

Help prevent type-2 diabetes

MAKE YOUR PASTA salad with a vinaigrette dressing. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which reduces the spike in blood sugar that occurs after consuming starchy foods high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, and bread. A steadier rise in blood sugar reduces hunger by keeping you feeling satiated, as well as helping to minimise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Blood-sugar spikes are best avoided, so that your body isn’t secreting too much insulin in an attempt to manage them. Research in 2015 by the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Germany discovered that acetic acid activates the receptors that inhibit insulin secretion.

BEETROOT & EGGS

Maintain brain power

HOW ABOUT A lunch plate that includes pickled beetroot and sliced hard-boiled eggs? Choline is abundant in egg yolks (as well as in beef liver, chicken liver and veal liver); betaine is found in beetroot, spinach, and some grain products. A 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found pairing these two nutrients was associated with lower blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body. Elevated levels of homocysteine have been linked with declining cognitive function.

This power combination may also protect against cancer, according to a review study by Nanjing Medical University in China in 2016, published in Scientific Reports.

FISH & WINE

Absorb more omega-3

ITALIAN RESEARCHERS found that adults who consumed a glass of wine a day had higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish such as trout, salmon, herring, and sardines (the same results were not found for beer or spirits).

The finding is from a 2008 study of 1,604 subjects from Belgium, Italy, and England between ages 25 and 65. Scientists believe that heart-healthy polyphenol antioxidants in wine might be responsible for improved omega-3 absorption.

Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to reduce your risk of experiencing a major cardiac event.

GREEN BEANS & TOMATOES

Boost iron intake

IRON IS NECESSARY for producing hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to muscles and the brain. Low levels of iron can lead to fatigue, fast heartbeat, headache, and more. Iron from food comes in two forms: heme (found in animal-based foods) and non-heme (found in plant foods such as green beans, edamame, leafy greens, and many others). But our bodies absorb far less non-heme iron than heme iron.

Consume those non-heme iron foods along with vitamin C, which is found in tomatoes, citrus fruit, sweet peppers, berries, etc.

A Swiss study published in the American Journal of Clinical Medicine reported that adding vitamin C to a meal rich in nonheme iron yielded an almost threefold increase in our body’s ability to absorb the iron.

GREEN TEA & LEMON JUICE

Boost immunity and heart health

GREEN TEA HAS BEEN shown to strengthen the immune system and, in animal studies, to reduce the growth rate of tumours. And the catechins found in green tea are powerful antioxidants that have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. There’s a way to further boost the power of those catechins, which are a type of antioxidant: add some citrus juice. According to a Purdue University report, adding a splash of juice from a lemon, lime, or grapefruit to green tea reduces the breakdown of its catechins in our digestive system, making them more readily absorbed by the body.

SALMON & YOGURT

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