Healthy food combinations can be real game changers. When the right foods are combined at the right times, they can lead to more energy, reduced disease risk, better brain function or a less upset stomach. So before you randomly pair foods together just because they taste good, check out these insanely healthy food combinations that will take your diet to the next level.
1. Tomatoes + Avocados
Tomatoes and avocados are a match made in both Latin and Mediterranean heaven. We all know how yummy it is to dip our chips in salsa and guacamole, but what is it about tomatoes and avocados that makes for such a magical pairing? Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that can cut your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Avocado is a type of good fat, and fats make carotenoids like lycopene more soluble. Try this Simple Tomato and Avocado Salad and see for yourself what makes this powerful combo so tasty.
2. Bananas + Yogurt
When you eat yogurt plain, you’re getting a good dose of probiotic bacteria, which can help fight off digestive issues. Once you eat the yogurt, though, the probiotic bacteria needs bacteria of its own to live. Enter bananas, which contain prebiotics. Probiotics love to consume prebiotics. Pairing the two together may help soothe an upset stomach.
3. Beet Greens + Chickpeas
There is no mood food quite like this combo. Beet greens are packed with magnesium, which is essential for low anxiety and happiness. Chickpeas are loaded with B6, which helps magnesium absorb into the body. Pair the two together and you have a seriously mood-boosting snack or meal. Try this Beet Greens with Chickpeas and Couscous recipe when you want to lift your spirits.
4. Green Tea + Lemon Juice
Amp up your next tea break by adding a splash of lemon juice to your beverage. Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adding a splash of lemon (or lime or grapefruit) to green tea helps the catechins break down less in our digestive system, meaning they’re absorbed more into our bodies. Who knew a simple drink could be so powerful?
5. Blueberries + Walnuts
Both blueberries and walnuts contain polyphenols, which can help with memory and brain function. When paired together, they can reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation that weaken our brains as we age. If you have a big deadline or work assignment coming up, do yourself a favor and add some blueberries and walnuts to your morning oatmeal for some true brain food.
The next time hunger strikes, think carefully about what to look for in the fridge or pantry. A piece of fruit is great, but a piece of fruit paired with protein is better. We eat to fuel our bodies and to protect ourselves from diseases. Don’t just grab a bag of chips and feel lethargic afterward when instead you can prepare a snack that will leave you satisfied and ready to kick butt the rest of the day.