Your busy life does not allow time for multi-step meals and complicated recipes. There is no time for searching for unusual and expensive “superfood” ingredients. The idea of growing your own veggies for nutrient rich “farm to table” cuisine might be an idea for retirement. If you’re being honest, however, you’d rather catch a documentary on Netflix about food than grow your own.
For your life right now, simplicity is the name of the game. You mission is to get the most nutrient bang for your buck using accessible and delicious foods. Your goal is to find out if simple superfoods exist.
Lucky for you there are simple and super power pairs.
Did you know when certain foods are eaten together their nutritional value is enhanced? By eating certain combinations of common foods you can multiply the health benefits quickly and easily. Check out these three power pair meal ideas I recently shared on a Fit Life segment for KY3 Ozarks Today.
Spinach + oranges or strawberries: Spinach is a great source of iron however plant-based iron doesn’t absorb in the body as well as iron from non-plant sources. To encourage a higher level of iron absorption from your spinach make a salad with vitamin C rich fruit like strawberries or oranges.
Roasted vegetables + olive or coconut oil:. Brightly colored vegetables like squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are loaded with phytonutrients and are delicious when roasted. Roast them in a healthy fat like olive oil or coconut oil and you boost their nutrient value. Research shows that eating a healthy fat with your orange and yellow veggies has been shown to enhance the absorption of beta – carotene (vitamin A), an anti-oxidant that plays a critical role in eye and skin health.
Whole grains + onion + garlic: Whole grains like barley aren’t just a great source of fiber they also provide zinc, which is needed for a healthy immune system. Studies have found that when whole grains are paired with garlic and onions zinc absorption is increased. Try toasted sprouted grain bread with avocado and red onion for breakfast or a simple barley salad with onion and garlic as a side dish to get more from your grains.
Ready for a power pair pro tip? You can make sure your supplements are doing all they can for you with these strategies.
Take your vitamin D in the morning with some fat. It only makes sense that the Sunshine Vitamin is more effect taken early in the day. It’s also a fat soluble vitamin so have it with your scrambled eggs or chia pudding to get the most out of it.
Iron from spinach not enough? If you’re anemic or pregnant and taking an iron supplement pair it with a little orange juice. The vitamin C will help the absorption and decrease the nausea that sometimes come with iron in supplement form.
Don’t discount your herbs! Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory loaded with anti-oxidants. Available in pill form, you can also consume turmeric in a good curry, add it to your scrambled eggs or enjoy a cup of golden milk. Just don’t forget this is part of a power pair and you need to add black pepper. The black pepper increases the bioavailablity of the turmeric and boosts the health benefits.
Of course, tea may be the simplest “superfood” of all! The original health tonic, tea is loaded with health promoting flavonoids. Drink a cup (or two a day) for the easiest way to get a anti-oxidant boost!