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How Does Food Synergy Give You More Energy?

The science of “food synergy”, “food combining” or “food coupling” began being evaluated by modern scientists after the discovery of micro nutrients. Food combining is the practice of eating certain foods together that increase the amount of nutrition your body will absorb from the foods. The more nutrients you get, the more energetic you can feel. Why not learn a little about food combining, and make the food you’re already enjoying even healthier for you?

This doesn’t mean the (now discredited) notion of avoiding carbs & proteins together or the avoidance of mixing fruits and vegetables under the false fear of them somehow “cancelling each other out”. This is the use of foods together that have been proven to provide benefits for you. All food eaten is digested in the same places (stomach, small & large intestine) and in both acid and more alkaline environments as digestion progresses.

In the past 10 years, research has come a long way toward understanding just how food synergy works according to Elaine Magee, M.P.H., R.D. When you eat certain foods together in the same dish or the same meal, certain aspects of each food combine in the digestive system to make nutrients more bio-available to you. When you know what types of combinations are likely to release more nutrients, you can make healthy choices based on what you already like to eat. russian grocery store

Remember, you don’t have to have the foods in the same dish, just at the same meal, and you’ll get the benefits. Maybe you’re even practicing food combining already-even if you didn’t know it! Here are a few of examples of food synergy that can work for you:

Salads:
If you add a citrus or high-c fruit to a green leafy salad, the vitamin C from the fruit will help your body absorb the iron & other nutrients from the vegetables. You just increased the available nutrition of an already-healthy salad by making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.

The most common combination that has existed for years is a salad with dressing. The fats in the dressing or oil make the nutrients in the vegetables & leaves more available to you. Strawberries and bell peppers contain vitamin C that will help convert the plant based iron in your leafy greens as well. So be sure to enjoy a salad with fresh-made citrus (or strawberry) dressing, a dressing with fats or oils, or a bit of bell pepper. Avocado will also work, as it is a vegetable rich in healthy fats, and so will nuts & seeds as those contain plant oils.

Cinnamon and carbohydrates or sugars:
Cinnamon naturally increases insulin sensitivity. You can help your glucose increase more slowly (avoid spikes) by combining cinnamon with sweets or carbohydrates. Cinnamon tea, cinnamon rubs on meats, and cinnamon in cookies or bread are all examples of this combination.

Tomatoes and avocados or olive oil
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidant carotenoids which reduce cancer risk. They also retain many healthy properties (and some even increase) when cooked. When coupled with the good fats of the avocado or olive oil this makes the carotenoid of the tomato more body accessible. Tomato and olive oil are popular in so many great Italian dishes, that if you enjoy eating Italian style you’re probably also already enjoying the benefits of combining. Think of guacamole with chunks of ripe tomato and pasta sauce begun with olive oil infused with garlic for some more good ideas.