Food Synergy is where two or more foods combine to give a health boost greater than if the foods were eaten separately. For example a perfect combination is Salmon + Turmeric + Black pepper.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has many benefits that include being a powerful anti-inflammatory. DHA is an active ingredient in omega-3 fat rich oily fish. A 2011 study in BMC Cancer reported that DHA helps cells to utilize curcumin and the combination helps to keep cancer cells from multiplying.
Rub salmon or herring with turmeric or curry powder (a spice blend containing turmeric). Adding black pepper improves the bio-availability of curcumin even further.
Raw broccoli is a good sources of the powerful cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane. But cooking destroys a lot of the enzyme myrosinase in broccoli that makes sulforaphane available to your body.
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, however, suggests that combining broccoli with mustard or wasabi – which contain extra myrosinase – will help you absorb more sulforaphane.
A 2004 study in Journal of Nutrition, reported that prostate tumours grew much less in rats that were fed tomatoes and broccoli than in rats who ate diets containing broccoli alone or tomatoes alone. Cooking or slow roasting tomatoes in olive oil liberates far more of the cancer protective lycopene than when tomatoes are eaten raw. Tomato sauce is a good source of lycopene too.
Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles, body, brain and fights fatigue. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your immune system and it helps your cells absorb more iron. There’s lots of iron in spinach, but it’s harder for your body to absorb iron from plants than from meats, so combining iron rich leafy green vegetables like spinach makes sense.
Spinach, tofu, quinoa and chickpeas are good sources of iron, whilst citrus fruits and red peppers are all high in vitamin C – as are strawberries and blackcurrants
You can triple up, because vitamins C and E have a synergistic effect – essentially refreshing each other. Vitamin C and vitamin E, along with isoflavones from soybeans, are antioxidants which help reduce the oxidation of cholesterol, reducing your risk of congestive heart disease.
Fortunately spinach is already a good vitamin E source, but add some sunflower seeds or almonds to the salad for extra vitamin E.
Why not go for a quadruple play? By adding just six sprigs of parsley to the salad you get a full day’s supply of vitamin K. Studies show that vitamin K helps prevent fractures and may guard against bone loss.
Green tea is already rich in polyphenols called catechins – (pronounced KA’-teh-kins) – that are linked to lower cancer rates. A study from Purdue University found that adding lemon juice – or just vitamin C – produced a 400% increase in the bio-availability of the catechins. Since catechins are, on their own, rather poorly absorbed this is a power drink indeed.
Milk of course is a rich source of calcium (and some vitamin D) – important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The Journal Ageing Clinical and Experimental Research reported in 2013 that calcium is better absorbed along with the prebiotic fibre called inulin – found in bananas (and onions).
Triple up the health boost by adding a spoonful of wheatgerm to the milk shake. Wheatgerm contains zinc, an essential mineral that helps repair cells and strengthens the immune system.
Aduki, azuki or adzuki beans are a high fibre, high protein, nutty flavoured red bean They are used, mashed up, in many Japanese desserts.
Combining them with raspberries can enhance their antioxidant power by almost 50%, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. That was the biggest boost researchers saw among 55 combinations of different fruits, vegetables and legumes.
So combine mashed-up adzukis with raspberries for an unusual dessert.
You can also add adzuki, or other types of dried bean like pinto, to soup. Researchers at Arizona State University found that people who eat half a cup of pinto beans a day lower both their total and LDL cholesterol by almost 10%. Beans are high in fibre, which decreases levels of LDL by reducing its absorption.
Half a cup of kale added to a stir fry delivers at least 10 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids that help combat cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Results from the Eye Disease Case Control Study found that people who ate the most of these carotenoids —as much as 5.8 mg a day which is the level in Nutrishield —had a significantly lower risk of AMD than those who ate the least.
Swiss chard, spinach and broccoli are also high in lutein. Lutein, however, is better absorbed with fatty acids. So cooking kale in a stir-fry with olive or other mono-unsaturated oil is ideal.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that combining mono-unsaturated fatty acid rich avocado with lutein and beta carotene rich foods resulted in an astonishing boost in bio-availability. The avocado group absorbed 8 times more alpha-carotene, 13 times more beta-carotene (both of which help protect against cancer and heart disease), and over 4 times more lutein than those who did not eat the avocados.
Porridge oats contain oat beta glucans which can help prevent the build-up of arterial plaque. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants are packed with vitamin C and other anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. A study at Tufts University published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when vitamin C was added to the oat phytochemicals it boosted their cholesterol-reducing and artery-protective effects.
A separate laboratory study also published in the Journal of Nutrition found that ellagic acid, found in raspberries, boosted the ability of quercitin from blackberries to kill cancer cells. Combining apples, which also contain quercitin, with raspberries should do the same.
Vitamin E is also good for the skin, so triple up the health and beauty benefits by adding half a cup of sunflower seeds to your porridge or muesli. That will provide at least 100% of your day’s requirements for alpha-tocopherol, the best absorbed form of the anti-oxidant vitamin E.
Power in combination
Identifying the most health-protective nutrients and then combining them into one health supplement is the concept behind NutriShield.
In fact NutriShield Premium combines 43 health protective natural ingredients and is one of the few supplements to be independently tested and able to show proof of effectiveness. See www.nutrishield.com
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