Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Perfect Combinations

I was reading an article on food pairings this morning on the train. The topic is one I've read quite a bit about since vegetable protein absorption depends on the appropriate pairings.

I'll copy the article below, it's from Runner's World, but it got me thinking about how combining certain things or people can result in a more desirable outcome.

For example, as I get dressed in the morning, I am often about to reject an outfit when I realize that one more article can solve the problem and make it wearable. I'm sure we all have friends that we adore, but we adore them more when one of our "buffer" friends is around.

I think I forget that often a fun time, a nice place, or a good day are the direct result of a combination of things: the right people, the right place, and the right mood - everything aligning to make it perfect.

Here's the article:
Perfect Food Pairs
By Liz Applegate, Runner's World
Runner's World

Cereal + Strawberries = Higher iron absorption
Even if your bowl of iron-rich breakfast cereal contains 50 percent of your daily iron needs, your body will absorb only eight percent. Double the absorption simply by topping it with a vitamin C-rich food like strawberries or kiwi.

Whole-grain toast + Peanut butter = Higher vitamin E absorption
Whole grains, especially breads, are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps stave off muscle soreness after a tough workout and offers protection against heart disease. Your body, however, needs help getting vitamin E into your circulation. Pairing healthy fats, such as peanut butter or a dip of olive oil, with your whole grains helps the body access vitamin E.

Black beans + Salsa = Higher mineral absorption
Beans are chock full of nutrients, but the phytic acid in them blocks absorption of important minerals, such as zinc and iron. To help your body absorb more minerals, eat beans with a vitamin C-rich food like salsa, since vitamin C counters the effects of phytic acid.

Yogurt + Jerusalem artichokes = Higher calcium absorption and increased immunity
Yogurt is loaded with calcium and live bacteria that help keep your immune system strong. Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes, contain inulin-an indigestible carbohydrate that helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria and increases calcium absorption in the intestines.

Mixed greens + Olive or canola oil = Higher beta-carotene absorption
Arugula, romaine, and other leafy greens are a great source of carotenoids like beta-carotene, which offer protection against cancer and Alzheimer's. But a study from Iowa State University revealed that virtually no carotenoids were absorbed by those who ate a salad with fat-free dressing, since carotenoids need fat to be utilized by the body.

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