7 Super-Powered Food Pairings

By , By Joy Bauer, RD, of Woman's Day
It’s not exactly a news flash that milk can give you strong bones and carrots help sharpen your eyesight. But what you may not know is that you can get more disease-fighting bang by eating certain foods together. Think Simon and Garfunkel, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—one’s good, but together they’re even better. Here, seven power couples.

1. Calcium + Inulin = Healthy Tummy, Strong Bones

If you’ve ever had a bout of tummy trouble, you should know about inulin (a type of fiber), which helps balance the levels of “good” bacteria in your digestive system. Inulin also benefits your bones by enhancing calcium absorption. You’re most likely to run across it as a fiber supplement (Fibersure) or added to foods like yogurt (Yo-Plus, Activia Fiber), but there are a few good natural food options.

Good Sources of Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese (all kinds), broccoli, kale, canned-with-bones salmon and sardines, tofu made with calcium chloride or calcium sulfate, almonds, fortified orange juice; fortified soy, rice or almond milk.

Good Sources of Inulin: Artichokes, dandelion greens, onions, garlic, leeks, chicory, bananas, whole-wheat flour, asparagus.

Combo Ideas
• Bananas in cereal with skim milk
• Grilled asparagus with shaved Parmesan

2. Calcium + Vitamin D = Strong Bones

Ever wonder why milk is D-fortified? Your body needs high enough levels of D to absorb bone-building calcium.

Good Sources of Calcium: Kale, broccoli, milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice; fortified soy, rice or almond milk.

Good Sources of Vitamin D: Salmon, sardines, canned light tuna, herring, egg yolks; fortified soy, rice, almond or cow’s milk.

Combo Ideas
• Grilled salmon with sautéed kale
• Broccoli-cheese omelet
• Tuna melt with lowfat cheese on whole-grain bread

3. Vitamin E + Vitamin C = Sharp Vision

Want to keep your eyesight sharp? Pump up the E, which may help prevent macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), and combine it with C, which turns vitamin E into the “ready to fight” form that your body can use best.

Good Sources of Vitamin E: Almonds (and almond butter), peanuts (and peanut butter), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, soybeans.

Good Sources of Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, kiwi, guava, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes.

Combo Ideas
• Peanut butter and sliced strawberries (on a sandwich or toast)
• Salad with mandarin oranges and toasted slivered almonds

Click here for 4 more super-powered food pairings!

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What are your favorite super-powered food pairings?

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Thanks. Great info. I eat alot of these foods, I will start to try some of the combinations Report
Thanks. Great info. I eat alot of these foods, I will start to try some of the combinations Report
I eat broccoli with sunflower seeds practically every day for lunch - here's hoping if I do it long enough, I can ditch the contacts! (Oh, if only...) Report
I loved this posting- I just read it for the second time. The information is so important. It is easy to accomplish and better than taking a lot of vitamins. I believe food- real food is our best meds. Thanks for posting this info! Report
I eat grapes and unsalted almonds together. Yum. Report
OK, I have a question on Inulin. the above article mentions "Dandelion Greens" , when I was a kid my father would pick them from the yard and cook them just like spinach, is this ok or do we have to be savvy and actually purchase them from the store. I have huge ones in my yard...does this some how seem wrong? Report
Great info! I will try eating some more of these foods the combo way! Report
I love salad, topped with tuna or salmon. Report
I LOVE kale. Kale and salmon is probably my favorite combo, but the combo I eat most frequently is bananas and milk. Report
Waht a great blog. Thanks so much for sharing and great ideas I did not know. Report
Great article! I love when good foods have great function! Report
Great information!
I always want to know about ways to keep my bones strong.
Thanks! Report
many of these combos sound really good. I will try them. I wish they had more ideas to share. Report
Love the combinations they give, they should give other combinations if they could...! Report
I love these kinds of informative articles. I gives me different food prep ideas, as well as variety in my diet and lasting effects! Report
Helpful article, and lots of my favorite foods mentioned here. Report
Ditto on what SparkPeople Member HAPPYWRITER7 said! This is definitely a SparkFavorite. Report
*click* into SparkFavorites you go. Report
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