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5 Food Combos That Make Your Healthy Diet Even Healthier

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When we think of ideal food combinations, it's usually in the form of steak and potatoes, bacon and eggs, or cookies and milk. But pairing certain foods can also provide a big health boost, says Alexandra Caspero, RD, a nutrition coach and founder of Delish Knowledge.

Lean Beef and Broccoli
"When it comes to nutrient absorption, pairing certain foods can make a healthy meal even more nutritious," Caspero says. A lot of vitamins and minerals work together synergistically, she says, meaning you get more benefit from one if you swallow it with the other. You can supercharge your meal's health-supporting powers by seeking out these simple, tasty food combos:
Lean Beef + Broccoli
Lean Beef and Broccoli
An iron shortage is one of the more common nutritional deficiencies in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women are especially likely to fall short, and low iron can lead to blood disorders and fatigue. Because vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, says Caspero, pairing iron-rich beef or lentils with vitamin C sources like broccoli or tomatoes is a great way to boost your iron levels. 

MORE: Is Frozen Broccoli As Healthy As Fresh?
Apples + Blueberries
Apples and Blueberries
Fruit contains phytochemicals—healthy antioxidants that may reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer. When you eat different fruits together, their antioxidant benefits can multiply, finds a study in the Journal of Nutrition. That study found a surge in antioxidant activity when people ate several fruits in combination. Rather then filling a bowl with blueberries or munching on an apple, halving your portions and eating them together provides more disease-fighting benefits, the study suggests. Even better, says Caspero: Combining several different whole fruits into a smoothie, like one of these 20 super-healthy smoothies.
Tomatoes + Avocado
Tomatoes and Avocado
Tomatoes get their bright red color from lycopene, a type of healthy carotenoid that has antioxidant properties and may also block the growth of cancer cells, suggests research from Mayo Clinic. And researchers at Oregon State University have found that fat helps your body absorb lycopene. Clearly, it’s time to add some diced tomatoes to your guacamole, or avocado to your BLT.
MORE: 6 Recipes With Fresh, Local Tomatoes
Tuna + Kale
Tuna and Kale 
Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for strong bones, reports the National Institutes of Health. Caspero recommends combining vitamin D-rich tuna or salmon with kale, an excellent source of calcium.
Peanut Butter + Bananas
Peanut Butter and Bananas
Your body and muscles need both protein and carbohydrates to recover and grow stronger following a workout. Create the perfect combo of these macronutrients with a PB-and-banana sandwich, suggests Caspero.


Omotosho Adebayo-Princesage

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