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Easy ways to boost nutrition

Eating foods as a duo can increase health benefits
June 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mac n' cheese, peanut butter and jelly are some things just seem to go together. As it turns out, in terms of health benefits, foods that are combined can often be better for you than when they're eaten solo.Vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals work synergistically. Quite simply, better together to give you more of what you need.

Here are some dynamic duos as a tasty way to fight disease.

Like a vitamin C food like bell pepper with black beans enhances the absorption of the iron in the beans.

Roast chicken with pasta is a health bargain as the folic acid in enriched pasta increases the absorption of the B vitamins in the chicken, which in tandem help protect against heart disease.

A duet of tomatoes and broccoli slowed tumor growth in rats by 52 percent, significantly more than when eaten solo.

Another broccoli team player is red wine or grapes that contain polyphenols. These plant chemicals enhance their potency when married to the vitamin E in broccoli, which jointly help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol.

Salsa and avocados can reduce prostate cancer risk in men. Vitamin E and the plant chemical lycopene help reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells by 73 percent in lab studies.

Avocado is also wonderful when married to spinach. The monounsaturated fat in avocado helps absorb up to 15 times the beta carotene and 5 times the lutein by putting them together. This team can help strengthen the immune system and fight infections

With 1 cup of mango offering 76 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and a quarter of your vitamin A, when eaten with a vitamin E food like almonds, it helps reduce LDL or bad cholesterol. Eat as a snack or chop them up over a bowl of cereal

Finally, to keep arteries squeaky clean, get the garlic and onion together in a dinner dish. Both contain plant compounds that keep plaque from building in the heart. They are also stronger together than when acting alone.

 

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