You might hear, or have already heard the term, “food synergy”. This term simply means; some foods work better together for us, that is to say they bring out the best in each other and combining them will maximise the nutrients we absorb. It can also be, the way a certain food is cooked that brings out it’s best properties and our abilities, to absorb the abundant health benefits it has to offer. Personally, I’d go as far as to say you can’t know how to eat healthily, without understanding food synergy itself. Some foods can also “block out” nutrients given by the other, this can be like treading water in the health pool and never realising why your not moving forward; it is important to get the benefits later, so that you’re efforts are maximised.
There are some documented and proven health benefits of food combinations listed below:
Tomatoes and Broccoli: The combination of the two has proven to slow the rate of prostate cancer growth
Apple WITH the peel on: Apple’s have cancer-fighting properties, nearly all of which, is found in its peel (or skin)
Cooked tomatoes WITH peel & olive oil: Tomatoes are simply the best for you in almost every category box, it’s not a close competition, but their skin holds 98% of their flavonols & great quantities of 2 carotenoids (the protective health gene of plants). Research shows these are best absorbed when the tomato is cooked & eaten with a healthy fat, like olive oil. My roasted tomato soup is perfect for this example!
The 10 synergy super-food groups
- Whole grains – naturally low in fat and cholesterol free; they help heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance
- Dark green veg – Kale & Broccoli for example – eat as much as you can, as often as you can
- Nuts – walnuts, cashews & almonds; nuts have a lot of vitamins & minerals we are deficient in & help decrease the risk of some cancers
- Green tea – Green and black teas contain antioxidant polyphenols, thought to block cell damage that can lead to cancer
- Olive Oil – This has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and promotes heart health, and cancer prevention
- Tomatoes – Yes, they get their own group! Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids, which have natural synergy as a group. Tomatoes also contain three high-powered antioxidants thought to have synergy together (beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C)
- Citrus – the whole family boasts synergy, high Vitamin C makes them an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory
- GROUND flaxseed – we can only absorb flaxseed when it has been ground down to a powder. It has self synergy, like tomatoes, high fiber & plant omega 3’s.
- Low fat dairy – It’s important to have some dairy in your diet; calcium combined with Vitamin D, for example, can reduce the risk of colon cancer occurring
- Fish – offers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, along with a dose of potassium. It’s also a rare natural food source of vitamin D. Fish omega-3s may also have some synergy with plant omega-3s and olive oil, so cook your seafood with a little canola oil or olive oil. Or, serve your seafood with a side dish lightly dressed in olive oil
The more super-foods and effective combinations of these you incorporate into your diet, the less your body will absorb those that are not good for it; ultimately it is about fuelling your body and then steering it in the quickest direction to where you want to be.
For more information about “Food Synergy” you can re-direct to the links below: