Pair certain foods for quick nutritional boost

Published 11:20 am Friday, February 3, 2012

Our society today seems almost obsessed with counting calories, subtracting fat grams,and dividing portions. In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing. However, in this frenzied attempt to improve health, lose fat, and get fit, many people are missing a viable piece of the health puzzle.
“Adding” certain foods together can dramatically increase their nutritional punch, as well as increases variety and flavor. Here are a few examples of some quick food pairings that taste great, and provide great benefits to your diet.
1. Scrambled eggs plus red peppers. This combination is great for smoother skin, because eggs have high quality protein, plus ½ cup of chopped red peppers has more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.
2. Whole grain cereal plus sunflower seeds for better immunity. In addition to the health benefits of whole grains, ½ cup of sunflower seeds provides more than 100 percent of your daily requirement of alpha-tocopherol. This is the most active form of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
3. Salsa plus chick peas for lower body weight. Adding chick peas to salsa adds bulk without adding many calories. This helps you feel fuller, faster. Also, chick peas add needed protein.
4. Green tea plus lemon for lower cancer risk. We all know that green tea is rich in antioxidants, but according to one Purdue University study, adding lemon juice to green tea leads to a four-fold increase in disease fighting catechins. Catechins are a type of antioxidant found in chocolate, berries and apples, but found in the greatest abundance in the leaves of the green tea plant. Adding orange, lime and grapefruit juices to green tea, while still effective, were not as potent as lemon juice.
5. Water plus unsweetened cranberry juice for fewer cavities. Unsweetened cranberry juice prevents the build up of “streptococcus mutans.” This is the bacteria most responsible for cavities.
6. Salad plus canned wild salmon for a healthier heart and brain. In addition to the phytonutrients  found in garden greens, just three ounces of salmon provides you with half a week’s allowance of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are linked to a healthy heart and brain. Be sure to choose wild caught salmon over farm raised though. This will prevent exposure to dioxin, which is a cancer causing chemical found in the feed of farm raised fish varieties. Try using some of these combinations. You’ll help give your eating regimen the flavorful, nutritional boost it needs.
Diet or fitness question? Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and personal trainer for 25 years.
He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, Converse college equestrian team, Lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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