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So Much More Than Salads: Pairing Foods For Health Benefits—Not Just Taste

By Sarah Wilson, RHN on September 25, 2015, categorized in In the Kitchen, Plant-based Nutrition

So Much More Than Salads: Pairing Foods For Health Benefits—Not Just Taste

Healthy doesn’t mean boring bland salads, or mind-numbing workouts you hate.  Health is about finding something that gets you super pumped and excited about your overall wellness. I’m a holistic nutritionist that loves taking the ordinary, and making it kick a$$!  It’s time to get creative, step outside the box, and discover your own way to thrive. My mission is to help you find that path.  

We can all agree that vitamins and minerals have an important role in the way our bodies feel and how we function on a day-to-day basis. You do your best to consume the right foods, and maybe take a multivitamin to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need. By pairing foods for health benefits—not just taste—you can help your body absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively and efficiently. Let me introduce you to the world of food and nutrient combining. Why? Because two are better than one. With a dynamic duo of the right foods, you’ll be on your way to optimal health.

1. Probiotics Paired with Prebiotics

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in our colon. These bacteria not only aid in healthy digestion and assimilation of our vitamins and minerals but they also play a major role in our immune function as well.Yan F, Polk DB.  (2011). Probiotics and immune health. Current Opinions in Gastroenterology. 27(6):496-501.Accessed on 9/1/15 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/ You can consume healthy probiotics by eating fermented foods or taking them in a supplement. Since probiotics are a living culture they need to be taken care of in order to survive. Just like us, our bacteria needs food and nourishment to survive, the perfect food for probiotics is prebiotics. Prebiotics keep your probiotics healthy and viable. You’ll find both of these in Vega One, 1 billion probiotics paired with prebiotics coming inulin and organic acacia gum.

2. Iron Plus Vitamin C

Iron plays an essential role in your body and cellular structure. There are two different types of iron: heme (animal sourced iron) and non-heme (plant-based iron). Plant-based iron may not be as absorbable as animal-derived iron, however if you consume the right things with plant-based iron, you’ll be able to increase absorption. Consuming vitamin C with our plant-based iron helps make that more viable to the body.Murray-Kolbe LE, Beard J. Iron. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. London and New York: Informa Healthcare; 2010:432-8. For a full list of excellent sources of iron and vitamin C rich foods, check out this blog post. My favorite iron-rich combination is a beet green salad with red peppers (a source of vitamin C). Another great way to combine your plant-based iron, with vitamin C is in a smoothie. Start with this Iron Rich Smoothie, which has a great combination of both iron and vitamin C.

3. Protein with Enzymes

Protein is the building blocks of the body. It’s important to ensure we’re getting adequate amounts of this macronutrient throughout our day. Our bodies are naturally great at breaking down protein; however it doesn’t hurt to have some help sometimes. Foods such as papaya and pineapple contain enzymes to break down protein, helping our bodies take full advantage of those amino acids. Look for naturally occurring plant-based enzymes in your favorite protein powders like Vega One, 20 grams of protein paired with naturally occurring digestive enzymes from papaya.

BONUS! Just like Jay Z and Beyoncé, Turmeric and black pepper they just work better when together.  When combined, black pepper enhances the bioavailability of turmeric. Are you loving this combo? Check out this Turmeric Latte.

What foods do you love together—both for taste and for health benefits?

Sarah Wilson, RHN

Sarah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and works at Vega as a Product Specialist. Sarah educates from experience! Drawing on her retail leadership in the natural health industry, her own nutrition consulting, and a personal passion, she equips audiences with tools and inspiration to feel their absolute best from the inside, out. Specializing in sports and fitness recommendations, Sarah is active as a runner, playing soccer or enjoying the Rocky Mountains on her snowboard.
Sarah Wilson, RHN

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