My Best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. Without her, I am incomplete in whatever I do –Henry Ford
What is your life without your best friend?
I am sure it’s no fun. A part of you is missing without your best friend. That is their role: to complete and complement you in every aspect of life.
But, are we the only ones who need the other halves?
Think about it now; best friends play a crucial role in Health and Nutrition too.
Because a healthy dish is a combination of several food items mixed together.
What if I tell you there are certain food combinations that are meant to be together, not only by choice but also by nature? These classic combinations of food provide you with the supreme taste and ideal nutrition. Like a best friend, together they complete the dish and bring out the best of health.
So, let’s talk to some of these best friends and savour their uniqueness as food combinations.
#1 Tomato and Avocado
I am Tomato and I am the major dietary source of an antioxidant called lycopene. The redder I am, the more lycopene I contain. This lycopene prevents the free radical damage (free radicals are unstable atoms that damage the body cells) and helps with a healthy brain and a healthy heart.
I am also the major source of beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A. Apart from these two important compounds, I am also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium and Vitamin B 9 or folate.
Coming to my best friend, Avocado! It possesses healthy fats like monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). It is low in calories and protein but rich in fibre and fats. Fortunately, my friend doesn’t contain cholesterol and saturated fats.
We are the healthiest food combinations for health
The healthy fats present in avocado increases the absorption of the nutrients in me, especially lycopene. Thus, the nutrients get absorbed easily and faster.
Try me with avocado guacamole dip, in the salad, sandwich, salsa, soup, sauce or pasta.
#2 Green leafy vegetables and Citrus food
We all know green leafy vegetables are rich in iron. The darker the green, more the iron content. They are also rich in antioxidants and fibre.
Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, artichokes, lettuce, cabbage, etc. if not consumed regularly can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. As a result, the kids feel fatigued, weak, confused, and not able to concentrate. Therefore, iron is of utmost importance at this phase of life.
Dieticians advise eating a bowl of green leafy vegetables daily. But what kid wants that?
So, here I come; the citrus food, the best food combination with these greens. I am rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the kids to maintain the integrity of the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It helps to produce collagen which forms the basic structure of the skin and scar tissue, and thus, helps in faster wound healing.
I come in the lovely coloured fruits and vegetables like bell peppers, berries, orange, lemon, amla, kiwi, guava, papaya, tomato, cauliflower, and peas.
Ours is the most colourful food combination
Imagine a tasty mixture of beautiful colours even your child can not scowl upon. Nature herself finds the solution sometimes, not only in colour but in nutrition as well.
The combination of iron and Vitamin C is perfect. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption. Including just 100 mg of Vitamin C in a meal increases iron absorption by 67%. Thus, Vitamin C gives a serious boost in preventing iron deficiency anaemia.
Try home cooked pizza with spinach and bell peppers, various combinations of soups, salads with sour dips and green chutneys, amla pickles with spinach kebabs, oatmeal with berries, home-made green tacos with tomato salsa, etc.
#3 Chickpeas and Beetroots
Like other beans, peas and lentils, chickpea is a source of protein and dietary fibre. It also contains iron, zinc, and all B-vitamins with one vitamin in highlight i.e. Vitamin B6. With its high fibre content, chickpea improves the digestive ability and prevents stomach problems.
The red beetroots are a natural source of magnesium, iron and folate. Rich in nitrates, they help to maintain the blood consistency.
Chickpeas being rich in Vitamin B6 help in the absorption and utilisation of magnesium in the body. Our body requires magnesium for various enzymatic processes. It plays an important role in calcium utilisation and promotes bone health. Without magnesium, calcium deposits in the bones and can cause brittleness. Calcium is an important nutrient at this age and has to be assimilated properly.
Make tikkis with chickpea, beetroots and paneer to incorporate Vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium in a tasty way. Cold chickpea salad or cheese sandwich with mashed chickpea hummus and beetroot filling are other healthy options.
#4 Banana and yoghurt
I am your favourite Banana and rich in carbohydrate, B vitamins, and fibre. Eating me leads to a sudden sugar surge in the body. Hence, I am a great form of an appetizer. Every kid loves me and I make my place in their hearts instantly.
Yoghurt is my best friend. Rich in protein and calcium, it is a self-meal. It’s a good source of many minerals and D vitamin, and thus, good for bones and muscles.
We rank at the top of the kid’s favourite food combinations
For kids active in sports, our combination offers the best of both the macros. As a source of proteins and carbohydrates, this meal increases the level of insulin in the body. More insulin allows the muscles to repair after an exertion.
Try a blended shake or smoothie with flavoured yoghurt and banana. You can add nuts too. The fats in the nuts help to utilise Vitamin D properly. This shake can be packed and given to the kids after their exercise routine. Look for probiotic yoghurt for more benefits. Avoid adding sugar in these shakes.
#5 Yellow Coloured foods with Healthy Oils
Yellow-coloured fruits and vegetables like the pumpkin, carrots, papaya, mango etc. contain beta-carotene. To absorb beta-carotene, the body needs fat molecules.
However, the fat needs to be healthy that doesn’t increase the bad cholesterol in the body, a major cause of obesity in kids.
Healthy oils can be visible like refined oils and olive oil or can be invisible like in seeds and nuts.
Our food combining recipes
Combining healthy fats with fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A boosts its absorption.
Try using nuts and seeds in carrot halva, kheer or mango barfi while preparing at home. You can add eggs to your vegetable curries; yolk plays the same role as fat. Add olive oil to the salads along with tomatoes and avocados.
A combination of two is always better than one. Like you and your best friend, these food combinations are unbeatable, come what may. Not only in taste but also in nutrients, these combinations provide the best of both.
Make friends with these and your group will be the best in every way. Enjoy these food combinations!
Do you know about other food combinations for health? Share them in the comments below?
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