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5 Powerful Food Pairings to Maximize Nutrition

Peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and tomato soup, coffee and donuts – some foods were simply made for each other. But did you know certain foods can be paired together to pack a mean, nutritious punch? With the right powerful combo you can create recipes with nutrient-minded ingredients that work together to deliver more optimal health benefits than they do on their own.

Here are five powerful,nutrient-rich food pairings that will have you saying #healthyeah!

Strawberries, Multigrain cereal, yogurt

Strawberries, Multigrain Cereal, and Yogurt
Say good morning to your new breakfast BFF (yes, there’s life outside Perfect Bar)). Strawberries, multigrain cereal and yogurt make for a healthy breakfast, in which the ingredients literally feed off one another. The Vitamin C in strawberries helps your body maximize the iron intake from the cereal, and the fat from the yogurt helps boost the absorption of the nutrients found in the strawberries. Talk about starting the day off on the right foot!

eggs, leafy greens

Eggs and Leafy Greens
Want to absorb more of your foods nutrients? It’s pretty simple: put an egg on it! Pairing eggs and power greens together help your body absorb the nutrients found in vegetables including carotenoids: the pigments found in fruits and vegetables, which act as antioxidants that may reduce cancer risk, slow down cognitive decline, and prevent heart disease. Our body can also turn carotenoids into Vitamin A, which is just a plain bonus feature of this powerful pair. Get more out of your greens by topping them with eggs – deviled, hard boiled or scrambled – you pick!

Avocado, sweet potato

Avocado and Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious and able to be cooked every which way, they’re rich in Vitamin A, important for normal vision, the immune system and reproduction. In order for our bodies to absorb this vitamin, needs to be paired with a dietary fat. That’s where the mighty – and also tasty – avocado comes in! This healthy fat is needed for optimal absorption of Vitamin A. Eating foods that are rich in fat-soluble vitamins, like sweet potatoes, carrots and fish, are better absorbed when coupled with healthy fats, like avocado, nuts and olive oil. Give these fall-friendly ingredients a whirl together with this Sweet Potato and Avocado Pesto Salad recipe.

steak, oranges

Steak and Oranges
This unlikely duo provides a powerful punch of nutrition and taste. You may not think of red meat as a healthy food, but steak is a great source of iron, which is responsible for producing hemoglobin: a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. When iron-filled foods are paired with Vitamin C-packed ingredients, like an orange citrus slaw, you can benefit from the iron in red meat meat and prevent the formation of unabsorbable iron compounds. Pump up your iron intake with this Steak Fajitas and Citrus Slaw recipe.

kale, salmon

Kale and Salmon
Our love for kale is no secret – but when paired with salmon, we’ve got a match made in health-food heaven. Our bodies need Vitamin D (which salmon is chock full of) to absorb the full nutritious value of calcium. While it isn’t a direct comparison, it’s worth noting that 100 grams of kale has 150 mg of calcium, while the same amount of milk contains just 125 mg. With all that calcium, leafy greens like kale need a boost of Vitamin D, which is why salmon is the perfect match in this dynamic duo. Try this pairing in this delectable recipe to get the most bang for your nutritious buck.

As you can see, these already nutrient-rich foods can be taken to a whole other level when paired together. These combos not only excite your taste buds, but they can boost your health! Keeping the nutrients naturally found in your favorite ingredients in mind can help you get the most out of your diet in this New Year.

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