Day 19 of our 30-day nutrition challenge is to include at least one of the following nutrition synergies every day for added health benefit with no additional work.

Some foods and drinks go great together to bring you added health benefits. Synergy is all about variety in your diet and nutrient rich foods because we consist of what we consume and therefore influencing our health.

Green leafy vegetables + vitamin C

Vitamin C improves the absorption of non-haeme iron by forming non-absorbable iron then converting ferric iron to the better absorbable source of iron ferrous iron[i].

Calcium + vitamin D

Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium.

Green tea + lemon

Lemon added to green tea improves absorption by up to 10 times the EGCG which is already in green tea[ii], and vit C improves absorption of antioxidants in green tea by up to five times more than green tea on its own[iii].

Banana + yogurt

Bananas are a good source of inulin which is a prebiotic which helps feed the probiotics (good bacteria) helping to support immunity. Plain yogurt is a good source of probiotics so the banana is helping to feed the culture in the plain yogurt.

Mushrooms + garlic

Mushrooms contain many fungal species. Garlic is an antifungal and when eaten with mushrooms can reduce the fungal effect of mushrooms. Helpful if there are recurrent fungal infections (thrush, athlete foot).

Tomatoes + olive oil

Olive oil helps to absorb the fat soluble carotenoids which are found in tomatoes. Lycopene (one of the carotenoids) is enhanced by 5-6 times from cooking rather than eating tomatoes raw[iv].

Carbohydrates + protein/fat/fibre

Carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels perhaps to greater levels than you imagine (it’s not just sweet tasting foods e.g. white rice dramatically increases blood glucose levels even though it doesn’t have a sweet taste). Adding either protein, fibre or fat at the same time as carbohydrates slows the speed of glucose release into bloodstream. A good example is eating cake/biscuits/sweets should also include a glass of milk, yogurt, or handful of nuts.

If you’d like to find out more tips to improve your health check out our webinars and our Bitesize Nutrition podcasts.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think using #nutritionchallenge30

[i] https://europepmc.org/article/med/2507689/reload=0

[ii] https://www.ijpp.com/IJPP%20archives/2000_44_2/215-219.pdf

[iii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814604001359?via%3Dihub

[iv] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900705002972

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