Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tandem Eating

Tandem- not just for bike riding anymore!

Eating foods in tandem is something we should all do a bit more of.  When we eat certain foods in tandem the nutrients in each food help each other out and our bodies can more easily and readily absorb the nutrients from the food.

Sounds hard though right?  It's not.  When I started thinking about what I eat on a daily basis I noticed that by eating a diet low in processed food I naturally combine foods that work really well together in my body. 

Read on below to see some of the best nutrient combinations you can eat, and some ideas of how to incorporate them into your diet!

Nutrients to eat in tandem:

Iron + Vitamin C = the Vitamin C helping your body absorb the iron.

Food Combos to Try:
- Spinach + Mandarin orange salad
- My Tempeh and Lentil Soup with a grapefruit or orange on the side
- Stir-fry with brown rice and broccoli
- Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce + baked potato

Phytochemicals + Vitamin E = enhancing the additive effects of Vitamin E.

Food Combos to Try:
- Snack plate full of nuts, veggies and fruits
- Spinach salad with tomatoes, beans and onions.
- Tuna wrap with a side of mango

Healthy Fat + Veggies = helps your body absorb phytochemicals 
Phytochemicals are protective chemical compounds found in plants.  One of the biggest mistakes that dieters make isto replace full-fat olive oil based dressings with fat-free dressings.  Not only does this decrease your body's ability to absorb nutrients, it also makes you hungrier faster.  Making you feel deprived, and making it much harder to stick to your diet!

Food Combos to try:
- Salad with foods containing carotenoids(carrots, tomatoes, spinach, etc.) + olive oil based dressing.
- Salad with avocado on top.
- Guacamole with veggies instead of chips for dipping
- Veggie wrap with avocado on top
- Roasted veggies tossed in olive oil seasoning

Tomatoes + Broccoli = better cancer fighting abilities when eaten together.

Food Combos To Try:
- Spaghetti Squash with marinara sauce and broccoli on top/on the side
- Salad topped with broccoli and tomatoes.
- Roasted/steamed broccoli with lasagna. (or just put broccoli in your lasagna)

Vinegar + Rice = reducing the glycemic index of the rice by up to 35%.

Food Combos to Try:
- Stir Fry with a vinegar and soy sauce base over brown rice.
- Sushi Rolls with sushi rice prepared with vinegar.
- Salad topped with brown rice and a vinegar based dressing.

So what did I learn from writing this post?  I really need to eat more spinach! It serisouly is one of the most nutrient dense foods out there.  Too bad I am kind of picky about how I eat it.  I am totally going to finally make myself a Green Monster as soon as I get home for Thanksgiving break! (Since there is a blender at my parents house...but not at my apartment)

Overall with every meal I try to have a wide variety of nutrients.  The easiest way to pump of the nutrients in any meal is to make sure you have a RAINBOW of COLOR on your plate.  Think brown (grains/complex carbohydrates) + tan (protein i.e. tofu, tempeh, chicken) + green (veggies) + yellow/red (fruit).  Also try to make sure you have a good mix of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates in any meal.

Do you plan your meals to include the most nutrients as possible?

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