Part 2: Dynamic Dietary Duos

Research continues to reveal that combining certain foods deliver more health benefits when consumed together.

By Corina Tan

 Continuing the topic on food combinations that increase health benefits, here are more dynamic duos to consider:


Pasta & VinegarHelps prevent type 2 diabetes

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Vinegar contains acetic acid, which reduces the spike in blood sugar that occurs after consuming foods high in carbohydrates like rice, bread and pasta.  Blood sugar spikes are best avoided so that the body isn’t creating too much insulin.  A steadier rise in blood sugar is better as it reduces hunger, maintains satiety and helps minimise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  A pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing is a good example of a combination that reduces blood sugar spike and inhibits insulin secretion.


Fish & WineIncreases omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as trout, sardines, herring and salmon.  As omega-3s are touted for their ability to reduce cardiovascular diseases, they are highly encouraged in diets.  Scientists believe that heart healthy polyphenol antioxidants in wine may be responsible for higher omega-3 absorption, and consuming one glass of wine a day increases omega-3s in the blood.


Green Tea & Lemon JuiceBoosts immunity & heart health

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Catechins are antioxidants found in green tea which has a positive effect on cardiovascular health.  Green tea also strengthens the immune system and reduces the rate of tumours.  Adding citrus juice is a way to further boost the power of catechins by reducing their breakdown in the digestive system, making them more readily absorbed by the body.


Tofu & Chili PeppersReduces inflammation and body fat

Chronic inflammation in the body is known to be a risk factor for heart disease and cancer.  Research shows that combining capsaicin found in chilli peppers like capsicum, and genistein found in soy foods like tofu, help increase the body’s ability to digest fat and helps reduce inflammation.


Green Beans & TomatoesIncreases iron

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Iron is necessary for producing haemoglobin that transports oxygen to the brain and muscles.  When iron levels are low, it can lead to headaches, fatigue and fast heart rate.  In food, iron can be found in both animal-based and plant-based food, but the body absorbs far less iron from plant-based food.  Adding vitamin C from sources like tomatoes into plant-based food can significantly increase the body’s ability to absorb iron.


Banana & WaterSpeeds up post-workout recovery

After exercising, most people turn to isotonic sports drinks to replenish lost minerals.  A study in 2018 showed that both banana and water is just as good or even more effective for post-workout recovery.  Bananas increase serotonin and dopamine levels that helps with pain and inflammation, while water rehydrates the body.


See also Dynamic Dietary Duos Part 1

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