Enriching Your Diet with Culinary Power Couples

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It’s often said that two heads are better than one, and this phrase can extend to the foods you eat to boost your nutrition. There are tons of foods that you might consider eating more often, such as spinach, flaxseeds, and beans, since each of these can add valuable nutrients to your diet without an excess of calories. Each of these foods, however, has a counterpart that can increase how much of a given nutrient your body absorbs. Below you’ll see a few of these pairings that might help you design a more well-rounded diet.

Black Beans and Bell Peppers

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If you are a vegetarian, getting enough iron can be a challenge. While there are plenty of plant-based foods rich in iron—including black beans—the iron contained in these foods is not as easily absorbed by the body as the heme iron in meat. Vitamin C, which is found in abundance in red and orange bell peppers, helps the body absorb non-heme iron from black beans and other plant-based sources of iron. Plus, these foods are easily combined in any soups, salads, or chili.

Avocado and Spinach

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Both avocado and spinach are often brought up as superfoods, because they are each packed with vitamin A and lutein, nutrients that can support your vision and eye health. As an added bonus, avocado has plenty of healthy fats to help you absorb these nutrients.

Yogurt and Flaxseeds

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There has been a big trend in consuming more probiotics to aid digestion, but probiotics are only beneficial when they have prebiotics to digest. The combination of probiotic-rich yogurt and prebiotic-rich flaxseeds will be the perfect start to your day, since these foods will balance the bacteria in your stomach to promote more comfortable and efficient digestion.

Green Tea and Black Pepper

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Green tea and black pepper are both touted for their toxin-cleansing capabilities thanks to the EGCG in green tea and the piperine in black pepper. When these chemicals are combined, they can boost metabolism and maybe even prevent certain cancers, but you may not enjoy the taste of green tea with the spice of black pepper. As an alternative to this bold beverage, try using brewed tea and black pepper in a marinade.