Have you ever wondered why we serve certain foods together? Throwing sliced tomatoes on your morning avocado toast or a dash of rosemary onto your steak dinner sounds like common sense food pairings, even to the daily ramen noodler, but is there a scientific reason why we pair foods the way we do?
Research shows that there’s a method to the mouth-watering madness: consuming certain nutrients together is more beneficial than eating them apart. David Jacobs, PhD, was the first to call this concept “food synergy.”
While we’re definitely not talking dynamic duos like Oreos dunked in peanut butter or M&Ms and pizza, there are tons of tasty superfood combos that you probably already pair together. Here are five starter pairs that the Huffington Post suggests will up the nutrient and flavor points of your meal the next time you cook.
1. Avocado and Tomato
Whether on a salad, sandwich, toast, or tortilla, stack your avo and tomato extra high to optimize vitamin absorption. You’re welcome for another reason to eat avocado toast every day.
2. Turmeric and Black Pepper
There is nothing like a big bowl of good curry, but if that’s not your jam, try sprinkling a pinch of these herbs into your salad dressing or on roasted veggies.
#SpoonTip: Try out cauliflower and chickpeas to get your fill of this piperine and curcumin superfood combo.
3. Rosemary and Grilled Meat
We’ve all heard about the potentially carcinogenic dangers of eating burned or charred meat. That’s where rosemary comes in. Although it’s probably best to to avoid a patty grilled to black, adding rosemary to your meat can help break up the carcinogenic compounds and prevent them from forming while it cooks.
4. Spinach and Lemon
Because vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, these two work together as the perfect match. Simply add a splash of lemon in your morning green smoothie (try this recipe for one that actually tastes good) or a squeeze a half slice of citrus onto your salad.
5. Orange Juice and Oatmeal
Bet you didn’t know you were already eating a superfood-level breakfast. Eating oats along with a source of vitamin C can help stabilize your cholesterol levels when consumed together. Adding sliced strawberries, berries or papayas into the mix are other ways to get a kick of vita C.