By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
May 10, 2019
I’m busy. I work hard all day long. At closing time I’m often stuck in the office doing paperwork for two or three more hours. I’m worn out by the time I get home. And when I get there, the last thing I want to do is cook.
I hear this same litany from my patients, day in and day out. But for some reason, they seem to think I don’t “get it”.
Well, I do. I feel exactly the same. And because I’ve experienced this same dilemma over the years, I’ve come up with some super charged food combinations that I can prepare quickly – and boost the nutritional power of my food at the same time.
So hold onto your hat!
Today I’m going to share 5 delicious
and nutritious super-charged food pairings with you
Tomatoes and avocado boost levels of cancer-fighting lycopene. Who can resist salsa and guacamole? How about a tomato and avocado salad with cucumbers and onions?
When you put these two together, you release the nutrient value of the carotenoids found in the tomatoes. Specifically, the power of lutein more than doubles… and lycopene becomes 4.4 times more powerful.
You can pump up those lycopene levels even further if you add a little extra virgin olive oil to the mix. (As it turns out, eating just one meal a day that includes tomatoes cooked with olive oil can pump up your lycopene levels by more than 80% in only five days!)
Lycopene is well-known for its ability to protect against prostate cancer. So as a man, I’m all for getting as much of it as I can.
Protect your vision with a healthy veggie omelet. Omelets and frittatas are incredibly quick and easy to make – even for a bachelor like me. But I don’t fill them up with cheese, ham and bacon. Instead, I like to load them down with beta carotene rich vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, peppers and grated carrot.
Eating eggs with these antioxidant-rich foods enhances carotenoid absorption. Combined, they increase lutein and zeaxathin levels by four to five times and cancer-fighting lycopene three- to eight-fold. (You can get the same results if you make a salad with carotene rich veggies and top it with a boiled egg.)
Boosting levels of these antioxidants is great for your eye health. Your skin, too. Plus, they help boost immune response, decrease inflammation and reduce markers for heart disease.
Fight pain and inflammation with curry and black pepper. Curry is one of my favorite foods. And it’s super easy to whip up a batch of vegetable curry with tofu, shrimp or scallops in less than a half hour… faster if you buy the curry sauce and pour it over your sautéed veggies and protein.
Better yet, I get an added benefit every time I eat it.
Curry is loaded with a powerful antioxidant called curcumin. This compound can work wonders to curb disease-causing inflammation in your joints, arteries, brain and other areas of your body.
The problem is, curcumin is not readily absorbed by your body. However, when it’s combined with black pepper, it can substantially increase the bioavailability of curcumin. So always add black pepper to your curry dishes.
Enhance iron absorption with vitamin C. This might surprise you, but anemia caused by iron deficiency is on the rise these days. The rates have doubled over a period of less than 10 years.
This makes getting enough iron in your diet very important. But here’s the thing. Your body has a very hard time absorbing iron when it comes from plant-sources (non-heme iron), such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds and beans.
However there is an extremely easy way to break non-heme iron down so your body can absorb it more readily. Just add something high in vitamin C to your meal.
You can top a spinach salad with vitamin C-rich yellow peppers and add some lemon juice to the dressing. Toss a citrus fruit salad with pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and macadamias. Try your hand at a bean, apple and cranberry salad. There are plenty of ways to get creative on this one.
Important! I don’t recommend taking an iron supplement unless you are diagnosed as iron deficient by a medical professional and closely monitored. That’s because if you take too much, it can result in toxicity. Thus, it is preferable for you to get healthy amounts of iron in your daily diet.
Get more out of your green tea by adding lemon juice. There is nothing more soothing than a cup of green tea at the end of a long day. Plus it’s filled with healthy phytochemicals that protect against diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and a whole lot more.
Sadly, the digestion process can reduce the effectiveness of those phytochemicals. And in many cases, less than 20% actually remain after digestion.
But guess what? When combined with citrus, a much higher percentage (in the 80% to 90% range) of catechins are preserved after digestion and released into the body.
Unlu NZ, et al. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6.
Fielding JM, et al. Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(2):131-6.
Chen P, et al. Lycopene and Risk of Prostate Cancer A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Aug; 94(33): e1260.
Kim JE, et al. Effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from co-consumed, raw vegetables. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):75-83.
Hewlings SJ, et al. Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017 Oct; 6(10): 92.
Le CHH. The Prevalence of Anemia and Moderate-Severe Anemia in the US Population (NHANES 2003-2012). PLoS One. 2016; 11(11): e0166635.
Green RJ, et al. Common tea formulations modulate in vitro digestive recovery of green tea catechins. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Sep;51(9):1152-62.