power food pairs

Healthy-TummyEaten alone, these vitamins and minerals are good for you. But paired,they become nutritional superpowers- giving you endless energy, strong bones and more. It's not exactly a news flash that milk can give you strong bones and carrots help sharpen your eyesight. But what you may not know is that you can get more disease-fighting bang by eating certain foods together. Think Simon and Garfunkel, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers- one's good, but together they're even better. Here, seven power couples.

healthy tummy,strong bones
If you've ever had a bout of tummy trouble, you should know about inulin (a type of fiber), which helps balance the levels of "good" bacteria in your digestive system. Inulin also benefits your bones by enhancing calcium absorption. You're most likely to run across it as a fiber supplement (Fibersure) or added to foods like yogurt (Yo-Plus, Activia Fiber), but here are a few good natural food options.

> GOOD SOURCES OF CALCIUM
Milk, yogurt, cheese (all kinds), broccoli,kale, canned-with-bones salmon and sardines, tofu made with calcium chloride or calcium sulfate, almonds,fortified orange juice; fortified soy,rice or almond milk
> GOOD SOURCES OF INULIN
Artichokes, dandelion greens, onions,garlic, leeks, chicory, bananas, wholewheat flour, asparagus
> COMBO IDEAS
• Bananas in cereal with skim milk
• Grilled asparagus with shaved Parmesan


strong bonesStrong-Bones

Ever wonder why milk is D-fortified? Your body needs high enough levels of D to absorb bone-building calcium.

> GOOD SOURCES OF CALCIUM
Kale, broccoli, milk, yogurt, cheese,fortified orange juice; fortified soy,rice or almond milk
> GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
Salmon, sardines, canned light tuna,herring, egg yolks; fortified soy, rice,almond or cow's milk
> COMBO IDEAS
• Grilled salmon with sautéed kale
• Broccoli-cheese omelet
• Tuna melt with lowfat cheese on whole-grain bread


sharp visionSharp-Vision

Want to keep your eyesight sharp? Pump up the E, which may help prevent macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), and combine it with C,which turns vitamin E into the "ready to fight" form that your body can use best.

> GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN E
Almonds (and almond butter),peanuts (and peanut butter), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, soybeans
> GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN C
Citrus fr uits, kiwi, guava, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes
> COMBO IDEAS
• Peanut but ter and sliced strawberries (on a sandwich or toast)
• Salad with mandarin oranges and toasted slivered almonds


more energyMore-Energy

Banish that "I'm so tired" feeling by making sure you're getting enough iron,which helps carry oxygen to your muscles,brain and throughout your body. A potent disease fighter in its own right, vitamin C helps keep your gums, heart and skin healthy, and helps your cells absorb more iron. You can find iron in plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, beans) and animal-based foods (red meat, chicken, eggs). But it's harder for your body to absorb iron from the plant-based ones, which is why pairing them with C is a smart move.

> PLANT-BASED IRON SOURCES
Spinach, oatmeal, tofu, wheat germ,quinoa, starchy beans (including black, pinto, soy, fava , chickpeas)
> GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN C
Citrus fruits, kiwi, guava, s trawberries,tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli,Brussels sprouts, potatoes
> COMBO IDEAS
• Spinach salad with orange slices
• Bean bur rito with salsa
• Oatmeal with strawberries


healthy heart and bonesHealthy-Heart

Fat is good-or at least it can be, if you eat the right type. The "good" fats (mono-and polyunsaturated,including omega-3s) have major health benefits like lowering cholesterol,and your body can't absorb certain vitamins-including vitamin K,which is crucial for building bone and blood clotting-without fat.

> GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN K
Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
> GOOD SOURCES OF FAT
Nuts-any kind, including walnuts,almonds, peanuts, cashews; oils including olive, almond, canola, flaxseed,hazelnut, toasted sesame, avocado
> COMBO IDEAS
• Swiss chard, spinach or broccoli sautéed in olive oil
• Roasted Brussels sprouts with slivered almonds


glowing skinGlowing-Skin

Move over, antiaging creams: Betacarotene-which needs fat for absorption and is turned into vitamin A in your body-helps give your skin a youthful glow. Vitamin A also plays a vital role in a healthy immune and reproductive system. But it needs the good fat to help your body absorb it.

> GOOD SOURCES OF BETA-CAROTENE
Carrots, apricots, canta loupe, sweet potato, papaya, kale, spinach
> GOOD SOURCES OF FAT
Nuts-any kind, including walnuts,almonds, peanuts; oils including 0live,almond,canola, flaxseed, toasted sesame, avocado
> COMBO IDEAS
• Oven-roasted sweet potato fries made with olive or canola oil
• Carrots dipped in guacamole or hummus (made with sesame-based tahini and/or olive oil)
• Trail mix made with dried apricots,dried papaya, almonds and walnuts


strong immune systemStrong-Immune

Attention onion and garlic lovers!These two pungent plants do more than add flavor to foods, Turns out their sulfur compounds help boost absorption of the zinc that's found in whole-grain foods (important for immunity and wound healing).

> GOOD SOURCES OF ZINC
All whole grains, including brown rice and whole-grain breads; legumes
> GOOD SOURCES OF SULFUR COMPOUNDS
Onions,garlic
> COMBO IDEAS
• Brown (or wild) rice with caramelized onions
• Whole-wheat bagel topped with light cream cheese and sliced onion


DAMAGE CONTROL
some foods and nutrients can actually help negate the bad effects of others. They are:

potassium
It's a fact that too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Trying to stay within the daily 1,500-2,300 mg sodium recommendation is a must, but including potassium-rich foods in your diet can also help ease the negative effects of salt on your blood pressure.

Most fruits and vegetables are packed with potassium, but superstar standouts include apricots, avocado, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, cantaloupe, artichokes, beets, broccoli, okra, white and sweet potatoes (with skin), spinach, tomatoes and beets, Dried beans and lentils, cod, halibut, flounder, salmon,  milk and yogurt are also excellent options.

>COMBO IDEAS
. Add lots of vegetables to stir-fries and other salty entrées. For example, slimmer baby spinach leaves into pasta sauce and toss with whole-wheat penne; order chicken with broccoli at your next chinese (sodium central!) outing.
. If you eat packaged soups (which tend to be high in salt), look for ones with potassium-rich ingredients such as black-bean, minestrone and lentil.
. Include beets, broccoli, avocado and/or tomatoes in salads when using salty store-bought dressings.


Vinegar

Vinegar has been shown to decrease the rise in your blood sugar that happens after you eat carb-rich foods, making it a welcome addition to the diets of the millions of people who have, or are at risk for, diabetes. You don't even need to have a lot-just 2 teaspoons will do the trick!

>COMBO IDEAS
. Marinated (olive oil and vinegar) vegetables in a whole-wheat wrap
. Salad with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil as as starter course before any carb-rich meal (like pasta)