LONDON – The nutritional supplement industry collects billions of dollars from health conscious individuals who aim to nourish their bodies and specific organs simply through a pill or powder. Experts say everything we need for optimal health can be found right in the foods we put on our plates, especially when we combine products. But a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults shows that 21% of people have little or no understanding of vitamins and minerals and their role in their bodies.
The OnePoll study also reveals that 54% of adults are unaware that combining different foods can be beneficial to their health. Another 31% never think about mixing foods to get the most out of them.
Rob Hobson, a British nutritionist with a particular interest in food science, says the right combinations of foods can actually “boost” your health. “We thrive on synergies and many of us create them in our lives without even knowing we are doing them,” says Hobson, speaking on behalf of UK supplement brand Healthspan, which commissioned the research. “From a biological point of view, the body needs synergies to function properly. Food synergy is defined by how certain foods and the nutrients they contain work together to provide health benefits that are stronger than individual foods alone. So sometimes the simple combination of two things can increase the impact it has on your health.
Food Synergy Facts
What are some food combinations that can improve your health?
Hobson says if you want to boost your mood, combine your daily apple with a few leafy greens. Having fish curry, which combines both turmeric and oily fish, can create a powerful anti-inflammatory. And eating banana with yogurt can improve bone health and help intestinal bacteria.
black grapes, rich in the antioxidant polyphenol catechin, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological disorders. Mixing them with onion can inhibit blood clots and stimulate cardiovascular health.
Other health-promoting food combinations include garlic and honey, which can help fight upper respiratory infections, and almonds and berries which can help prevent heart disease. More combinations can be found further down the article.
Is lack of vitamins a problem for most adults?
Meanwhile, according to the survey, 54% think their diet is lacking key vitamins or nutrients. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) blame it on not knowing what vitamins and minerals are in different foods. Another 36 percent attribute it to not knowing what nutrients they need.
Vitamin D (38 percent), iron (33 percent) and vitamin C (31%) are among the nutrients people are most likely to think they lack. As a result, 56% of respondents are currently taking a supplement, with 46% of those taking vitamin D and 35% taking a supplement. multivitamin.
“While foods can have their own health benefits, this can be even more important when mixed together because they can help each other do their job better,” says Hobson. “Our diet is extremely important to our health and paying more attention to what we eat and how we combine foods can be really beneficial and these can then be exploited to target specific conditions such as reducing inflammation, management Diabetes and heart disease or treating the symptoms of menopause.”
Despite this, 44% of people make no effort to ensure they get the right amount of vitamins each day, even though four in five believe a person’s health can be managed by what they eat. Nearly half (46%) think they have actually suffered from a health problem because of a bad diet.
That said, only 32% of respondents are confident that they would know the signs of a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals.
“Food should always come first, but cleverly combining combinations of vitamins and minerals in supplements can also play a role in supporting our health,” says Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Director working with Healthspan.
10 SUPER MEALS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH WITH FOOD SYNERGY, ACCORDING TO ROB HOBSON
1. Salmon, shrimp and almond curry
Help to: Reduce inflammation in the body which is the root of all chronic diseases
Food synergy: Oily fish (salmon, trout, herring, sardines, mackerel) – omega 3 + turmeric (curcumin)
This fish curry is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids found in Salmon and curcumin which is the active compound present in turmeric. Together, this dietary synergy can amplify the anti-inflammatory effects of individual nutrients alone. Reducing inflammation in the body can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including those of the heart.
2. Overnight oats topped with almonds and berries
Helps with: Heart disease
Food synergy: Almonds (flavonoids) with foods rich in vitamin C (berries)
Almond the skin contains flavonoids which act as powerful antioxidants in the body. When combined with vitamin C found in foods such as berries, this combination has been shown to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol is now considered a key factor in the development of heart disease.
3. Tomato, avocado and chickpea salad with olive oil
Helps with: heart health, prostate health
Food synergy: Foods rich in lycopene (tomatoes) + olive oil
Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. This plant compound has also been linked to improved prostate health. Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene which is aided in its absorption when combined with fats such as olive oil. Olive oil has many health benefits that promote good heart health, including reducing inflammation and increasing HDL cholesterol.
4. Breakfast smoothie made with probiotic yogurt and banana
Helps with: A healthy microbiota, bone health
Food synergy: Probiotic yogurt + banana (prebiotics)
Probiotic yogurt releases beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus in the gut. Maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria is essential for a healthy microbiota. This is important because the gut is where food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed and distributed throughout the body. gut health is also closely related to immunity. Adding bananas adds prebiotics (inulin) to the mix. These indigestible fibers are fermented by bacteria in the gut. Essentially, they help feed the bacteria in your gut, helping it to thrive.
5. Blue cheese and grape salad (including red onions)
Helps with: heart health, arterial pressure (traffic)
Food synergy: Black grape (catechin) + onions
Black grapes are rich in the antioxidant catechin polyphenol, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease, Cancer, and neurological disorders and in weight management. Together, onion and grape inhibit blood clot formation and improve heart health. Studies have shown that this combination helps improve cardiovascular protection by improving circulation.
6. Apple, walnut and spinach salad
Helps with: Cognitive function and mood
Food synergy: Apples (flavonoids) + green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, arugula) – dietary nitrate
Apples and green leaves vegetables – Apples are high in flavonoids and green leafy vegetables are high in dietary nitrate. Studies reveal that the combination of flavonoids and nitrate could increase the production of nitrous oxide. The increase in nitrous oxide following the consumption of flavonoids and dietary nitrate could improve cognitive function and mood. Beets are also high in dietary nitrates. Walnuts have been shown to slow cognitive decline and keep your brain working at its best.
7. Chicken with paprika and turmeric (the spice mix includes black pepper)
Helps with: Joint health
Food synergy: Black pepper (piperine) + turmeric (curcumin)
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and it has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is difficult to absorb into the body but in combination with black pepper its absorption is amplified. The active ingredient in pepper is called piperine which is responsible for this absorbing effect.
8. Black bean chili (including red peppers)
Helps with: Iron deficiency (anemia)
Food synergy: black beans (iron) + red peppers (vitamin C)
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. Non-heme iron from plant foods is less easily absorbed by the body. It is widely accepted that non-heme iron is more easily absorbed in the presence of vitamin C. Plant sources of iron include beans, legumes, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and dried fruits. Red peppers are the richest food source of vitamin C, but others include berries, broccolicitrus fruits and potatoes.
9. Ginger and turmeric vinaigrette (including honey and garlic)
Helps with: Upper respiratory tract infections
Food synergy: Garlic (phenols) + honey
Garlic and honey are often cited as being singularly antibacterial. However, research has shown that in combination they have a greater ability to reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria which is due to the synergistic action of phenols and fatty acids found in food. It has also been suggested that in combination, these two foods may be a useful alternative treatment for upper respiratory tract infections or may be used with pharmaceutical prescriptions. antibiotics.
72Point writer Gemma Francis contributed to this report