Powerful Food Combos


Certain foods are meant to be eaten together to bring out their nutritional benefits in the best way possible. Bioavailability is a term that describes how easily a nutrient is broken down, absorbed and utilized by the body. Foods can work together to enhance bioavailability, and allow nutrients to become more powerful and efficient in our bodies.

Try these 10 food combinations that are better when eaten together.

Tomatoes + Avocados

Feel good about treating yourself to some guacamole. Tomatoes contain carotenoids, plant pigments that are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease, and act to enhance your immune response to infections. And healthy fats, like the ones found in avocados, are able to pick up carotenoids from the stomach and disperse them throughout the body. Enjoy this powerful combination on a salad or this delicious wrap.

Sweet Potato + Coconut Oil

Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin and hair. Vitamin A is absorbed more readily when paired with a fat source like coconut oil. Try this recipe for baked sweet potato fries that uses coconut oil.

Oatmeal + Peanut Butter

This combination of complex carbs and healthy fats is great for breakfast, or as fuel for an endurance workout. The complex carbs from the oatmeal keep you going, and the fats from peanut butter help stabilize blood sugar.

Raspberries + Chocolate

Raspberries and chocolate go so well together because they each contain flavonoids that, when combined, improve cardiovascular health. Next time you’re craving dessert, indulge in this raspberry chocolate tart.

Black Beans + Lime

Citrus fruits like lime provide high levels of vitamin C, which makes the plant-based iron in foods like black beans easier for your body to use. Try this recipe for black bean tacos with lime vinaigrette. Tasty and it will help sustain healthy cells and lungs.

Almonds + Yogurt

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E are activated and absorbed when eaten with healthy fats, like the ones found in almonds. Yogurt is a great source of vitamin D, which helps repair and strengthen your bones. So tossing a few almonds in the next time you snack on yogurt will keep your bones strong and healthy.

Hard-Boiled Egg + Banana

This pairing is the perfect afternoon snack. The healthy sugars from the banana deliver a speedy energy boost, while the healthy fats and protein from the egg keep blood sugar levels from spiking.

Lemon + Kale

When you add a squeeze of lemon juice to leafy greens like kale, spinach and Swiss chard, it causes a chemical reaction in your body that helps absorb iron in those leafy greens, which will in turn stave off muscle fatigue. The next time you’re craving a salad post-workout, be sure to add a squeeze of lemon to your greens.

Kombucha + Cashews

Snacking on cashews is a great way to get a boost of protein and of zinc, which functions as an immune booster. Studies show that fermented products like kombucha help improve the absorption of zinc in the gut. This immune boosting combination is an ideal snack on the go. Like to do it yourself? Make your own kombucha instead of buying it at the store.

Garlic + Fish

Cooking fish with garlic enhances the cholesterol-reducing properties in fish oils more than if it’s prepared sans spices. And when these two are combined, the garlic can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well. Try this recipe for lemon garlic tilapia.

For more healthy combinations, visit the SPE Certified TASTE platform at any of the three resident Dining Commons.


6 thoughts on “Powerful Food Combos

  1. This is so informative! I didn’t know any of these either! I will definitely be making more of dishes pairing certain items together. The Kombucha and Cashew pair surprised me the most. Thanks!

  2. Great Tips! Didn’t know there were so many combos! I’m putting these tips in my phone right now! 😀

  3. This was great!! I love some of these combinations and this even supports the message that SPE is trying to convey: the use of ingredients that enhance the absorption and bioavailability of each other. Can’t wait to try some of these, thank you!!

  4. This is a REALLY cool post! I haven’t tried the good majority of these, and it gives me so many ideas for a lot of awesome food combos that are also nutritionally optimizing 🙂 Thanks!

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