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Healthy Living 5 awesome food pairings for weight watchers

So did you know that pairing certain fruits, vegetables, and produce together can actually make your meal more nutritious?

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Peanut butter and jelly, tomato and basil, wine and cheese.... Some foods were simply made for each other.

So did you know that pairing certain fruits, vegetables, and produce together can actually make your meal more nutritious?

Pump up your meals and help your body absorb more nutrients with healthy food pairs that play off each other to give you even more nutritional benefits.

With the right powerful combo, you won't just enjoy your meal more, you'll take in more vitamins and minerals too!

Here are 5 options you might want to try out.

Eggs and Salad

Scientists have discovered an easy way to make sure you absorb even more nutrients from your raw veggies: put an egg on top.

In a study from Purdue University, people who ate a salad topped with three scrambled eggs absorbed three to nine times more carotenoids, including lycopene and beta-carotene, two antioxidants that may reduce cancer risk, slow down cognitive decline, and prevent heart disease, than those who ate an eggless salad.

These nutrients are fat-soluble; the fat in eggs helps make them more available for absorption.

Roast vegetables and olive oil

Eggs aren't the only healthy fat source.

“In general, eating vegetables with added fats helps improve the absorption of beta-carotene in the vegetables,” says Rosanne Rust, founder of Rust Nutrition Services.

The classic example of this is roasted vegetables (or raw ones, like tomatoes) and olive oil, but butter or even avocado will also work, she notes.

Steak and broccoli

You may not think of beef as a healthy food, but red meat does deliver an energizing punch of iron. And that's where the broccoli comes in.

“Iron-rich foods are absorbed into the blood more readily when a food that's high in vitamin C is eaten at the same time,” explains Sarah Krieger, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Simple, pan-seared steak and roasted broccoli are classic together.

Tofu and Bell peppers

You can get iron from more than red meat! Tofu contains a generous 6.6 milligrams per 1/2 cup.

To help your body take in all of that goodness, try pairing the vegetarian staple with bell peppers, which have more vitamin C than an orange, with a meal like this Tofu Living Salad with Sesame-Lemon Dressing.

Don’t like tofu? Beans or lentils work as well, Rust says.

Garlic, onions and wild rice

When researchers added garlic and onion to whole grains, they found that the zinc and iron in the grains became more bioavailable (meaning they were easier for the body to absorb), according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.

Add the pungent spices to cooked wild rice, top your next whole-grain sandwich with onions, or toss them with whole-grain spaghetti.

View photos of these pairings in gallery.

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