Mother nature designed foods so they have the perfect package of nutrients. Some nutrients work as a team to help maximize each other’s functions. Here are four nutrient combinations you should eat together to get the most bang for your buck.
1. Vitamin A & Omega-3s = Vibrant Skin
Vitamin A, also found in foods as beta-carotene, helps keep your skin and eyes healthy. Vitamin A and beta-carotene require fat to be absorbed by the body. Vitamin A and beta-carotene-rich foods like sweet potatoes, squash and carrots should be paired with a healthy fat to promote maximum nutrient absorption.
You can up the ante by pairing vitamin A-rich foods with heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Omega-3s, found in fatty fish and chia seeds, also help promote skin health. Alongside vitamin A, omega-3s will help keep your skin glowing.
Explore our collection of recipes high in omega-3s as well as these vitamin A-rich meals and sides:
- Baked Rainbow Trout Fillet
- One Pan Baked Salmon, Asparagus & Sweet Potato
- Chili Lime Sweet Potato Salad
2. Potassium & Sodium = Better Blood Pressure
Potassium and sodium have a yin and yang effect on the body’s blood pressure. You may know that eating too much sodium can raise blood pressure and increase your risk for hypertension. Potassium counteracts sodium’s effects and can help keep your blood pressure in the correct range.
89% of Americans eat too much sodium. But many Americans could stand to get more potassium in their diets. The average potassium intake in the US is 2640 mg, while the Institute of Medicine recommends that folks consume closer to 4700 mg per day.
To help balance out the sodium in your diet, eat more potassium-rich foods like beans, leafy greens and bananas. Also try these potassium-packed recipes:
- Black Eyed Pea & Sweet Potato Tacos with Pomegranate Seeds
- Black Bean Burgers with Fresh Spring Salad
- Beautifully Simple Banana Smoothie
3. Iron & Vitamin C = Stay Energized
Iron is a mineral that’s essential for making red blood cells. It also helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Not enough iron in the diet can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which can bring on symptoms of tiredness.
The best sources of iron are animal products like meat and seafood. Iron is also found in some plant foods, but the plant-based version of iron isn’t well absorbed by the body. Eating vitamin C at the same meal will help your body better absorb iron from plant-based foods.
Pair plant-based iron sources like spinach, kale and lentils with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus and bell peppers. Try these hand-picked recipes that have the perfect combo of iron and vitamin C:
4. Vitamin D & Calcium = Healthy Teeth
Look closely at a milk label and you’ll see that it’s fortified with vitamin D. This is because vitamin D helps your body better absorb calcium from food. Vitamin D and calcium work together to help keep your teeth healthy and your bones strong.
Your body can get vitamin D from sunlight or food. Food sources of vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, egg yolks and tuna. You’ll find calcium in dairy products, dark leafy greens and fortified plant-based milk.
Here are some recipes with a mix of calcium and vitamin D: