Although many metabolism-boosting foods are nutritious on their own, pairing foods together can maximize their metabolism-boosting potential. Having a balance among your meals helps you get all the nutrients you need and keeps your metabolic rate high.
Pairing fiber and protein at breakfast is great for satiation, and that’s also true for lunch, snack, and dinner. If you fully round out that meal with an unsaturated fat, you’ll enhance that effect even further.
Not only that, but making healthy choices within the macronutrients (types of food required in large amounts by the body like protein, fat, and carbohydrate) groups can help boost your immunity and reduce your risk for diseases.
Most frequently, you see meals containing foods that have a high percentage of carbohydrate without much protein or fat to balance out the plate. For example, a plate of pasta with vegetables — although the meal has nutritious components, it’s missing protein and fat to fuel your digestion. Adding grilled chicken or beans can help fill you up and consume a smaller portion overall.
In addition to balancing your plate, try these power pairs of foods for a healthy bonus:
Add avocado to your salad. Research shows that heart-healthy fats paired with tomatoes and dark leafy green vegetables can help absorption of the antioxidants within, such as lycopene (protective against cancer) and lutein (protects your eyes). Also, just eating tomatoes and spinach or broccoli together helps boost lycopene’s power.
Make a fruit salad with berries and apples. The quercetin found in berries and the catechins in apples (actually apples contain both) work together to improve platelet clotting and may prevent cardiac events like heart attacks.
Cook up a side of beans laced with greens. Non-heme iron found in beans is better absorbed when paired with a dose of vitamin C, such as with kale, spinach, or broccoli.
Steel-cut oatmeal and orange juice. Phenols, antioxidant compounds, in the oatmeal and vitamin C in the OJ, work together to reduce your LDL or “bad” cholesterol to improve heart health.
Spice up your salmon. Turmeric, the spice that gives curry powder it’s bright orange-yellow coloring, and the omega-3 in fish may doubly protect against cancer by preventing cells from multiplying. Although fatty fish on its own has the potential to improve heart health, adding turmeric can boost this effect.
Blend a smoothie with nuts or seeds and skim milk. While you may choose skim milk to reduce your saturated fat intake, you do need fat for absorption of vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin A found in the milk. In your smoothie, add a serving of walnuts or flaxseeds for a boost and a more satisfying drink.