Source: The Happiness Diet
by Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, M.D.
We know industrial food makes us unhealthy, but new research has revealed it’s also making us unhappy. In this lively, accessible book, you’ll learn how food plays a vital role in brain function and how you can improve your mental and emotional well-being by tweaking what’s on your plate.
Many of the dishes humans have eaten for generations — such as rice and beans, or tomatoes drizzled with olive oil — have withstood the test of time not simply because the ingredients taste delicious together. Health experts believe we enjoy these food combinations because they’re more nutritious together than they are on their own. The concept is called “food synergy,” and it explains how two foods can be greater than the sum of their parts. Here are a few of the most powerful food synergies currently known to science.
Eggs and Cheese
The vitamin D found in egg yolks makes the calcium in dairy more available to your body — important not only for bones, but for heart health as well.
Rosemary and Steak
Marinate your steak with rosemary before cooking: The herb is rich in antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid that help neutralize carcinogenic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that form when steak reaches a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Tomatoes and Olive Oil
Cancer- and heart disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids (the most well known of which is lycopene) are found in abundance in tomatoes. They’re fat-soluble and, as such, they’re more available to your body when you eat them with fats such as olive oil or mozzarella cheese.
Garlic and Fish
Both of these foods fight inflammation and disease, but together they’re even more powerful. Research has shown that a combination of garlic and fish lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol more effectively than eating the foods on their own.
Raspberries and Chocolate
Scientists have discovered that when raspberries and chocolate are paired together, their disease-fighting flavonoids (quercetin in raspberries and catechin in chocolate) are even more effective at thinning the blood and improving heart health.
Turmeric and Black Pepper
The spice turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties — it’s being studied for its potential to fight cancer, improve liver function, lower cholesterol and stave off Alzheimer’s disease. When you combine it with black pepper, your body absorbs a thousand times more curcumin (turmeric’s active ingredient).
Salmon and Red Wine
Plant compounds in grapes known as polyphenols do more than promote good circulation — they also help your body absorb more of the brain-healthy omega-3s in fish.
Oatmeal and Oranges
Phenols (a type of plant compound) in oatmeal and vitamin C in oranges both lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. When eaten together, their ability to improve cholesterol and prevent heart disease is four times greater than what they’re capable of individually.