Food Combinations to Improve Your Health

Improve your health and give your body an extra boost of nutrients with these healthy eating strategies.

  • Synergy, Swaps, & Secret Sources
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com

    Synergy, Swaps, & Secret Sources

    Summertime produce is packed with nutrients that offer protection against disease and contribute to general good health. And eating certain foods in specific combinations can actually double the disease-fighting potency. This is called food synergy, and when you combine it with other strategies such as finding the secret sources of nutrients and swapping unhealthy choices for healthy ones, your body will reap the benefits. Use these recipes in your diet and see how easy it is to swap, synergize, and find secret sources.

    Veggie Plate Menu

  • White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com, Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad

    SYNERGY: Pair 2 sources of zinc for maximum zinc absorption. Zinc helps to control your appetite, so you're less likely to overeat. Try this combination of chicken with white beans.
    SWAP: Make your own dressing using olive oil and fresh ingredients instead of buying a bottled dressing with added sugar and preservatives.
    SECRET SOURCE: Cannellini beans are an excellent source of iron–more than spinach and some red meats. They also are richer in protein than many other plant foods and have as much fiber as oats.

    Watch the Recipe Demo

  • Baby Spinach Salad with Candied Hazelnuts
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com, Karry Hosford

    Baby Spinach Salad with Candied Hazelnuts

    SYNERGY: Vitamin C from the fresh orange sections and the OJ in the dressing help increase absorption of the iron in the spinach.
    SWAP: Skip the croutons and add a salty crunch to your salad by topping with heart-healthy nuts like almonds and pistachios.
    SECRET SOURCE: Hazelnuts are rich in heart-healthy vitamin E as well as folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

    Recipe: Baby Spinach Salad with Candied Hazelnuts

  • Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com, Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard

    Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

    SYNERGY:Cook tomatoes in healthy oil like olive or canola oil to increase the absorption of disease-fighting nutrients.
    SECRET SOURCE:Garlic is the original crime fighter. It is made up of nutrients that protect your body from harmful bacteria, cholesterol and cancer.
    SECRET SOURCE:Fresh herbs like basil are bursting with antioxidants to help fight disease.

    Watch the Recipe Demo.

  • Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com

    Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

    SWAP: No need to call off dessert. Enjoy this sweet treat while you feel good knowing they you are eating something healthy. Choose dark chocolate-dipped fruit instead of candy bars or cookies.
    SECRET SOURCE: High in antioxidants known as flavonoids, dark chocolate may help reduce risk of blood clots, lower blood pressure, increase endurance, improve skin quality, and even sharpen problem-solving skills.
    SECRET SOURCE: Strawberries are packed with vitamin C plus other nutrients to fight cancer and heart disease.

    Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

  • Turkey and Hummus on Pita
    Holley Johnson Grainger, M.S., R.D., MyRecipes.com

    Turkey and Hummus on Pita

    SWAP: Choose whole wheat pita as your bread instead of a fatty croissant or plain white bread. You'll enjoy more fiber, whole grains, and fewer calories.
    SWAP: Choose hummus as a nutrient-rich, creamy condiment instead of mayonnaise.
    SECRET SOURCE: Low-calorie, high-fiber alfalfa sprouts add bulk to your sandwich while contributing a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Recipe: Turkey and Hummus on Pita

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