Better Together: Power Food Combinations

Some food pairs actually work together to help your body get the most nutrition bang for its buck. Here are 5 of the most powerful food combos.

Some foods just taste great together, like milk and cookies. But others pairs actually work together to help your body get the most nutrition bang for its buck. Here are 5 of the most powerful food combos.

Combo #1: Rice and Beans

Both these foods alone are healthy choices. But if you’re trying to get in all your protein without eating meat, beef, or chicken, a serving of rice and beans can do the trick! A complete protein is one that contains all the amino acids your body needs – an egg is considered the most perfect protein around. The amino acids found in rice complements those found in beans, making it a high-quality protein when eaten together.

Combo #2: Leafy Greens and Tomatoes

Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards contain iron. But it’s tough to absorb the iron from these plants without the assistance of vitamin C. Combine fresh or sautéed leafy greens with tomatoes, a splash or lemon juice or slices of strawberries.

Combo #3: Egg and Cheese

Calcium and vitamin D work in synergy to help promote healthy bones. A glass of milk will give you both, but so can an egg and cheese sandwich, frittata or omelet. Egg yolks contain vitamin D and you’ll find calcium in the cheese.

Combo #4: Oatmeal and Water

Looking to up your fiber? Oatmeal cookies and a warm bowl of oatmeal can foot the bill, but be sure to drink plenty of water. The oats need to absorb water in order to work properly and provide their many benefits. The fiber found in oatmeal has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol levels and to help keep you full longer.

Combo #5: Tomatoes and Olive Oil

The antioxidant lycopene helps promote a healthy heart, could prevent macular generation and may lower the risk of colon cancer. Cooked tomato products like tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato soup, and tomato paste are the best sources of lycopene. Combine it with heart-healthy monounsatured olive oil for maximum absorption.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Ingredients or Less: Eggs In A Basket

Also called “eggs-in-a-hole”, “birds nest,” “eggs-in-a-blanket” or “frog-in-a-hole”, this fun breakfast fave was served up to my kids on their first day of school. With less than 5 ingredients, it’s an easy and stress-free dish to cook up on a school day.

Shopping for Low-Sodium Foods

About one in three adults have high blood pressure. One step to improve or prevent high blood pressure is to lower your salt intake -- especially from the biggest source, processed foods. These days many manufacturer's offer "low-sodium" or "no salt-added" foods, but labels can be confusing. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

50 Grilled Cheese

Make a sandwich from Food Network Magazine for any meal of the day—even dessert!

Casseroles 5 Ways

A one-stop meal, casseroles make an easy weeknight dinner (and next day lunch). But many recipes call for cups (yes, cups!) of mayo, cans of creamy soup or lots of heavy cream—you may as well have “911” on redial for the after dinner coronary. Here are our top 5 lighter casseroles that’ll keep your waist slim and your heart in tip top shape.

How to Love Cheese the Healthy Way

Here are some creative ways for you to enjoy a little bit of cheese in your everyday healthy diet.

Scalloped Potatoes, Lightened Up

Most classic versions of this all-time favorite potato dish aren’t very figure-friendly, especially with boatloads of heavy cream and mounds of cheese. There are a few tricks to lighten things up—here’s how.

News Feed: Wood Pulp in Cheese, Starbucks Sugar Shocker, Cage-Free Trader Joe’s

Is there wood pulp in your grated Parmesan? How much sugar is in your Starbucks drink? Plus: Trader Joe’s goes 100 percent cage-free.

Fun With Fondue

Food Network's savory and sweet fondue recipes are quick-to-prepare snacks or light meals, so grab a fondue fork and start dipping. Get the recipes.

Halloumi — Off the Beaten Aisle

Sometimes called Greek grilling cheese, halloumi is just that — a dense cheese that holds its shape and won’t drip through the grates when grilled.