An obvious sign of two people being in a working, healthy relationship is when the relationship brings out the best in each person. They, in fact, become better versions of themselves. But did you know that the same can be said about some of your favorite foods, too? Before you scratch your head in confusion, let me explain.
Certain foods are meant to be eaten together to bring out their nutritional benefits in the best way possible. According to our nutrition expert Shira Lenchewski, RD, the term "bioavailability" is a fancy word used to describe how easily a nutrient is broken down, absorbed, and utilized by the body. Foods can work together to enhance this bioavailability, allow nutrients to become more powerful and efficient in our bodies.
With that in mind, here are 10 food combinations that are better when eaten together. Just think of them as extremely healthy relationships that do a body good. It's pretty interesting how the foods that taste so great together are actually meant to be combined.
Tomatoes & Avocados
Why do tomatoes go so well with guacamole (besides tasting great, of course)? Tomatoes are rich in a cancer-preventing antioxidant called lycopene, which makes them what we call a "carotenoid." And, healthy fats, like the ones found in avocados, are able to basically pick up carotenoids from the stomach and disperse them throughout the body. This cancer-fighting combo goes great in a big colorful salad like this one, so eat up.
Sweet Potato & Coconut Oil
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin, and hair. Shira says, "Vitamin A is absorbed more readily when paired with a fat source like coconut oil." Cook up baked sweet potatoes fries using coconut oil and you'll be glowing in no time.
Oatmeal & Peanut Butter
This combination of complex carbs and healthy fats is great for breakfast, or as fuel for an endurance workout. The complex carbs from the oatmeal keep you going, and the fats from the peanut butter help stabilize blood sugar. Talk about a breakfast of champions.
Apples & Chocolate
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Apples and chocolate go so well together because they each contain flavonoids that, when combined, improve cardiovascular health. Raspberries can be substituted for apples in this case, so keep this sweet fact in mind the next time you're debating whether or not to indulge in dessert (hint: the answer is yes).
Black Beans & LimeAccording to Shira, citrus fruits like lime provide high levels of vitamin C, which makes the plant-based iron in foods like black beans easier for your body to use. The moral of the story? Order your tacos with black beans and a hint of lime for healthy cells and lungs.
See more delicious superfood combos at Refinery29.