Healthy Food Combinations Chart

In the forum recently, Joan asked if I had any healthy food combination charts. Now, that raises a bunch of questions about the state of your health. I’m wary of recommending specific food combinations in general terms, because what improves health for one person, might have little or no effect on the next.

However, when I looked for some relevant research, I found an interesting summary of several food combinations that have been shown to have real health benefits. That summarizes 13 healthy food combinations. Unfortunately, the examples are not always linked to the correct research.

I am investigating each claim in detail to find the latest science. I’ve also found some additional research pointers that indicate more potential. For today, I list the combinations from the aforementioned summary in the chart below. I will return to each combo for specific articles another day.

Healthy Food Combinations Chart

Healthy Food Combinations Photo

Food Combinations Health Benefits Food combo notes
Almond and Yogurt Vitamin availability Healthy fat such as full fat yogurt and other dairy foods help activate and absorb essential vitamins.
Apple and Chocolate Cardiovascular Quercetin from apples combined with catechin from chocolate loosens clumps of blood platelets.
Avocado and Tomato Cardiovascular and vision Lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from green vegetables are better absorbed when eaten with healthy fat such as avocado or olive oil
Black Pepper and Turmeric Anti-inflammatory, cancer, tumor Curcumin from turmeric is much better absorbed with piperine from black pepper
Blueberry and Grape Antioxidant Antioxidants from a mixture of apples, blueberries, grapes and oranges are more effective when combined than the individual fruits alone
Broccoli and Tomato Prostate cancer Only shown in rats. I will look for more current research
Cantaloupe and Egg Insulin and blood sugar Protein from eggs slows the absorption of carbohydrate sugars from cantaloupe
Fish and Garlic Inflammation and cholesterol Garlic improves the balance of nutrients in fish to lower total cholesterol
Kale and Lemon Immunity, and muscle strength Vitamin C from lemons improves absorption of iron from kale
Oatmeal and Orange Juice Cholesterol Bad (LDL) cholesterol stabilized twice as much compared to either oatmeal or orange juice consumed separately
Peanut and Wholewheat Build and maintain muscle Better range of amino acids from this combination
Red Meat and Rosemary Reduced cancer risk Antioxidants from rosemary reduce cancer causing free radicals from charred red meat.
Salmon and Soy Cancer [?] Genistein from soy improves vitamin D availability which might reduce cancer risk

Please note that at least one of the combinations in the summary article is wrongly attributed. I am only repeating the claims made in the report linked above. As I investigate each combination further, I will make corrections and notes as appropriate. Though I would normally vet all claims before publishing this type of summary, I see this as a good opportunity to raise discussion about these issues. That shows me which are the most important health issues to you.

Healthy Food Combinations Chart Update

Having seriously investigated the first two claims, I am left with the feeling that food combination charts are, at best, a gimmick, and at worst, a dangerous distraction. It might be that rare cases of ill health justify specific personal food combination investigation. If you feel you might fall into that category, please tell me using the feedback form below.

In the meantime, I will investigate food combination studies I have found independently of the aforementioned spurious source:

  • Alongi, Marilisa, Giancarlo Verardo, Andrea Gorassini, Sandro Sillani, Cristina Degrassi, and Monica Anese. “Reformulation and food combination as strategies to modulate glycaemia: the case of apple pomace containing biscuits administered with apple juice to healthy rats.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (2020): 1-10.
    This is a combination of fibre-rich apple pomace to biscuits to provide a dietary tool for type 2 diabetes.
  • Gu, Yian, Jeri W. Nieves, Yaakov Stern, Jose A. Luchsinger, and Nikolaos Scarmeas. “Food combination and Alzheimer disease risk: a protective diet.” Archives of neurology 67, no. 6 (2010): 699-706.

    The results of the current study indicate that higher consumption of certain foods (salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, dark and green leafy vegetables) and lower of others (high-fat dairy, red meat, organ meat, and butter) may be associated with a decreased risk of developing AD [Alzheimer disease] via a more favorable profile of nutrients (ie, lower ingestion of SFA and higher ingestion of PUFA, vitamin E, and folate). Our findings provide support for further exploration of food combination–based dietary behavior for the prevention of this important public health problem.

I will present these studies separately with reference to the diseases they help. Then I’ll delete this food combination article as the topic is generally related to misleading information.

Leave Food Combinations Chart to read Foodary Nutrition Blog.

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