“Many nutrients have a synergistic effect when combined with others”, says Joan Blake, a registered dietician and an assistant clinical professor of nutrition at Boston University. The bonus is that the following five pairs can supercharge your diet and also taste great together.

Broccoli + Salmon = Stronger Bones. The body can’t form calcitrol ( a hormone that facilitates calcium absorption) without vitamin D. Pair calcium rich broccoli with salmon, one of the few plentiful dietary sources of vitamin D, and forget Boniva, et al.

Green Tea + Lemon = Reduced Inflammation. Adding a squeeze of lemon to a cup of green tea helps the body take in up to five times more catechins (inflammation-fighting antioxidants abundant in green tea), than the body takes from citrus-free tea, according to a study from Purdue University.

Salsa + Avocado = Reduced Cancer Risk and Increased Immunity. A 2005 study from Ohio State University in Columbus found that people who ate a half-cup of avocado with a cup and a half of salsa absorbed 4.4 times more lycopene (a nutrient that’s been linked to a reduced risk of prostate and ovarian cancers), and 2.6 times more immune-boosting beta-carotene than people who consumed just plain salsa.

Whole-Grain Bread + Orange Juice = More Energy Iron helps your blood transfer oxygen throughout your body, and too little of the mineral can leave you exhausted. I see this often in elderly clients. Whole-grains are the most plentiful non-meat source of dietary iron; but iron is better absorbed with vitamin C. Having just a quarter cup of orange juice doubles the amount of iron your body absorbs.

Apples + Cranberries = Better Overall Health. Cranberries are one of the richest sources of phytochemicals (compounds that have been tied to a reduced risk of a variety of diseases, from heart disease to cancer). However, consuming the tart fruit with apples makes the antioxidants in both more active, according to research from Cornell University.

 Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.