Food Pairs Which Enhance the Nutrition Benefits

Posted May 2020
Nut spread & strawberries on Corn Thins slices

For your body to function optimally it needs an array of nutrients. By eating you are providing these nutrients to your body when your diet is balanced. The nutrition benefits your body received can be further enhanced by certain combinations of foods. Below are some food pairs which have this fantastic ability to enhance their nutrition when combined.

  1. Unlock Iron

There are two types of iron, the type found from animal sources called haem iron and non-animal sources called non-haem iron. The latter can be more difficult for your body to use, this is when vitamin C can help. To help the non-haem iron source to be absorbed try adding these combos to your meals:

  • RICE THINS™ slices with nut butter and strawberries
  • Kidney beans and broccoli
  • Spinach and capsicum
  • Mixed cashew and almond nuts with dried apricots or sultanas


  1. Increase Cancer Protective Properties in your veggies.

Plants have cancer fighting properties called phytonutrients which act like a shield for the plant. When you eat the plants like vegetables and fruits these phytochemicals have positive effects and are linked to decreasing the risk of some cancers. By adding olive oil to vegetables or fruit in your cooking or just straight onto salads, it increases the absorption of phytochemicals in your body. This allows these protective components to be used more effectively to protect your body against cancer.

How much do you need? 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil are recommended over a whole day. Try adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to:

  • Half a cup of vegetables.
  • Half a cup of beans, peas or lentils as part of a salad.
  • Half a medium potato or sweet potato at dinner.
  • A medium tomato as part of a cooked breakfast.


  1. Can I have an avocado with my spinach please?

This combination is a great duo because of two specific nutrients found in spinach called lutein and beta-carotene. Lutein can help your eye health and decrease your risk of macular degeneration. The second nutrient beta-carotene is a plant form of vitamin A and can help your body in many ways including keeping your immunity fighting fit. By adding healthy fat like that found in avocado, these two nutrients are better absorbed with beta-carotene being over 8 times better absorbed than without the avocado!

Ways to add in your week:

  • A cup of cooked spinach next two a quarter of an avocado with two Whole Grain Thins Ancient Grains™ cakes and boiled eggs.
  • Add a handful of baby spinach and a quarter of an avocado to your next salad.
  • Try a RICE THINS™ Wholegrain sandwich with a quarter of an avocado, tuna in spring water, capsicum, and some baby spinach.


  1. Add a barrier to prevent ‘bad’ cholesterol building up

The LDL-Cholesterol is not your body’s friend and when this type of cholesterol builds up on your artery wall when it becomes oxidised it can increase your risk of heart disease. Good news is food can be your protective army and help prevent this from happening. Pairing vitamin C with whole grains or plant oestrogens like those found in tofu can stop the LDL-Cholesterol from oxidising. Vitamin C also works together with vitamin E to do the same thing! Here are some winning combos for a healthy heart:

  1. 30g of almonds with an orange.
  2. A sandwich with two pieces of whole grain bread and some capsicum, lettuce, cheese and lean chicken breast.
  3. 170g of hard tofu with ½ cup of brown rice and a cup of steamed Asian style vegetables.
  4. 1 tablespoon of 100% nut butter with 2-3 Corn Thins™ slices or vegetable sticks.


Take home message: The nutrients your food provides are the superheros of your body which are essential for health and wellness. Why not make their job easier by pairing them up to their side kick to defeat the potential villains even faster!




1. Flynn DM. The Mediterranean Diet- The Role of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in improving clinical risk factors [Internet]. South Yarra Australia: Cobram Estate; 2015. Podcast. Available from:

2. Council NHaMR. Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) [Document]. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013 [updated 27/7/2015; cited 2016 09/10/2016]. Available from:

  • Article By:
    • Ashleigh Felth…