Food Synergy: 5 Dynamic Duos for Healing
If you knew that cherries and alfalfa sprouts together could lower your cholesterol, would you try to make up a dish that worked with them both? A salad with sprouts and cherries could work. Here are a number of diseases that can be helped by combining dynamic duos, from Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well.
Broccoli with tomatoes fights prostate cancer.
Pairing these two powerhouse foods could be a match not only made in Italy but in health heaven. In a study led by Dr. Erdman and published in a recent issue of Journal of Nutrition, prostate tumors grew much less in rats that were fed tomato and broccoli powders than in rats who ate diets containing either just one of those powders or cancer-fighting substances that had been isolated from tomatoes or broccoli.
Alfalfa sprouts with cherries lowers cholesterol.
In a preliminary study, researchers in the department of molecular pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy observed a strong antioxidant synergy between alfalfa and acerola cherry extracts that may help reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. It could be the flavonoids from the sprouts working together with vitamin C from the cherries.
Flaxseed with soybeans fights breast cancer.
Previous research has implicated soy as actually having tumor-promoting effects in late-stage breast cancer, but in recent lab studies, flaxseed has been shown to weaken this effect. After another lab study analyzing the breakdown products from the lignans in flaxseed in combination with the primary isoflavone in soy genistein), flaxseed researcher Lilian Thompson, PHD, from the University of Toronto, concluded that for postmenopausal women with low estrogen levels, the combination of soy and flaxseed may be more beneficial than soy alone in controlling breast cancer growth. In this case, the two are better than one!
Tofu with tea tames tumors.
People in Asian countries tend to eat soy products and drink tea on a regular basis. Certain types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer, are significantly lower in the Asian population than in the United States, which begs the question: Is there some anticancer synergy going on between those two Asian staples? Fascinating research with green tea and black suggesting there is a link.
Garlic with onions improves heart health.
Organosulfur compounds are the primary active phytochemicals in garlic and onions, and several of them may protect the heart by helping to keep arteries flexible and clear of plaque damage. For example, DADS (diallyl disulfide) has been shown to possess the strongest antioxidant activity that can prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream; another compound, SEC (sethylcysteine), has demonstrated great antiglycation activity. Glycation occurs when sugar molecules attach to proteins and other structures, rendering them nonfunctional; the entire process eventually damages the internalining of blood vessels, causing them to stiffen. Having antiglycation properties, therefore, is definitely a great thing, particularly for people with diabetes who tend to form more advanced glycation compounds.
Adapted from Food Synergy, by Elaine Magee, MPH, RD (Rodale, 2007).