Keeping your tastebuds excited is important to a healthy diet and a healthy appetite. However, you can do more than just look for powerful flavor combinations to really kick your buds. Check out these powerhouse foods that combine to make true power couples!
1. Avocado & Dark Chocolate: By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that avocados are a great heart-healthy food. Their monosaturated fats provide great, easily burned fuel for the body as well as protein to satiate your hunger. Dark chocolate will help to lower your blood pressure and your mood swings: its phenylethlamine is the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. Just beware of the crash! (photo credit here)
2. Hummus & Snap Peas: Hummus is a low-gylcemic index food, meaning it’s not going to cause a major spike in your blood sugar. It packs tons of protein, healthy fats and some dietary fiber to boot. But, be mindful of your portions. Just like nuts and other healthy fats, the calories can stack up. Rather than using a heavy carb, reach for some raw snap peas instead! Snap peas contain more vitamins and minerals than normal peas, and are significantly lower when it comes to their calorie count, making them a great addition to your diet and a great partner for this snack!
3. Arugula & Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are a great source of good fats, despite their price and caloric content. Besides having Vitamin K and minerals, pine nuts contain a hormone called cholecystokinin, which suppresses feelings of hunger. The leafy green arugula has about eight times the amount of calcium and five times the amounts of Vitamins A, C, and K as iceberg lettuce.
4. Chili Pepper & Mango: The capsaicin in peppers, or the reason your tongue buzzes and your heat rises, does a little more than raise your metabolic rate. It also curbs your appetite. Combine this with the citric properties of a mango and it will give you a full body zing. You may just see some clearer skin and lower cholesterol levels!
5. Onion & Black Grapes: This is a cardiovascular powerhouse! The quercitin in onion has been shown to boost cardiovascular immunity and relieve allergy symptoms. Grapes are full of antioxidants and one in particular, catechin, may just help prevent both cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders. Together these foods will improve your heart health by inhibiting blood clots.
6. Garlic & Fish: Salmon, tuna and halibut are only some examples of the nutrient rich seafood. Each has great levels of zinc, iron, copper and iodine, among many others minerals. These powerful minerals work together to create both anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.
According to Men’s Health, cooking your fish with garlic can lower your cholesterol even more than cooking either food on its own. “A study at University of Guelph, in Ontario, found that garlic keeps down the small increase in LDL cholesterol that might result from fish-oil supplements” cites Men’s Health.