Pita bread and hummus.
Beans and rice.
Gin and tonic.
Other than tasting great, what do these food pairs have in common?
The answer is: They provide a higher nutritional value combined with their respective pairs than when they are just eaten alone (minus the gin and tonic of course, but at least that’s good for my mental health =) ).
The following 4 healthy food pairs are ideal for active people as they support muscle repair, protein content, and fat burning. Try adding it to your next meal prep plan.
1) Beans and Rice
When combined, beans and rice create what is referred to as a complete protein. Eaten together this dish contains all 9 essential amino acids. There are 20 amino acids in total, but the 9 amino acids that the human body cannot naturally produce are supplied in this food pair. So go ahead and enjoy that burrito, as long as it’s part of a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle.
2) Pita and Hummus
Whether it’s Mexican or Mediterranean food you’re craving, rest assured that you can get all 9 essential amino acids and leave out the meat. Pita bread contains all the essential amino acids EXCEPT lysine, while hummus contains all EXCEPT methionine. Together this food pair is another example of a complete protein. Vegetarians rejoice! Get your protein on with this go-to snack!
3) Green Tea, Lemon Juice, and Sugar
Green tea is an antioxidant-filled, fat-burning drink. The antioxidant “catechin” is partially to thank for green tea’s fat-burning, cancer-fighting, heart-disease reducing properties. Adding lemon juice and sugar to green tea has shown to increase the absorption of catechin into the bloodstream by up to 3 times! Take it easy on the sugar though. Check out the research here and here.
4) Non-Fat Yogurt and Bananas
After a sweaty workout the best thing you can do for your muscles is eat protein combined with carbohydrates. Bananas are high in carbs and yogurt is high in protein. This combo increases insulin in the body to better absorb the glucose that was lost during your workout, while also boosting your ability to absorb protein, helping you build muscle mass.
There are added benefits of this power couple. For one, bananas are high in potassium. This electrolyte is needed for muscle contractions and help restore the potassium lost during your workouts. Another benefit of this food pair is that insulin in bananas are thought to increase the growth of healthy bacteria found in yogurt. Leading you to a healthy and happy tummy.
Know of a great food pair that should be added to the list? Leave it in the comments below!