To lower your cancer risk
Pair up: Apples & raspberries
If apples could speak, they would tell raspberries, “You complete me.” A study in the Journal of Nutrition determined that the antioxidant ellagic acid (found in raspberries, pomegranates, walnuts, and cranberries) enhanced the ability of quercetin (an antioxidant found in apples, grapes, onions, and buckwheat) to kill off cancerous cells. Food scientists have discovered thousands of such bioactive phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains. “Researchers are now discovering that these chemicals often work better in pairs or groups, proving that supplements with single nutrients just can’t match the healing power of whole foods,” says Elaine Magee, a registered dietitian and the author of Food Synergy. Here are the healthy foods that are more nutritious than you realized.
Ready in 5: To make an antioxidant-rich dessert, combine diced apples, grapes, and raspberries, and top with pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
For a stronger heart
Pair up: Soba noodles & broccoli
When “bad” LDL cholesterol particles are oxidized, they are more likely to become plaque in artery walls, leading to heart disease. Antioxidants, true to their name, help fight this process. German researchers discovered that the antioxidants rutin and vitamin C work synergistically to halt LDL oxidation. Rutin is in buckwheat (a Japanese staple found in the pasta and international-food aisles at grocery stores). And, of course, vitamin C is in many fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
For an easy-to-pack lunch: Prepare a package of soba noodles according to directions and toss with 2 cooked and cubed skinless, boneless chicken breasts; 2 cups steamed broccoli florets; 2 chopped tomatoes; 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes. Store in fridge. Makes 4 to 6 servings.