Just about every food in its unrefined form has some impressive health benefit. But a few foods, when paired with one another, work like magic, helping to detoxify, fight inflammation, improve skin tone and even combat cancer.
Here are a few of my favorite dynamic duos.
Turmeric: We all know that turmeric, the “it” spice of 2015, is a powerful anti-inflammatory food and cancer fighter. Curcumin, the ingredient in turmeric that squelches inflammation and tumor cells is significantly amplified – to the tune of 2000% – when paired with black pepper. An alkaloid in black pepper called piperine helps to make this happen.
Another reason to marry these two powerful ingredients is because they’re strong detoxifiers, too. Combine this duo with an already clean diet, and you’ll significantly boost your health.
Turmeric and black pepper work best together when they’re heated. It’s important to drink this mixture shortly after brewing as the potency of curcumin diminishes significantly within a couple hours.
I combine 12 ounces of boiling water to ½ teaspoon of turmeric and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. After it cools enough to consume, I drink it up! You can always add a little raw honey (see below) to change the flavor a bit.
Avocado: Again, another amazing and very healthy food, but when avocado is paired with carrots (think guacamole with fresh veggies and plenty of orange sticks!), vitamin A absorption skyrockets. Increasing the use of this fat-soluble vitamin in the body improves the tone and elasticity of skin, boosts our immune system and gives our vision a helping hand. The next time you make a bowl of guacamole, pass on the chips and slice up a couple carrots instead. They’re the perfect pair.
The avocado/carrot combo help keep you fuller longer. Both are a good source of fiber, and avocado is an excellent source of healthy fat.
When I’m lazy and not in the mood to get too involved making guacamole, I simple add ¼ cup of salsa and ½ teaspoon of cumin, a little bit of lemon* to a mashed avocado..and there it is: The Lazy Girl’s Guacamole. Rick Bayless would be so proud. Now grab your carrots and dip away. Your eyes and skin will love you for it.
*Yes, I add lemon because I usually have that in my fridge. Lemon or lime will both help reduce oxidation (browning) of the avocado. On the days when I’m not lazy, I use lime.
Lemon: A little bit of lemon juice goes a long way, but when it’s combined with raw honey…it goes even further. Lemon helps to alkalize our blood and flush toxins from the liver. Raw honey (much better than any refined version) is a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and B6, to name a few. It’s also and amazing antioxidant (like lemons). Start your day tomorrow with a cup of warm lemon water and a tablespoon of raw honey. This aids with digestions and detoxification.
So how do you work all of this into your life? Everyone is different, but here is how I’d prioritize these three:
- Start your morning off with the lemon/raw honey mixture. It’s a great way to give your liver a flush and rid the body of toxins that have accumulated.
- Chop up a couple carrots sticks and enjoy a few chunks of avocado as a snack or with lunch.
- Before bed, make the turmeric/black pepper mixture and sip on it before turning in for the night.
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