It's no secret that fish is one of the most widely recommended foods to eat for a balanced, healthy diet. However, did you know that some foods pair better nutritionally with fish than others?
That's because of nutrient absorption. When paired together, certain foods help others to maximize nutrition and make sure your body can fully benefit from the vitamins and minerals a particular food contains. Here are a few examples:
Iron + Vitamin C
For fish high in iron, like mackerel or tuna, pairing with foods rich in vitamin-C can help with iron absorption. Getting enough iron in your diet is essential for many of your body's immune functions and gastrointestinal processes, so ensuring your body can absorb it properly is extra important. Luckily, fish and citrus are a match made in tastebud heaven, so this combination isn't difficult to achieve.
Vitamin D + Calcium
While calcium is well known for being good for your bones, it actually can't do its job very well at all without the help of vitamin D, which helps carry the calcium to your bones and allows it to be absorbed properly. So, next time you cook up some high calcium foods — like broccoli, bok choy or kale — pair it with a fatty fish, like salmon.
Fatty Fish + Any Fat-Soluble Vitamins
All fat-soluble vitamins, like D, K, E and A, are more easily absorbed into the body when they're consumed with foods containing healthy fats — like fish! Here, the combinations are truly endless. Fish like salmon, tuna and trout can all do the work of helping fat-soluble vitamins absorb into your body.
Sulforaphane + Selenium
The antioxidant powers of sulforaphane and selenium work even better when combined — and fish can be a great source of selenium. Next time you cook up some yellow-fin tuna, shrimp or halibut, serve it with broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
Red Wine + Omega 3 Fatty Acids
While you definitely don't want to overdo this combination, some studies show that omega 3 fatty acids are more easily absorbed into your body when paired with red wine. So, next time you're having salmon, serve it up alongside a glass of pinot noir.
Though skipping any of these food pairings isn't a deal-breaker for nutrition, why not make the health benefits of your meal pack an extra punch? With a little selective side-dishing, you can enjoy your fish and the benefits of better nutrient absorption.