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Food synergy: Making the most of our ingredients

Food synergy: Making the most of our ingredients

At Pow Food, we like to put thought into everything we create. We are inspired by the active role food plays in our health and well-being and feel that the two are intrinsically linked to one another. It is no surprise then, that when one of our Nutritionists, Clarissa Lenherr, explained ‘Food Synergy’ in one of our Nutritional Talks, our ears were readily pricked. 


What is Food Synergy?

Food Synergy is when the health benefits of two food ingredients are greater and more powerful when they are together, than when they stand alone. Beneficial as two, but mighty as one. Food Synergy takes the day-to-day health benefits of ingredients to a higher, more refined level allowing us to take a meal’s nutrients to their full potential. 


Food Synergy works in a few ways:  

Antioxidant Boosting: This is when two foods already high in antioxidants combine to create an even more powerful defense against oxidative stress and inflammation. 

Nutrient Absorption: Certain foods which are high in beneficial nutrients are better absorbed into our systems when they are consumed together. 

Food Symbiosis: Consuming live bacteria (probiotic) whilst feeding it with fibre which are harder to digest (prebiotic). 


Examples: 

Clarissa explained that Food Synergy is something we may already incorporate to our meals at home. Take tomatoes and olive oil: an iconic combination rarely left out of a midsummer supper spread. The lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in the tomato, is difficult to digest meaning we are not able to naturally absorb this handy nutrient. However, the presence of a healthy fat, e.g. olive oil, breaks it down for us to use. 

 

Symbiosis, pairing pro and prebiotic foods, is also an easy form of Food Synergy to experiment with at home and ingesting these together makes for a healthy and happy gut biome. Probiotics such as kefir offer live fermented bacteria which are essential to the large intestine’s health. Prebiotics - fibrous foods like apples for example - are hard to digest in the small intestine so travel straight to the large intestine where all those probiotic, live fermented foods feed. 


A less obvious combination which you may want to incorporate into your diet is turmeric and black pepper. These two powerhouses conjoined unlock a force of antioxidants more potent than turmeric itself. A true synergetic union, the piperine in the black pepper enhances the availability of curcumin in the turmeric which is vital in the defense against inflammatory flare ups, anxiety and metabolism. 

Conclusion:

These happy unions are just a few simple examples to empower you to make more satisfying choices with your diet. With this knowledge you can thoughtfully tweak your meals to enhance, unlock and enjoy greater health benefits. 


At Pow Food, we have been honing in on this knowledge too, busily working on new ready meals and snacks. Watch this space, we have some powerfully synergetic meals in motion.

Written by: Katie Beales, Development Chef and CPU Sustainability Manager

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