Some foods act synergistically; meaning that certain combinations of foods and spices optimize the distribution and digestion of nutrients in the body. This improves not only our energy levels, but also the quality of sleep, as well as digestive, intestinal and neuronal processes. On the flip side, there are also food combinations that should be duly avoided.
Most of us choose what to eat based on our personal taste and on the ingredients available in our pantry. Way often, though, the choice is made by an urge. By the sudden desire of a certain foods or simply by the need to finish something left in the fridge for too long. Unconsciously, we omit the possibility to combine foods in a way that are healthy and functional for our bodies. Some foods take a leap in the healthy scale if paired the right way. Here are the main do’s and don’ts of nutrition:
Don’ts of Nutrition
Coffee and milk
Coffe: One of the most consumed drinks, especially at breakfast. Coffee impedes the absorption of many minerals, among which is the calcium contained in milk. On the other hand, the milk can reduce the absorption of the polyphenols contained in coffee.
This combination should also be avoided for those suffering from a slow digestion. The albumin contained in milk and the tannin in the coffee have an effect on the body that slows down the intestinal activity and digestion.
Spinach and dairies
If you combine calcium oxalate, contained in spinach, with calcium contained in dairy, you create a mixture of aggregates that cannot be absorbed by your intestines. Rather, pair spinach with other vegetables to increase the supply of antioxidants.
Do’s of Nutrition
Lemon and foods high in iron
The vitamin C contained in this precious fruit (about 44.5 mg per lemon) makes it a powerful natural antioxidant. Also, it allows to better assimilate the iron “caged” in vegetables (e.g. spinach). It performs as a cholagogue, thus, stimulating the production of bile and positively influences digestion and intestinal peristalsis.
My advice is to use lemons with vegetables and protein sources, but also with green tee, to further empower the antioxidant effect.
Cabbage and fish
Cabbage contains a chemical compound known as sulphoraphane. Combined synergistically with selenium found in fish, it creates a powerful antioxidant ally; even in the prevention of some types of tumors. Cabbage is a quite undervalued vegetable, due to its effects on bloating. However, cooking it on a stove without boiling, the fermentation and thus bloating effect is drastically reduced. So you may want to give it another try.
Dark chocolate and spices
Dark chocolate is perfect with spices, such as cinnamon, as they help regulate blood sugar levels. A more unusual, but highly effective combination is to pair the chocolate with green tea. The catechins of green tea go great together with the minerals of the cocoa to create a powerful anti-ageing effect.
Try to avoid consuming it with milk, as the casein in the milk reduces the antioxidant power of cocoa jeopardizing its precious functions.
Dry and fresh fruit
This is a wonderful combination, as the fats and fibers of dry fruit slow down the digestion of sugars contained in fresh fruit. This helps to avoid a glycemic peak and its consequent drop. And it helps to curb hunger and cravings.
Do’s and Don’ts of Nutrition at Terme di Sirmione
We are what we eat. At Grand Hotel Terme our offer is based on the most authoritative recommendations in terms of nutrition. A wide and creative Wellness Menu created by internationally recognized nutritionist Anna Villarini together with our Chef Angelo Flore, the restaurant offers healthy and balanced dishes based on selected ingredients. Our nutritionists develop nutrition programs for guests who wish to improve and deepen their dietary knowledge for a healthier lifestyle. Nutritional assessments include personal and familiar anamnesis and the detection of eating habits. We also provide nutritional advice and lifestyle recommendations together with a personalized eating plan, based on individual needs to be followed at home.