Food Maths

Get back to class with super-nutritious food equations to boost your health
Wednesday , 20 August 2008
Food Maths

We know that eating burgers with chips and washing down pizzas with milkshakes isn’t going to do your love handles any favours.

But while body-conscious stars like Liz Hurley claim to avoid eating certain food groups together, because they believe the body has difficulty digesting them, scientists are now saying that combining certain foods can actually be a major boost to your general health and wellbeing. So what is best to eat with what? Star Style investigates…

Spinach + Tomato + Carrots + Olive Oil + Marjoram = Healthy Skin
Seventy-four-year-old Sophia Loren credits her age-defying beauty to bathing in extra virgin olive oil, which is loaded with good fats and antioxidants that help to keep skin supple.

Boost your health:

Olive oil also helps the body to absorb many of the antioxidants that are good for your immune system, skin and heart. To double your antioxidant capacity, combine olive oil with the fragrant herb marjoram, which is famous for its healing properties.

For lunch:Warm spinach and tomato salad (Serves one)

1.Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark four.

2.Place half a punnet of cherry tomatoes on a baking tray with two sliced carrots, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10 minutes.

Dry fry a large handful of fresh spinach until wilted.

4.Arrange the roasted tomatoes and carrots on top of the spinach.

5.Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with aa handful of chopped marjoram.

Tomato + Avocado = Cancer Fighting
Vitamin-rich tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, whilst avocadoes are high in good fats, potassium and vitamin E.

Boost your health:
Combining tomatoes and avocadoes in one meal can help the body soak up four times more cancer-fighting lycopene and almost three-times more immune-boosting beta-carotene thanks to the monosaturated fat content found in avocadoes.

For dinner:
Chilled tomato and avocado soup (Serves two)

1.Preheat oven to 200ºC/Gas mark six.

2.Arrange 450g of plum tomatoes, cut side up, in a roasting tin with garlic cloves, seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4.Place the tomato pulp and garlic into a liquidiser.

5.Blend with one ripe avocado until smooth.

6.Stir in 150ml of chilled vegetable stock.

7.To serve, pour into soup bowls and garnish with oregano.

Cantaloupe Melon + Yoghurt =Immune System Strengthening
Both fat and cholesterol-free and loaded with vitamins A and C, cantaloupe is one of the most nutritious diet-friendly fruits.

Boost your health:
Research shows that munching on beta-carotene-rich cantaloupe with zinc-packed foods such as yogurt and nuts, can help boost your immune system, making you less susceptible to illness.

For breakfast:

Cantaloupe with plain yogurt

(Serves two)
1.Scoop out the flesh from half a cantaloupe.

2.Mix a small pot of yogurt with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey, and add a handful of chopped walnuts.

3.Add the nuts and the cantaloupe to the yogurt, mix well and serve.

Green Tea + Lemon = Healthy Heart

Since ancient times, lemons have been used for their healing properties, from curing digestion problems to nausea and fever. Scientists now say that combining the vitamin C-packed fruit with antioxidant-rich green tea, (sipped by stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Longoria) can help keep the heart healthy.

Boost your health:

Squeezing a lemon into a cup of green tea makes five times more catechin, (a heart-friendly antioxidant) than if you sipped plain old green tea.

Sip On:
Iced lemon tea

1.Squeeze the juice of three lemons and add to 300ml of green tea.

2.Top with 300ml of lemonade and chill in the fridge until cool.

3.To serve, add a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint leaves.

Soy + Milk = Bone Boosting

Not only is milk one of the best sources of calcium, it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals vital for keeping our bodies healthy. Soy products are low in fat and high in protein, and, as veggies like Natalie Portman and Pamela Anderson know, soy milk is particularly good at helping to lower cholesterol.

Boost your health:

Research shows that, when consumed together, soy milk and dairy milk preserved bone density better than drinking either alone. The isoflavones (healthy plant chemicals) found in soy increase bone protein production that, when combined with minerals found in milk, helps keep your skeleton in optimum form.

For an afternoon snack:
Strawberry and banana smoothie

1.Peel and chop one ripe banana.

2.Place in a blender with a handful of chopped strawberries.

3.Add 50ml of skimmed milk and 50ml of soy milk plus a little water and a couple of ice cubes.

4.Blend until smooth.