By Adam Baer
Who came up with the idea that we are supposed to drink orange juice at breakfast? And why, if oatmeal is so good for us, do we eat that only in the morning as well? Apologies to the Palinites, but nutritionists are starting to realize that you and I like our oatmeal and OJ before we start the day because we evolved to like it that way — because enjoying the two together is healthier than eating each of them alone.
Epidemiologist David R. Jacobs, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota calls it food synergy, and he, along with many other nutritionists, believes it might explain why Italians drizzle cold-pressed olive oil over tomatoes and why the Japanese pair raw fish with soybeans. "The complexity of food combinations is fascinating because it's tested in a way we can't test drugs: by evolution," says Jacobs. And, he adds, "it's tested in the most complex of systems: life."
What's more fascinating, however, is that the evolution between eater and eaten might answer the long-held question about why humans live longer, healthier lives on traditional diets. As researchers work to unravel the complexities of the interactions of the foods we eat, try these combinations, the most powerful food synergies currently known to science.
Sep 21, 2012