Pairing Food with…Food – Foods that Have Healthy “Chemistry”

Steel Cut Oats with Citrus[The Oatmeal Project, Day 7: Sunshine Citrus]

For some reason, in all the comments we’ve read and the list we’ve been putting together, we never thought to top our oatmeal with citrus. Sure a few people have mentioned cooking the oats in some sort of fruit juice, but we think we may have selectively ignored those comments because they brought back traumatic memories of childhood when our immigrant mother would insist we eat our cereal with orange juice, instead of “normally” with milk like all the other kids at school.


Then we came across this short little list of foods that alone, are healthy heroes, but when paired with each other, are like the Wonder Twins. The pairs are actually not unusual, like tomatoes and olives, which probably explains why we see them together so much already. Oh, except for one curious pairing.

When we saw “citrus fruit + oats,” you know what we were eating this morning. Somehow, we’re going to get turmeric and black pepper into our oatmeal diet, too.

Food Pairs That Have Digestive “Chemistry”

Blueberries + Walnuts

Both blueberries and walnuts contain their own sets of polyphenols, chemicals that boost our memory and cognition. However, when the fruit and nuts are combined, they not only boost the good stuff, but they quell the bad stuff: oxidative stress and inflammation that weaken our brains.

Onions + Garlic

Garlic, onions, and other members of the allium family are associated with a lower risk of developing cancer. Garlic hinders tumor growth, while onions block excess hormones.

Tomatoes + Olives

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a cancer-fighting chemical, and olives are packed with the antioxidant vitamin E. Together, vitamin E and lycopene can slow prostate cancer cell growth and cut the risk of heart disease.

Citrus Fruit + Oats

Vitamin C with your fiber prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries.

Turmeric + Black Pepper

We’re all about anti-inflammatory foods, and the Indian spice turmeric is one at the top of the list. When it’s paired with black pepper, the body can absorb it 2,000 times better. Turmeric also suppresses angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels required for cancer cells to grow.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 7, 2011 · 7 comments

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Freddie February 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I never add citrus to my oatmeal either, for some reason it seems to me that it doesn’t “go” but I may have to give it a try.

However, for something different than water or OJ to cook your oats with – try brewed coffee! I did this morning for the first time (well, when I say cook I mean microwave my quick oats but ya know) and it was great! Guess your project is inspiring me to think creatively when I wake up ;)


Ange February 8, 2011 at 3:37 am

But but but… I love milk in my oatmeal. Citrus doesn’t play nicely with milk, does it? Speaking of traumatic childhood memories, I vividly remember learning the life lesson of “one great thing plus another great thing does not always make an even greater thing; see also never-mixing-oj-with-milk-ever-again”. I am intrigued by this “Wonder Twins” foods idea though.

Sidenote: oatmeal + citrus + blueberries + walnuts for one February morning, hmm hmm? Super Wonder Twins?


Laurian February 8, 2011 at 6:43 am

It does say vitamin C, so realistically you could use any fruit that contains vitamin C (which is most) kiwi, strawberries, pineapple….much better :)


Diana February 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for giving me permission to continue stanking up my breath with garlic and onions — the perfect pairing for a kiss-free life. ;)


zaphia March 2, 2011 at 3:09 am

Oats and sun dried tomatoes in olive oil go well together. A sprinkle of pepper, paprika and some pecorino romano cheese. A good version of “sexed up savoury oatmeal”


Crystal April 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm

No. 1 – the whole “never-mixing-oj-with-milk-ever-again” – if it’s just straight milk and OJ, but my childhood was filled with “creamsicles” YUMMM! (a creamsicle for those who don’t know, is an ice cream centered popsicle, divine!)

No. 2 – just make sure the person you want to kiss eats the garlic and onions with you! I think garlic is an aphrodisiac too!


hanmei July 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

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