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Food Combinations You Never Thought Would Taste So Good

Food Combinations You Never Thought Would Taste So Good

Ever since I was a kid, something seemed off when it came to eating habits. However, what can you expect from a child who grew up at a family dinner table where it was absolutely normal to dip a cube of sugar into their soup? How was it possible to stay conservative when it came to food, when the whole family just loved to mix salted cabbage with sugar and olive oil. I had no idea that it was more suitable to eat meat and potatoes pie with ketchup until I was nine years old. I was enjoying my meat and potatoes pie with jam or condensed milk.

Over the years my food preferences have changed quite a lot, but one thing stays consistent: I still enjoy my potatoes with jam or condensed milk. I’m sure you might come to a snap judgement about mixing meat and jam, but you really should give it a try. You might be amazed at how tasty it is. Below are my top five favorite food combinations that others have thought strange. I encourage you to give them a chance.

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French fries with vanilla ice cream

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      This food combination is my guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, I cannot make any healthy remarks about mixing fries with ice cream. However, it has saved me from quite a few gloomy and snowy days we have here in Russia during the winter season. You will be surprised how good it tastes. I have many friends who have also fallen in love with this food combination.

      Watermelon with brown bread

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          I am not sure about how this combination came to be but I have a feeling that it relates a little bit to the Russian culture. Growing up in, we developed a mentality where even the most delicious dish has to be filling, and in no time we created a way of how to do it. I can tell you now that when I eat my watermelon without brown bread on the side, it feels that something significant is missing.

          Pasta with yogurt and chocolate

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                This might seem weird at first, but you would be surprised at how tasty the combination can be. There was a day when I came home from work to an almost empty fridge. All I had was pasta, yogurt, chocolate pasta, and some olive oil. You can probably assume what I did next. I boiled the pasta and then mixed in the yogurt, chocolate pasta and olive oil.  Since I don’t let myself eat chocolate often, this one is considered another guilty pleasure. When I do indulge, I enjoy and appreciate every bite of it.

                Brown bread with sour cream, avocado and honey

                When I was a child I would use a generous amount of sugar, and I didn’t know about avocados. Now I’ve become very conscious about what I eat and I try to do it the right way. Hence, I excluded sugar and substituted it with a healthier source of sugar–honey–and added avocado. My friends call this a “pity parody of a sandwich,” but I am confident in saying that this sandwich is an awesome and time-saving snack.

                Buckwheat and yogurt

                This one is my favorite. I literally cannot imagine my life without this food combination. During an interview I was asked, ”What are the three things you cannot live without?” This dish was on that list. I love the taste, but even more I love the fact that it is healthy. It’s also very simple to make: mix one cup of buckwheat with two cups of boiled water and let it set for an hour. Another way is to boil the buckwheat for 15-20 minutes. Add some plain yogurt on top, salt, and enjoy.

                What are some food combinations you love, but that others might think sound strange?

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                Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                1. Nuts

                The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                2. Blueberries

                Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                3. Tomatoes

                Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                4. Broccoli

                While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                6. Soy

                Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                7. Dark Chocolate

                When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                10. Gingko Biloba

                This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                11. Green and Black Tea

                Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                12. Sage and Rosemary

                Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                More About Boosting Brain Power

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                Reference

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