Eating only healthy foods isn't enough to ensure you eat healthy. While most doctors and dieticians swear by eating balanced meals as part of a healthy diet, you need to ensure that the combinations of food that you eat at the same time does not cancel each other out. Here are habits to avoid:
- Eating calcium-rich foods at the same time as you eat iron-rich foods. Habits like eating broccoli (rich in calcium) with your meat (rich with iron) will cancel out the nutrients in both foods. Therefore, it's best to eat another green, such as spinach, with your meat instead, as that is a green that is also rich in iron. Eat your calcium-rich vegetables at another meal session of the day, at least two hours later.
- Drinking coffee or tea along with nutritious foods. While caffeine without adding any sugar, milk or cream has lots of antioxidants in it that help destroy all of the sugars you eat, remember not to eat calcium-dense yogurt along with your morning drink, as then the nutrients of both foods will cancel each other out. Likewise, for people hoping to boost their iron in-take by eating meat or baked beans for breakfast (or lunch), be mindful that you have your iron-rich foods a couple of hours before or after you drink your coffee.
- For women, eating dark meat while on your period. While you should ensure that you increase your iron in-take during this time, lean towards lighter meat like chicken, or beans and fish. This is because dark meat tends to slow the menstrual process down.
- No fear carrots and pumpkin! Luckily, (apart from coffee and tea sessions), foods rich in beta-carotin are encouraged to be eaten at each of your three meals a day, as they generally don't interfere with any of the other nutrients. And, you can never get too much of it! Even pumpkin pie, with all of it's sugar, is a good source of this nutrient. Plus, it makes your skin have a healthier color!