Men's Health (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Get the most out of your work­outs with these culi­nary power-ups.

Af­ter years of re­search, new nu­tri­tional sci­ence is see­ing the value in an old piece of ad­vice: Don’t mess with na­ture.

Take vi­ta­min E, found in spinach, al­monds and broc­coli. If you con­sume these and other E-rich foods reg­u­larly, you’re likely pro­tect­ing your eyes and pre­vent­ing cog­ni­tive prob­lems.

But what if you’re not eat­ing enough healthy foods? En­ter the sup­ple­ment com­pa­nies. Pop your vi­ta­min E in pill form and you’ll reap the re­wards with­out hav­ing to mas­ti­cate spinach, right?

There’s one prob­lem: New re­search shows that vi­ta­min E, when iso­lated, may not have the same pro­tec­tive power. One re­cent study sug­gests that sup­ple­ment­ing with E longterm can ac­tu­ally in­crease your risk of one type of stroke. And it’s not just E. Ex­perts are now ques­tion­ing sup­ple­ments like se­le­nium, green tea ex­tract and fish oil.

There are smarter and tastier ways to make sure you get the nutri­tion you need. Cer­tain foods gain su­per­pow­ers when paired. Adding olive oil to toma­toes, for ex­am­ple, helps your body ab­sorb the toma­toes’ an­tiox­i­dants.

“Our bod­ies are in­cred­i­bly com­plex en­gines, and at the cel­lu­lar level they re­quire a com­plex fu­el­ing strat­egy to run best,” says Men’s Health nutri­tion ad­vi­sor Mike Rous­sell. “A va­ri­ety of whole, healthy foods seems to pro­vide the best ben­e­fits.”

Cu­ri­ous? Dis­cover the power of real food in the book Eat for Ex­tra­or­di­nary Health & Heal­ing, pub­lished by MH par­ent com­pany Ro­dale Inc. And try these six power com­bi­na­tions.

+ + STEAK GAR­LIC ONIONS Like you needed a rea­son to eat this stuff. Re­search sug­gests that gar­lic or onions may help your body ab­sorb zinc and iron from grains; the ben­e­fit may ex­tend to meat, which is loaded with these min­er­als. Zinc may bol­ster im­mu­nity, and iron is cru­cial for mus­cle per­for­mance. To cook them, add the gar­lic and onions to a cold pan with some oil, then turn on the heat. That way, the gar­lic is less likely to burn. MUS­CLE BOOSTER IM­MU­NITY DE­FENDER

Think of ke­fir as a tart, bub­bly yo­gurt. If that sounds off­putting, taste and learn: Dump a slug into your next shake to give your gut a batch of ben­e­fi­cial pro­bi­otics. While you’re at it, add a hand­ful of heart-healthy al­monds. Pre­lim­i­nary find­ings sug­gest that the fi­bre in al­mond skins may act as a pre­bi­otic. And pre­bi­otics are known to feed pro­bi­otics, found in ke­fir. Both can keep your gut in bal­ance, so your body can fend off ill­ness-caus­ing bugs. AL­MONDS + KE­FIR IM­MU­NITY DE­FENDER HEART PRO­TEC­TOR

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