Food combinations, antioxidants and cow milk

Combining in a correct way the foods can increase the absorption of nutrients and avoids fermentation, on the contrary, wrong combinations such as milk and antioxidant-rich foods, may cancel some benefits of the foods.
Not just the type of foods but also how these foods are combined can be a more or less healthy choice, able to improve or, on the contrary, to limit the food properties with consequences on health. A correct combination avoids indeed fermentation and guarantees that the body can have the maximum benefit from the substances introduced with diet. Take the case of antioxidants, about which we discussed in previous posts. Antioxidants are indispensable substances to life because they are able to counteract the aging processes and the free radicals, perform a protective action against degenerative illnesses but, in order to be so beneficial, they shouldn’t be combined with cow milk and dairy products. For example, a smoothie prepared with blueberries and cow milk isn’t an ideal combination because the milk cancels the effects of the antioxidants. As a proof of this statement we can mention the study performed by an Italian team of the National Institute for Research on Food and Nutrition and published in 2009 in the journal Free Radical biology and medicine, Serafini et al. The researchers have studied the effects of 200 g blueberries eaten alone or together with cow milk. The study highlighted that the blueberries, if taken alone, are able to increase the number of antioxidants in blood while the blueberries taken with cow milk lose their antioxidant power. In addition to this, when the blueberries are eaten with milk, the concentration in blood of caffeic acid, an antioxidant, has been reduced. For this reason, if you want to prepare a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries or other fruits rich in antioxidants, it is better to avoid cow milk and to prefer plant based milk, such as soy, almond, oat or rice milk, only to name a few. Another example of bad combination is given by a cup of green, black or white tea and milk. Although this drink is well known all over the world, this combination cancels completely the benefits of tea poliphenols. A study published in 2007 on the European Heart journal by a German team (Lorenz et al.) has observed indeed that the addition of milk, also low fat milk, to black tea removes the antioxidant and heart-protective effect. This is explained by considering the action of the milk proteins, the caseins, that bind to the tea poliphenols, and in particular to Epigallocatechin gallate, the main antioxidant also in green tea. Perfect on the contrary the combination tea and mint or lemon.
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