Power up your energy levels with these food combinations

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - You can power up your energy levels by pairing up the right foods together. Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness advocates three powerful food combos.

When certain foods are eaten together, their nutritional value is enhanced. This allows you to get more out of your meal and multiply the health benefits while eating delicious food combinations.

Try these three power pairs to boost your intake of critical nutrients:

Spinach + oranges or strawberries:

Spinach is a great source of plant-based iron but plant-based iron doesn't absorb in the body as well as iron from meat. To encourage a higher level of iron absorption from your spinach make a salad with vitamin C rich fruit like strawberries or oranges.

Roasted vegetables + olive or coconut oil:

Roasted veggies are a quick and easy way to eat the rainbow and get a host of phytonutrients. Butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are particularly delicious when roasted because roasting brings out their natural sweetness.

Get even more out of those vegetables by using an oil-like olive or coconut for roasting. Using a healthy fat with your orange and yellow veggies has been shown to enhance the absorption of beta – carotene. Beta – carotene (or vitamin A) is an anti-oxidant that plays a critical role in eye and skin health.

Whole grains + onion + garlic:

Whole grains like barley aren't just a great source of fiber but also provide zinc, which is needed for a healthy immune system. Studies have found that, when whole grains are paired with garlic and onions, zinc absorption is increased. Try toasted sprouted grain bread with avocado and red onion for breakfast or a simple barley salad as a side dish to get more from your grains.