5 Food synergy that boosts nutrient absorption
It’s essential to get your nutrients in, but keeping a healthy diet doesn’t always mean getting all you need. The bioavailability, or the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, is as important as the nutrient content. If our bodies can’t absorb the nutrients, it’s as though we never ate them at all. So many vitamins and minerals have strange interactions that can either enhance or hinder the other’s effects—so depending on the food pairings we concoct in your kitchen, we may be boosting or missing out on the benefits of those healthy foods. To get the full nutrient bang for your buck and prevent wasting any good stuff, here are 13 nutrient combinations that you should either work together or eat separately for maximum absorption.
It is important to get all the nutrients right to maintain bodily functions. Yet, eating or keeping up with a healthy diet does not mean you’re getting all the nutrients needed by the body. The bioavailability, or the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, is as important as the nutrient content. At times, some foods might also interfere with the absorption of nutrients. This leads to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C and Iron-rich foods
- Calcium and Vitamin D
- Healthy fat and Fat-soluble vitamins ( A, D, E, K)
- Curcumin and piperine
- Catechins + Vitamin C
1. Curcumin and Piperine
Curcumin, in other words, is also known as turmeric, an excellent antioxidant known to reduce pain and arthritis and cleanse the blood. Turmeric works even better when paired with black pepper. Studies show that piperine/black pepper helps make turmeric more bioavailable, and the body can absorb it faster.
2. Healthy fat and Fat-soluble vitamins ( A, D, E, K)
Vitamin A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins that need fat to be absorbed by the body. The absorption of these vitamins can be increased by pairing foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins with healthy oils. Green vegetables are primarily high in vitamin A and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is found mainly in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is found primarily in nuts. So, it’s best to combine and pair all these nuts and colorful veggies with standard salad dressings such as olive oil and walnut oil, and you may add a handful of healthy sees on top of it and make the most out of all the vegetables.
3. Vitamin C and Plant-based Iron
Vitamin C is best known to enhance iron absorption, capture non-heme iron, and store it in a more easily absorbed form by your body. The body absorbs iron much more effectively when vitamin C is present. In addition to the absorption factor, vitamin C also helps synthesize red blood cells. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, melons, and strawberries. This is crucial for vegetarians and vegans for which iron deficiency is common. Other factors in plant-based food sources can inhibit iron intake, such as oxalic acid present in spinach. For the best absorption of plant-based iron, it is much more necessary to pair it with a source of vitamin C, which helps break down the iron into a form that the body can more easily absorb.
4. Vitamin D and Calcium
This both mineral and vitamin combo ensure in keeping our bones healthy. Calcium can only reach its full bone-building potential if your body has enough vitamin D. Vitamin D helps absorb, carry, and deposit most of the calcium in our body into our bones and teeth. Even if you are consuming enough calcium, it could be going to waste if you’re deficient in vitamin D. Thus, combining a good combo of calcium and vitamin D is essential.
5. Catechins and Vitamin C
Catechins are compounds that are commonly found in tea. Catechins are antioxidants, meaning they combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. In there alone, catechins are prone to break down, leading to poor absorption overall. Vitamin C acidifies the intestinal environment, which prevents catechins from degrading. This optimizes their absorption in the intestines, ensuring your body can use that antioxidant goodness.