Healthy Eating is certainly a large component of a healthy lifestyle.In fact, eating healthy might be the most crucial aspect of living a healthy life.It is nutrition that drives all our functions for better or for worse. So let’s say you’ve got your nutrition down to a tee.
You know the ins and outs of all the essential and beneficial nutrients and chemicals you can put in your body.You know which mineral does what and which fruit contains which antioxidant compounds.But knowing what’s good to eat is one thing, knowing how to make the most of it is another story.
That’s because, once all is said and done, the nutrients you consume still need to be absorbed by your body in order to be useful.
Absorption potential, also related to bioavailability, is a crucial aspect of nutrition.
It is an aspect that with the right approach, can be optimized and tweaked for better dietary outcomes.
Before we get into that, let’s find out what actually makes absorption tick.
What Affects Nutrient Absorption?
Nutrient absorption is affected on two fronts.
It is affected by the food’s ability to be absorbed, or bioavailability, and it is affected by your body’s ability to absorb food.
In order to boost absorption and therefore the usefulness of your nutrition, you need to tackle these two areas effectively.
In order to boost bioavailability, you need to approach your nutritional needs from the right foods. Some foods contain what you need, but are chemically structured in a way that prevents you from making use of it.
In order to boost absorption ability, you need to optimize your gut health and make sure it’s running in ship-shape condition.
In this article, we’re going to dig into some handy tips you can use to start improving your absorption capacity of important nutrients in your food.
Aiming for the whole, unprocessed foods is a sure-fire way to make sure you can process and absorb what you’re eating.
Not only are whole foods naturally more nutritious, but they are also naturally more bioavailable in terms of healthy nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables are designed by nature as part of the foundation of the food chain, who’s nutrients are accessible accordingly.
Going natural also means minimizing preparation methods. Eat raw if you can, as cooking often disrupts or diminishes the nutrient profile of good food.
Eating is a part of life, and life nowadays seems to be getting more and more hectic.
This leads to often frantic eating and a lack of mindfulness where nutritional intake is concerned.
Rushed eating diminished your ability to absorb food. This happens because the faster you eat, the less mechanical and biochemical processing the food particles are allowed to undergo.
If you chew and swallow too soon, you miss the opportunity to grind your food down and maximize the exposed surface area for absorption.
If you swallow your food too quickly, you also limit the time and exposure your food has in your digestive system, ultimately leading to less absorption.
Water With Meals
Drinking water with your meals can help boost the absorption of nutrients significantly.
Water is often referred to as the universal solvent, it is a bit of an exaggerated statement since there are many things water simply can’t dissolve, but when it comes to the food you eat, many of the nutrients, both micronutrients, and macronutrients, can be dissolved in water.
This helps break down your food down to a molecular level, allowing for better absorption.
Water is also necessary to help your blood transport nutrients.
The Right Combination
As we mentioned, getting nutrition from food is sometimes a matter of bioavailability.
Your digestive system might be in tip-top shape, but the foods you’re eating just aren’t presenting their nutrient profiles in a way you can absorb.
This can often be chalked up to the fact that you are eating foods that contain nutrients that compete for absorption.
A classic example of this is calcium and magnesium, both of which are essential but compete to be absorbed.
Try instead to combine foods that contain nutrients that complement or assist each other’s absorption.
One example of successful nutrient combinations is iron and zinc rich foods.
Fiber is an essential part of your gut health. It helps keep things going which is essential to your health in general.
But when it comes to nutrient absorption, the health of your gut is pivotal, of course.
Load up on high fiber foods.
Absorption is a delicate aspect of good nutrition, one that’s often overlooked simply because getting the right food on your plate is seen as the only real battle.
Remember eating healthy is only step 1. Step 2 is eating smart, which includes optimizing the absorption of nutrients.