Health, Health, Health! the talk of the year.
We all love to maintain a healthy lifestyle for a variety of reasons, whether we are trying to lose weight, we are following a trend or even if we are simply trying to be healthy. We all follow the same health-related tips or shall I say perceptions.
First and for most how many people out here were told that healthy eating means eating more greens and drinking water whilst cutting your salt and sugar intake. I raise my hand proudly for this as I’ve not been told about it once, but a bunch of times.
Okay yes, drinking water has a lot of benefits such as maintaining body fluid and keeping us hydrated, but, when was the last time you didn’t force yourself to drink so much water. If you are one of those people that fill up on water instead of food and think they are doing a great thing, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but you are not doing your body any favors, in fact in a recent study it showed that excessive amount of water can hurt the body and potentially cause hypothermia (the blood becomes diluted and the kidneys cannot filter it fast enough to maintain the proper sodium balance). Moreover, eating more greens is good for you right? well, this is arguable, because Green leaves have a lot of benefits but you have to know how to mix them with other food groups to achieve the maximum absorbance and consequently the maximum amount of nutrients from them. Similarly cutting sugars and salts completely can affect the absorbance of certain nutrients and you will find out how in a second.
Integrating whole, healthy food has benefits for your well-being, but here is deal even if you eat your healthy food and take your vitamins religiously you may not be or feel any healthier and that is because nutrients aren’t absorbed properly by your body.
So how to ensure that you get the maximum absorption?
your body absorbs two types of nutrients Micronutrients ( vitamins, minerals) and Macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fats ). Micronutrient indirectly aids the absorption of macronutrients, by increasing amount of energy available in the body to catalyze the release of enzymes to break down Macronutrients in order to be absorbed.
To make things even simpler all you have to do is know how to combine different food group to get the maximum absorption. Nevertheless, you need to also keep in mind that other factors such as level of stress and amount of sleep you get, may influence absorption as well.
Different combinations of food:
- Healthy Fats and Vitamins
Almost all types of vitamins are fat soluble so in order for them to be readily absorbed they need to be combined with a type of healthy fat. This is important because many people suffer from vitamin deficiency and focus on having a lot of the vitamin itself whether from food or supplements but in order to achieve full benefit their absorption needs to be maximized.
2. Iron and Vitamin C
Another common deficiency is Iron deficiency, iron is found in meat, fish, poultry etc, in order for iron to be fully absorbed from the type of food you are having it needs to be mixed with a vitamin C source such leafy greens, broccoli, citrus fruits and so on. Keeping in mind that calcium hinders the absorption of Iron so try not to have any type of food that contains calcium.
3. Salt and Protein.
This is one of my favorites just because I’ve always looked at salt being the enemy and tried to use alternative spices to flavor my food whenever I could. Turns out we need salt, not in Mcdonald’s amount though! salt stimulates more stomach acid for digestion and so when you eat protein gets digested in the stomach the more acid the more it will get broken down the more absorption you get.
- Eat protein at the beginning of the meal as they require the most stomach acid.
- Try not to mix fats with protein as fats reduce absorption of protein.
Disclaimer- I’m not a nutrionist, this information is purely based on research and self-experiences with nutritionists and health consultants.
There is plenty more information on how to get the most nutrients out of the food you’re eating in the link below.