Nutrients are required for just about every function that our bodies go through daily. Whether that be repairing and building, giving us energy, or running chemical processes. As such, it is important to make sure that the body has a reliable supply of nutrients. Including adequate nutrients in your diet is an important factor, but nutrients can be eaten together to enhance their absorption.
When paired, it becomes easier for the body to absorb nutrients. For instance, the presence of vitamin D in the body can improve the absorption of calcium. This would be especially helpful to individuals with osteoporosis, as their bones would gain more of the vitamins and minerals. It can also be helpful to those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets. The lack of animal based food products in their diets can have an impact on their ability to obtain vitamin B12, calcium, and iron. This is where pairings can become useful and close gaps in diets and ensure that all nutrient values are enhanced.
|Vitamin D and Calcium|| – Vitamin D present in the body makes it easier for calcium to be absorbed from foods that are broken down in the intestine.|
– Vitamin D is also helpful in the absorption of magnesium and phosphorus.
|Vitamin B12 and Folate||– Both of these vitamins work together to manage cell division and growth. |
– B12 is also required for the absorption, use, and storage of folate from foods.
|Vitamin C and Iron||– Vitamin C increases the absorption rate of iron from foods to promote bone strength.|
|Lipids and Fat-Soluble Vitamins||– Vitamins A and E are both fat-soluble, which means that they are best absorbed when consumed with a healthy fat.|
|Niacin and Tryptophan||– As niacin is not naturally made in the body, it must be produced by tryptophan. |
– Tryptophan’s main role in the body is the production of niacin, which can then regulate cholesterol levels in the body
– Tryptophan is important for the growth of infants and the production of nitrogen in adults.
There are plenty of foods that contain each of these vitamins and nutrients. Be sure to pair them to maximize their absorption. Included below are just some recipes that can help you attain the full level of absorption.
Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad
This delicious fish and vegetable meal will fill up your stomach and boost your vitamin D and calcium intake.
Orange, Tofu, and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
This blend of tofu, oranges, and bell peppers will help ensure that you make the most of the vitamin C and iron in this meal.
Paleo Mushroom Leek Frittata
Eggs, mushrooms, and leeks star in this breakfast dish that will be sure to deliver vitamin B12 and niacin to your body.
Garlic Dijon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
This is a quick and simple dish that will increase your vitamin B12 and folate absorption.
Recipes from cookinglight.com, realfoodwithjessica.com, and natashaskitchen.com.
There are many nutrients and vitamins that will increase the absorption of one another, however, there are also some that will hinder it. Be wary of these food pairings, as one may negatively impact your ability to gain the other.
|Binder||Nutrient/Vitamin Restricted||Where is the inhibitor found?|
– The degree to which these foods prevent calcium absorption differ.
|Calcium||Whole-grain products with fiber such as nuts, seeds, bran, and beans|
– Oxalic acid binds to calcium and decreases its overall absorption.
|Calcium||Sweet potatoes, beans rhubarb, spinach, and collard greens|
– Phytate binds to the zinc in food and prevents it from being fully absorbed into the body.
|Zinc||Corn, rice, cereals, legume, whole-grain bread|
– Zinc can also inhibit the absorption of copper, as they both compete for the same binding sites. As zinc is more readily available in an unrestricted diet, it is absorbed more often than copper is.
|Copper||Red meat, legumes, shellfish, seeds, nuts, and eggs|
Tavinun Vickyanont, Penn State Intern