How to Make Sure the Nutrients in Your Food Get Absorbed by Your Body ... Instead of Being Eliminated (Why Most Get Flushed Down the Toilet)
When you eat a meal, your body does not automatically absorb all the nutrients it contains. The term "bioavailability" refers to how many nutrients are actually absorbed by your system, and uncovering just how much of different nutrients are bioavailable in the foods we eat is no easy task.
When you eat your body may be missing out on absorbing important vitamins and minerals. Keep reading to find out tips to help increase your nutrient absorption.
If a substance is ingested, as foods are for example, its bioavailability is determined by the amount that is absorbed by your intestinal tract. So how do you know how much that is? The problem is you really don’t.
Nutrition experts are fond of saying that to get the most benefits, eat a varied diet, one that includes an array of fruits and vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. This is good advice but there is more to it than that.
Nutrient Levels in Foods May be Declining
There is evidence that suggests food is less nutritious than it used to be, which means that your body is starting off with less to work with.
One study published in the Journal of American College Nutrition evaluated changes in USDA nutrient content data for 43 garden crops between 1950 and 1999. They found that compared to foods grown in 1950, those grown in 1999 had a:
38% decrease in riboflavin
15% decrease in ascorbic acid
16% decrease in calcium
9% decrease in phosphorus
15% decrease in iron
6% decrease in protein content
A slight increase (0.6%) in water content
There are many theories as to why food may be less nutritious, including nutrient-poor soil, poor crop rotation methods and development of crops that are meant to produce massive yields. There have also been conflicting studies on organic produce, with some finding organic produce to be more nutritious than conventionally grown produce, and others finding no difference.
Many Americans Do Not Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Millions of Americans who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. They're certainly taking in enough calories -- that's evidenced by the obesity epidemic facing the nation -- but it's the quality of those calories that are important. You can eat all day long and still be vitamin-deficient if you haven't chosen your foods wisely. For instance, do you:
Eat fast food often?
Rarely eat fresh vegetables and fruit?
Rely on quick, processed foods and snacks?
Fill up on soda or other sweet beverages?
Feel you're not eating a nutritious diet?
If so, you're likely in need of some "extra" vitamins (though they're not really "extra" in the event your body is deficient in them, they're what's required to keep you healthy!).
Poor nutrition is nothing to scoff at. It's associated with a host of diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver and kidney disease and osteoporosis. Those who eat poorly, nutritiously speaking, either by choice or because circumstances demand it, may be at risk.
Tips to Increase Your Absorption of Nutrients From the Food You Eat
So what can you do to make sure you’re getting the most nutritional "bang for your buck" from the foods you eat? Here are some simple tips you and your family can try out today:
1. Eat more raw food.
Raw plant and animal foods (such as raw milk) are loaded with beneficial enzymes for your body. (Enzymes are actually special proteins that act as catalysts for the chemical reactions that occur to keep your body functioning.) However, enzymes begin to be destroyed at temperatures above 110-115 degrees. So if your food is cooked, pasteurized or processed, it will contain no enzymes whatsoever.
Your body contains 2,500 or more different enzymes, and they are very important. Enzymes in your saliva, for instance, help break apart starches, while those in your stomach help break down protein. Enzymes in your intestines, meanwhile, are responsible for breaking apart all of your food, whether fat, protein or carb.
A Basic Understanding of Enzymes
These digestive enzymes are what allow your food to be broken down, and the nutrients absorbed by your bloodstream.
The ideal way to add enzymes to your diet is simply by eating more raw foods. Be generous with consuming raw fruits and vegetables, and also consider adding other sources of raw food to your diet, such as raw milk and raw-milk cheese.
Do You Eat a Mostly Cooked-Food Diet? You Need AbsorbAid Platinum: Super Digestive Blend
AbsorbAid Platinum is a vegetable-based digestive enzyme system that combines its effective ratio of proteases, amylases, lipases and cellulases with two "acid-tolerant" bacteria or a probiotic combination, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. AbsorbAid Platinum:
Try out some delicious, enzyme-rich raw food recipes. Get "Alive in 5": Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes is highly recommended. Even those who are new to raw foods will enjoy the simple recipes (most can be prepared in five minutes!) for lasagna, spaghetti marinara, stuffed mushrooms, broccoli in cheese sauce, apple pie and more. They're healthy and delicious, and will make you want to eat raw for the taste value alone.
Another option if your diet consists primarily of cooked foods is to take an enzyme supplement. There are numerous enzyme supplements available on the market to help increase your levels, but Sixiwse.com highly recommends the plant-based, acid-resistant digestive enzyme formulation, AbsorbAid Platinum from Nature’s Sources.
This vegetable-based digestive enzyme system combines its effective ratio of proteases, amylases, lipases and cellulases with two "acid-tolerant" bacteria or a probiotic combination, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
This product addresses not only the digestive enzyme system deficiencies recognized in most adults, but it combines two effectively beneficial bacterial strains that are metabolically complementary and help create a symbiosis with the digestive enzyme system complex and helps promote immune system excellence.
2. Eat Your Salad With Dressing
Carotenoids, which include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and more, are powerful antioxidants that help protect your body from damaging free radicals. Carotenoids are not only found in orange fruits and veggies, but also red, yellow and even dark green ones.
However, carotenoids are fat-soluble, which means you must eat healthy fats in order for your body to absorb them. If you eat an extremely low-fat diet, you may not be able to absorb enough carotenoids. So when you eat a salad, adding a healthy oil-based dressing like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a simple and tasty way to absorb more nutrients.
3. Know When It’s Better to Cook Your Veggies
While many foods are at their nutritional peak raw, there are a handful that are actually better for you cooked. Cooked tomatoes, for instance, are thought to be a more concentrated source of lycopene than raw ones. Though more research is needed in this area, foods that have been processed at high temperatures (such as tomato paste and tomato juice) may allow your body to absorb more lycopene than eating a raw tomato.
Lycopene is also a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning you need to eat it wit some fat in order for it to be properly absorbed. Making homemade tomato sauces with olive oil would be an ideal source.
The carotenoids in carrots and spinach are also more easily absorbed if you lightly steam them before eating, and researchers at Rutgers University and Taiwan found that iron is more easily absorbed by the body from 37 of 48 vegetables they tested when they're boiled, stir-fried, steamed or grilled. So eating a variety of both raw and lightly cooked veggies may be a good compromise.
4. Add Some Black Pepper
Piperine, a compound found in black pepper, is said to increase bioavilability of many beneficial substances, some by up to 2,000 percent! Piperine appears to simulate the digestive enzymes of the pancreas, enhance digestive capacity and significantly reduce gastrointestinal food transit time.
5. Eat More Fermented Foods
Civilizations around the globe have been fermenting foods for centuries.
Fermenting produces good bacteria known as probiotics, which produce beneficial enzymes, aid digestion and promote healthy flora in the digestive tract.
According to Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, "Many people's digestive systems are simply too weak to digest raw vegetables in spite of all their natural enzymes."
She recommends "cooking your vegetables by baking, simmering, sautéing or lightly steaming them to make them more digestible" while simultaneously eating more fermented, or cultured, foods. The good bacteria in fermented foods, Gates says, will help you to create a healthy inner ecosystem and digest foods more efficiently.
Another option, along with eating fermented foods, is to take a probiotic supplement.
In choosing a probiotic supplement for yourself, Sixwise.com highly recommends AbsorbAid Probiotic, available from NutritionsFinest.com -- a superlative probiotic supplement that provides clinical activities supporting systemic health and wellness through immune-system protection, allergy reduction and effective and enhanced nutrient absorption.
Probiotics Including Children's Health (offsetting overly clean enviroment to gain back needed good bacteria). Watch this video now.
While antibiotics are by name “anti”= “killing” massive amounts of your internally needed bacteria (“biotics” = “life”) including that bacteria that is “mostly good bacteria” that you need. Returning to good health requires “good bacteria” (“Pro” – “biotics” = “Good Living Bacteria”) that your gut / stomach needs for good digestion of needed nutrients.
30 Billion ways per day to improve your good gut health!
"AbsorbAid Probiotic" has 30 billion organisms per capsule, with two clinically effective and dominant genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus: L. acidophilus and L. salivarius in a 2:1 ratio and B. lactis and B. breve, also in a 2:1 ratio. Each bacterial genus-species has its own specific metabolic activities, which lead to their effective inter-species synergism.
So whichever method you choose (choosing both the supplements and the fermented foods is best), be sure that your body is getting a steady source of good bacteria.
Enzymes: Are You Lacking These Crucial Catalysts to Your Digestion?
Eating Raw: The Advantages and Disadvantages
Journal of American College Nutrition 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82.
NaturalNews.com November 17, 2008
HealthyTheory.com November 21, 2008
Suite101.com September 28, 2009