Top Food Nutrient Combinations

Atención Plena En Tu Alimento

Learn about the important food combinations for optimum nutrient absorption.

Getting the most nutrition out of your kitchen fridge or backyard garden can be as easy as applying a few main principles. While some nutrients taken together improve the absorption of others, some nutrients can inhibit absorption all together.

Foods that Complement Absorption

Vitamin C and Iron

Iron comes in two forms, heme and non-heme. Non-heme iron is the found in plants and is not as well absorbed as heme iron found in animal products. Vitamin C helps switch iron to the ferrous state, which is easier absorbed.

Examples:

  • Add beets to a shake or meal
  • Squeeze a fresh orange or lemon on top of a spinach salad
  • Add sliced strawberries to any breakfast cereal; hot or cold
  • Add green peas to your kidney bean salad

Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D

Vitamin D acts like a traffic controller guiding calcium into your bone to make them strong. Since Vitamin D is hard to obtain in sufficient quantities from the sun a supplement is best recommended to take alongside Calcium.

Fat soluble Vitamins and Fat

Fat soluble vitamins include Vitamins A, D, E and K which require fat to be present to be ideally absorbed in the body.

Examples:

  • Olive oil drizzled on baked sweet potatoes
  • Unsalted almonds or walnuts as a great afternoon snack
  • Mashed avocado spread on whole grain toast
  • Pine nuts sprinkled on asparagus or broccoli

Foods that Inhibit Absorption

Calcium and Iron

These minerals bind together preventing absorption in the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed a dose of 165 mg of Calcium (in Milk form) reduced iron absorption as much as 50-60%. It is recommended for Calcium to be taken at bedtime for not only improved absorption but a better sleep too for its muscle relaxing properties.

Example items to not combine:

  • Broccoli with Kidney Beans
  • Kale with Lentils

Oxalic Acid and Calcium or Magnesium

Oxalic acid binds to calcium to form insoluble salts that cannot be absorbed. It too hampers the absorption of Magnesium.

Example items to not combine:

  • Almonds or cashews with Sesame seeds
  • Spinach and fortified soy/rice milk

Phosphoric Acid and Calcium

Phosphoric acid binds to calcium in the intestine forming calcium phosphates which are not absorbed.

Example:

  • Limit pop consumption which is extremely high in phosphoric acid and only drink away from Calcium rich beverages like fortified soy milk.


Eat Your Way to a Healthy Complexion

mature black woman drinking a green smoothie

It’s been said “you are what you eat,” and far from being a poetic platitude, this timeless trope is literally true! Not only do the micro-nutrients in food, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients allow biochemistry to proceed properly, but the building blocks of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest, ultimately become our bones, blood, muscles, and all the other tissues and organs that make up our miraculous and marvelous human bodies. This of course includes the body’s largest organ, the skin, and there is no way to get around the fact that eating poor quality foods will show up as poor-quality complexion.

While this seems like an obvious truth, it isn’t something most of us account for when we decide what to eat. And the unfortunate results are pretty much all skin-health conditions from acne and accelerated aging to dryness and dark spots.

Foods that are overly heated and highly processed are deficient in enzymes and nutrients, negatively impacting the skin and acting as the source of pretty much all cutaneous concerns including eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Even seemingly external dermatological problems like allergic reactions and sun damage can at least partially be the result of poor food choices.

On the other hand, enjoying high-quality foods not only helps slow down aging and prevent full-blown skin health challenges, but can also be the source of healthy, beautiful, glowing skin. Sure, topical skin care is important, but at the end of the day the skin, like any other part of the body, is composed of what we consume. I recommend including foods with phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your daily meal plan.

Read Article

More In Alternative Health

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

Testing message will be here