Top Food Nutrient Combinations
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Limit pop consumption which is extremely high in phosphoric acid and only drink away from Calcium rich beverages like fortified soy milk.
Vani Hari Uncovers the Truth About the Food Industry
TRANSCENDENCE – Live Life Beyond the Ordinary, an FMTV original 5-part docu-series, is all about learning from the personal experiences of those who have been in the darkest trenches, healed from trauma, and recovered from great adversity, to lead us in finding our true potential. Food activist Vani Hari shares her powerful story of doing exactly that. In Episode 1, titled ‘What’s In Our Food?’, Vani shares how a lack of education lead her to illness after illness, and in that feeling of defeat, she finally found her passion to fight.
Vani Hari grew up with two Indian immigrant parents. Being new to America, they naturally trusted the American food system and fully immersed themselves into the culture by taking on the standard American diet; McDonald’s, Wendy’s, whatever they wanted to eat, they did.
These eating habits, mostly caused by a lack of nutrition education, lead to a plethora of different health issues for Vani – asthma, eczema, endometriosis, appendicitis, & allergies – resulting in a life lived in and out of the hospital.