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.
Tualang Honey; A Gift From the Jungle
What is Tualang Honey?
A honey from the Malaysian jungles is attracting attention from researchers who are finding it has unexpected health properties beyond those of the famous Manuka honey of Australia and New Zealand.
While it has been used as medicine and food for thousands of years, researchers are confirming the therapeutic value of honey — accelerated wound healing, infection fighting, anti-tumor, and anti-diabetic properties, to name a few.
When a pollen-producing plant species has health or curative properties, those characteristics transfer to honey via the pollen harvested by bees. Until recently, Manuka honey from New Zealand has been the gold standard, with higher levels of methylglyoxal, a natural antibacterial, than other types of raw honey. By placing hives into Manuka groves, beekeepers produce and harvest this “monofloral” honey, meaning the hive worker bees have harvested pollen only from the Manuka tree blossoms, which gives the honey it’s unusual therapeutic properties.
Tualang honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), a type of honeybee, that builds its colonies in one of the tallest trees in the world, the Tualang tree of Southeast Asia, and in particular, the Malaysian peninsula. Specimens as high as 260 ft. (80m) have been recorded. The species is found in lowland forests — indigenous people believe the giant trees are inhabited by spirits. This belief has spared the trees from the logging industry. Tualang honey is only found in these jungle giants — the tree’s smooth bark makes climbing difficult for honey loving predators like the sun bear.
Honey can be monofloral or polyfloral. Manuka is monofloral, with the Manuka tree species as the pollen source. Polyfloral Tualang honey differs in that the rock bees pollinate diverse Malaysian jungle plants and flowers, and those plant properties find their way in to the honey. The therapeutic potential of multiple rainforest plant species are captured in Tualang honey.