When you make a lifestyle change and commit to a diet filled with the best quality food possible, you probably want to make sure you are getting the most out of that food. It may seem obvious on the outside what foods will serve your health best, but what happens when they reach the inside? Are you getting the most out of your macro and micronutrients?
Absorption of vitamins and minerals can be a little more complicated than you realize. If you suffer with any kind of gut health issues, your digestive system may be compromised, rendering it unable to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals from the foods you consume. Even if you have a healthy gut, you still may be missing out absorbing nutrients due to the way certain foods, vitamins, and minerals interact with each other.
Here are some tips that will help your digestive system break down and utilize all those beautiful nutrients.
- Eat slowly. Digestion starts in your mouth with your saliva! Plus, the bonus of eating mindfully and in a relaxed setting means an improved awareness of satiety!
- Never eat to complete fullness. Feeling stuffed is not just a sign that you liked your meal, it is a sign that you were not listening to your body’s signal to stop. Take a breather when you are half way through your meal and let your mind catch up with your tummy.
- Use digestive enzymes to support full digestion and absorption. Talk to your functional medicine doctor, nutritionist, medical practitioner to see which enzymes may best support your body’s needs.
- Add a daily probiotic to enhance the good bacteria in your gut and protect the large intestine. Choose from real food like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kefir or find a high quality probiotic supplement.
- Drink water before or after your meals. Drinking with a meal may dilute stomach acid, which if already low, will contribute to malabsorption.
- Cook tomatoes in olive oil to help increase absorption of the super antioxidant lycopene which promotes healthy brain function, bone strength and vision health.
- Add black pepper to recipes with turmeric to significantly boost curcumin absorption. Combine with a fat source (avocado, coconut oil, etc) for even better utilization.
- Chop your beta-carotene rich veggies into small pieces. Bite sized carrots, sweet potatoes and bell peppers are easier to digest. All of which will help protect your skin against UV rays.
- Drinking tea or coffee after consuming calcium rich foods may impair absorption (caffeine alters our pH which in turn affects nutrient absorption), so you’ll want to limit those beverages for at least 20 minutes after eating.
- Pair your green leafy salads with vitamin C rich foods such as peppers, citrus, cauliflower and strawberries. Bonus: the citrus will help keep that lionheart of yours going strong.
Try this citrus salad recipe from, Making Thyme For Health.