So you set out to get healthier. You’re eating all the right foods — more fruits and veggies, beans and legumes — but are you getting the most out of them? Many vital micronutrients pass through the body without ever being fully utilized, due to a variety of factors. Several things affect the bioavailability of micronutrients, and it can be a tricky business. Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees discusses steps you can take to get the most out of the healthy foods you’re eating.
To Cook or not to Cook
While the raw foods movement is still trendy and can provide some positive contributions to a healthy diet, some foods may be better when prepared with heat. Carrots, for example, are an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, and other micronutrients; however, raising the level of availability can help you get the most out of this nutritional powerhouse. The first option is cooking, which increases the glycemic index while still keeping it healthy. If cooking is not for you, then consider breaking it down with a blender or food processor. Tomatoes are another food that can benefit from cooking, as it raises the level of lycopene, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. The key is to find a balance of both; eating a variety of both raw and cooked veggies allows you to consume the maximum amount of necessary micronutrients.
Chomping and Chewing for Maximum Accessibility
In the past, mothers would often tell their children to “chew your food 100 times before swallowing.” While this may be somewhat excessive, there was wisdom in those old wives’ tales. Before your body can access the nutrients in your food, it must be broken down into smaller particles. The first stage after food enters your body is chewing, after which it is broken down further by enzymes. While digestion is less under your control, chewing is key when it comes to getting the most out of your meal. Don’t rush when you’re eating; slow down and take the time to prepare your food for “processing” by the body. Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy your food for longer and reduce stress by focusing more on your meal than on the next item on your to-do list.
Do it with a friend.
It is critical to learn how to combine foods and nutrients that work well together. For example, Vitamin C has been shown to assist in the absorption of iron. Therefore, adding some orange or kiwi slices to your spinach salad may be the ticket to increasing your iron absorption. The piperine in pepper significantly increases the absorption of curcumin in turmeric. Sarah Williams, founder of AH123 Tees, suggests adding some fresh ground pepper along with your turmeric to not only improve the bioavailability of the curcumin but also create a new and exciting flavor combination.
Mounting evidence suggests that eating whole foods can boost your immune system and help you avoid illness. It seems nature may know best once again; whole foods often contain combinations of complementary nutrients. Before the development of highly processed and refined foods, humans have traditionally eaten whole foods. Therefore, the human body has evolved to make the most of the complex combinations of micronutrients contained in whole foods.
Taking steps to ensure you get the most out of the food you consume is important, but it is critical to develop healthy eating habits in the first place. Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees believes that getting the maximum absorption out of those nutrient-dense foods is the next step in living a longer, happier, and healthier life.