Food Synergy: Maximizing Your Meal’s Nutritional Profile
You are probably familiar the different types of vitamins and a lot of us know their basic function. Vitamin A is great for your eyes. B vitamins gives you energy, Vitamin C keeps those darned colds away. And a lot of us know which sources give you these vitamins. But what a lot of people aren’t familiar with is the fact that there are actually ways to maximize the amount of vitamins and/or minerals you’re absorbing in your body by pairing one vitamin with another (in other words, one food with another)
Vitamin C and Iron
Vitamin C is touted to give your body immune-supporting qualities. It can help build your immune system to the point of protecting your body against viruses, the flu, a common cold, even support wound healing. Your body can best absorb this by consuming it with iron. Iron acts as an agent to help break down the vitamin C in a way that your body absorb every last bit of it.
Try roasting some brussels sprouts and broccoli in light olive oil with a hint of salt and pepper, other desired spices. Eat this as a side or on top of your salad or power bowl or even as a side. Brussels Sprouts have a tremendous amount of vitamin C and the broccoli is a great source of plant-based protein.
Lycopene and Heart Healthy Fat
Lycopene is a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant most commonly consumed in the form of tomato. There has much talk about whether or not it is better to consume tomatoes raw or cooked in order to maximize it’s nutritional offerings. The conclusion is that cooking the tomato will give you what you need, and, to take it a step further, cooking it in olive oil will bring out even more of the lycopene, than if consumed raw.
Vitamin D and Calcium
If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you likely won’t get enough calcium. This is because vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium, and, in turn, is responsible for bone health.
My favorite way to get this in is by eating tofu. Tofu has BOTH vitamin D and Calcium so it’s a sure way to make sure you’re giving yourself the bone support that your body so desperately needs.
Vitamin K and Heart Healthy Fat
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health. In short, if you get it a cut, vitamin k will come to the rescue and prevent you from bleeding out. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, and is best consumed with a source of fat.
Make yourself a kale salad of some sort to get your vitamin K in. Add a fourth of an avocado to ensure your absorbing everything that you possibly can with the fat the avocado offers.
Keeping these combinations in mind, and experimenting with other food combinations will ensure that you’re getting everything that you possibly can from what you put into your body!