Are You getting all You can Out of Your Food?
Are you getting the most vitamins and minerals out of your Food?
Are you really getting the most out of your healthy eating habits? Did you know your cooking could make your nutrients less effective? This means that if you boil a water-soluble nutrient, it could lose most of its nutrition. For instance, broccoli will not keep the quality nutrients you want if you boil it and throw out the water. But if that is the only way you can tolerate broccoli, then go for it, 60% of something is better than 0% of nothing. Preferably, we would want to steam, sauté, or even microwave in order to keep our nutrient profiles high. Another example is spinach; it has about 3 times the vitamin C when it is consumed raw rather than when it is cooked. Cooking tomatoes actually supercharges their Lycopene bioavailability. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help your body fight and protect itself from various diseases. This process is possible because cooking actually helps breakdown the plants rigid walls. By sautéing or roasting certain foods that are high in Iron, we increase the possibility of being absorbed because of the reduction in Oxaletes. An Oxalete inhibits absorption because it binds to the Iron making it inaccessible. Iron is a key component of balanced diet, because without it, your body cannot produce enough oxygen rich red blood cells.
Another quick tip is to pair fat with fat. Foods that contain the fat-soluble nutrients are best consumed or even cooked with fats. Next time you make sweet potatoes, cook them with olive or coconut oil and then serve them with half an avocado and a source of animal protein. Avocado is rich with dietary fat that also contains omega 3s but also will help you absorb the vitamin A of the sweet potatoes. Fun fact, if you like to eat salmon or egg yolks, they contain their own dietary fat so they will be absorbed just fine without any more help. Following the Iron component, it is good to pair Iron with vitamin C since the vitamin C will help block compounds that inhibit absorption and will help the plants let go of the mineral. So next time pair your Kale with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or chili peppers.
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