Last updated on November 24th, 2023.
Many people do not know that they are not obtaining all the nutrients they need from their foods. There are different things you can do to help improve nutrient absorption.
You need to make sure that you mix foods properly and drink lots of water. Also, give your body beneficial bacteria like yogurt and garlic. Proper absorption of nutrients will keep you in good health.
We can always make better food choices and maximize the benefits of nutrient-rich foods. Read this interesting and informative article if you want to find out seven tips that help improve nutrient absorption.
What is Nutrient Absorption?
Nutrient absorption is when your body accepts food into the body, and the body then converts it into useable nutrients. Absorption occurs within the small intestine and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The nutrients from the food are transported to various parts of the body and used for energy.
If you could not accept foods in the small intestine, you would not be able to utilize nutrients. If your body cannot appropriately process food, the nutrients do not benefit your body, and it can trigger illnesses and unhealthy weight fluctuations which can be treated with ear seeds for weight loss and anxiety.
Why is Nutrient Absorption Important?
If you do not absorb nutrients in your body correctly, you risk suffering from deficiencies and illnesses. Healthy intake and absorption allow for a healthy balance in the body. Although counting your nutrition macros is beneficial to some people, it is essential that everything must work the way it is supposed to if your body functions properly.
Absorption is equally as important as the digestive process. Absorption is vital for optimum health. The factors that influence nutrient absorption are:
- Sufficient levels of hydrochloric acid that help the body break down food successfully
- Mindfully chewing through food
- Good gut health
- Healthy cells
What Happens if I Don’t Absorb Proper Nutrients?
Getting the proper nutrients to nourish our bodies is essential to the quality of life. Nutrients provide energy and help repair body tissues. Without them, our bodies can not function, and our immune system could be compromised. You may well experience chronic fatigue, mood changes, and hormone imbalances that can make you feel down.
Without proper nutrition, you could have skin issues like acne or eczema, and gastrointestinal disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome. And although eczema is easily treated with Chinese medicine, if you are deprived of nutrition, your heart can be affected by becoming seriously ill with heart disease. Your heart is a muscle, and if you do not get the nutrients to sustain organ health, it will break down.
Foodstuffs that have not been absorbed into the small intestine are transported into the large intestine. The water and minerals are immersed in the blood, and bacteria generate vitamins biotin and vitamin K in the colon.
If nutrients are not properly assimilated into the body, the rest of the material is ejected from the rectum during waste elimination.
7 Tips to Help Improve Nutrient Absorption
It is not just what but how you consume your food when you eat it. Be mindful of how food works in the body and how it can make the most of the foods you consume. The following include diverse ways to help improve nutrient absorption:
1. Mix Foods Correctly
If you cook your vegetables in healthy fats, like olive or coconut oil, it will improve your absorption of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
When you eat your meals, make sure your plate is balanced with foods represented by all the food groups. Try the following tips:
- Fill ½ of your plate with vegetables like broccoli and spinach and fruits like sliced apples and grapes
- Fill one-fourth of your plate with proteins like fish or chicken
- Fill the other one-fourth of your plate with whole grains like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta
If you eat this way, you will make the most of your body’s ability to balance nutrients properly. It will allow you to make the most out of your energy.
2. Give Your Body Good Bacteria
The healthful bacteria in your gut, called your microbiome, requires both pre and probiotics to achieve optimum health. Prebiotic foods have a specific type of fiber that nourishes healthy gut flora. Some of the foods that contain prebiotics include:
Probiotics Will Maintain a Healthy Gut
Probiotic foods help with the diversity of healthy gut bacteria. Dairy foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, and mozzarella are a great addition to help with protein and probiotic action. Kefir is yogurt that you drink, and Kombucha is a fermented tea that provides probiotics. Be careful with Kombucha, and don’t drink too much; it could backfire.
There are also Pickles and Kimchi, although kimchi is also fermented, so be careful. Make sure that you read all food labels. For example, not all yogurt contains probiotics, but those containing active cultures have it printed on the label.
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Research has shown that water not only aids in digestion but it also helps with nutrient absorption. You should drink water:
- Before a meal
- During a meal
- After a meal
In fact, you should be drinking water throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated is the key to being healthy overall. Water assists with the dispersing of:
- Other nutrients
It transports the components from the vitamins to the rest of your body for energy. Water will help you get the most out of your meals.
4. Eat Fruits and Vegetables Unpeeled
When you eat an apple with the skin on it, you increase the number of nutrients you are absorbing. The skin of an apple contains over half the amount of fiber within that apple. The skin of many fruits and vegetables has a considerable amount of nutrients.
Do not peel your fruits and vegetables because they do not require it. The skin has valuable vitamins and minerals your body can utilize for energy. The number of nutrients in several types of fruits and vegetables will vary.
5. Mindfully Chew Your Food
We teach children to chew their food carefully for several key reasons. Not only is it polite to take your time chewing and practice good table manners, but chewing also activates the saliva in our mouths and moistens the food.
Saliva and its enzymes begin to break down the carbohydrates and fats in the food. Chewing facilitates the production of stomach acid and gets the juices flowing. It breaks down the food into smaller materials. It helps the nutrients to be better absorbed into the body.
6. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine can decrease the number of digestive enzymes in the system. It can also harm the intestinal lining. Alcohol acts like a diuretic, meaning that it makes the body excrete certain minerals, such as:
- Vitamin C
Watch Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Caffeine is an additional culprit for depleting nutrients from the body. Caffeine can hinder the absorption of specific vitamins and minerals like B and D vitamins, Calcium for those bones, Copper, Magnesium for strong bones, and Zinc for productive cells. Iron aids in making hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your cells.
Alcohol, in particular, can affect the release of digestive enzymes, which renders it difficult to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. A glass of wine may benefit your heart, but going overboard can deplete essential vitamins.
7. Decrease Stress
Stress can also affect the way that your body absorbs nutrients. Stress can cause excessive nutrient excretion. As your body releases cortisol and other stress hormones, it can negatively impact the absorption of vitamins. Some of these vitamins and minerals include:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
When you are having stress, your adrenal glands work overtime. You risk losing many water-soluble vitamins, and the above are the most affected vitamins.
You can do numerous things to help your body get the nutrients it requires from your foods. Being deficient can lead to different health problems. Better nutrient absorption can help your overall health. When you eat your next meal, keep these ideas in mind, your body will thank you.