Happy National Nutrition Month!
Some nutrients just have the chemistry; the chemistry to synergisticly work together, when matched up in the human body, to enhance each other’s absorption. I adore this. Below are 3 of the top three foods that when unit together, bring us great health benefits.
Iron & Vitamin C
Many people think that red meats are the best source of iron and are unaware that dark leafy vegetables ( spinach, kale) provide a very good amount of iron. The drawback to these plant-based iron food sources, is their inability to be optimally absorbed. This is when vitamin C rocks the situation. Vitamin C enriched foods will raise the acidity levels of digestive track which in turn, increase the absorption of iron. Pretty great.
a little side note: vitamin C helps out calcium absorption for this exact reason too
Folate & Vitamin B12
Most folate is found in plants whereas vitamin B12 is found in meats. They have numerous jobs in the body but one important one, when teamed up, is keep homocycteine, an amino acid, levels from getting too elevated. If homocysteine does get too high, folate and B12 will break down homocysteine. Elevated levels of anything is not good for the body but in this instance, high levels of homocycteine have been associated with alzheimers.
Lycopene and Fats
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives a reddish tint to fruits ( tomatoes). Antioxidants are essential nutrients in the body: fight disease, prevent heart disease and importantly fight off free radicals. Lycopene is fat soluble meaning that when a food rich in lycopene is eaten with a “good fat”, absorption is enhanced. Think about teaming up tomatoes with olive oil or mix salsa with guacamole.
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