bioavailability en-US Bioavailability: How to Get More Nutrients from Your Food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bioavailability-how-to-get-more-nutrients-from-your-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fruits and veggies" title="fruits and veggies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everything we eat gets absorbed and used by our body. Our cooking and digestive process destroys and degrades nutrients before our body can use it. The amount of nutrients that is actually absorbed in our system is called <a href="">bioavailability</a>. Understanding how different foods react with one another can help you get more nutrients from your meal. Here are 5 ways to get more from the food we eat.</p> <h3>Add lemon to your tea</h3> <p>Adding a squirt of lemon to green tea can <a href="">increase the amount of catechins</a> your body will absorb. Catechins are one of the many health-promoting qualities in green tea, but is unstable in environments like our intestines. Less than 20 percent remain after digestion. Adding lemon juice caused 80 percent of the catechins to remain.</p> <h3>Have OJ with your meal</h3> <p>Iron found in red meat (haem iron) is readily absorbed in the body. However, the iron found in other sources, like spinach, contains non-haem iron which is not as readily absorbed. Having something like orange juice (or anything with vitamin C) with your meal <a href="">changes the non-haem iron to heam iron</a>. It's important to know too that the phenols found in tea and coffee, and calcium in dairy products inhibit iron absorption, and shouldn't be consumed in conjunction with iron rich foods (this includes <a href=";page=article.display&amp;">eggs</a>).</p> <h3>Cook your tomatoes and carrots</h3> <p>Tomatoes have lycopene, a great antioxidant that is much better absorbed when cooked. Fresh tomatoes have a total antioxidant potential of about 80. But boil them, and the antioxidant potential goes up five or six-fold. This happens because the lycopene in the raw tomato has been transformed to trans-lycopene in the cooked version, and <a href="">trans-lycopene is much more readily absorbed</a>. The downside is that vitamin C is degraded when cooked. Additionally, cooking carrots makes the beta-carotene, another form of antioxidant, more available as well.</p> <h3>Put some fat in your salad</h3> <p>Fat-soluble nutrients like lycopene, beta carotene, and <a href="">lutein</a> needs a little help getting absorbed into your system, specifically from fat. This applies the most to salads because the vegetables aren't prepared with anything except the dressing, and a <a href=";i=0&amp;SIDS=">study</a> shows that the best dressing to use is actually <em>not</em> the fat-free kind. This doesn't mean drenching your salad in fatty dressing, but making sure to use natural and <a href="">healthy fats</a> so it doesn't become a counterproductive strategy. Adding healthy fats like <a href="">avocado</a> and olive oil into your salad will <a href="">raise the nutrient levels</a> effectively without raising your weight or cholesterol levels at the same time.</p> <h3>Black pepper isn't just for seasoning</h3> <p>Sprinkling a <a href=" ">dash of black pepper</a> does more than please your taste buds. The piperine in it increases the bioavailability of many substances through a bunch of cool processes, which results in more nutrients reaching your cells.&nbsp; Not only that, but did you know piperine can act as an anti-depressant, pain reliever, and antacid, boost brain functioning, <em>and</em> help you sleep?! Can someone please pass the pepper STAT!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post from our sister blog, <a href="">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Boost Your Memory with a Nap</a></li> <li><a href="">Bigger Vegetables, Less Nutrients</a></li> <li><a href="">Eating Less May Help You Live Longer</a></li> <li><a href="">Hot Flashes: 10 Ways to Keep Your Cool</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Healthy Theory</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. 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