(NaturalNews) Nutrient absorption is a very important health topic that gets very little attention. The amount of available nutrients in a food is important as well, but not particularly helpful if those nutrients do not get absorbed and therefore used by the body. There are a few things that you can do to increase nutrient absorption and make the most of the available nutrients in your food.
Eating in a peaceful environment
In one study, participants consumed a drink containing minerals in a peaceful environment. In this setting, they completely absorbed the minerals. However, when the participants consumed the same drink with a person talking in each of their ears, they absorbed none of the minerals. So the lesson here is to eat in a comfortable environment in order to fully absorb the nutrients in each meal.
Eating enjoyable food
In another study, there were two groups of people consuming a traditional Thai meal: a group of Thai women and a group of Swedish women. The Thai women enjoyed the meal while the Swedish women did not, and the Thai women absorbed twice as much of some nutrients as the Swedes. But when the traditional Thai meal was blended into an unrecognizable mush, the Thai women's nutrient absorption decreased by as much as 70 percent. The takeaway from this study is that nutrient absorption is best when the meal is enjoyable.
Eating healthy fats with meals
A study on the relationship between dietary fat and nutrient absorption examined what happened to nutrient absorption when avocado was added to otherwise fat-free food. When the fat source of avocados was added to a salad, ten times more carotenoids were absorbed by study participants. And when avocados were added to salsas, study participants absorbed four times more lycopene than when the salsa was fat-free. Fat allows more nutrients to be absorbed because many nutrients are fat soluble, meaning that they are only absorbed by the body when dietary fat is present.
Eating meals that appeal to the taste buds, in a peaceful environment, and having fat with the meal are three of the best ways to ensure that most of the nutrients in your food are absorbed by your body.
About the author: Ben Hirshberg is a 21 year old student, author, and entrepreneur who studies the art of living well. Born and bred in Seattle, WA, Ben likes to read, cook, run, travel, and throw convivial parties. Ben has PFT, FNS, and YES certifications through WITS and NASM and is in the process of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and achieving board certification in Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. He also writes regular columns for Paleo Magazine and is hoping to release several books in 2014.
You can get his book A Simple Guide to Mindful and Intuitive Eating for FREE at www.BenHirshberg.com