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Five tips to maximise YOUR nutrient intake


We can easily regulate the foods that we eat but what is slightly harder to control is how our bodies extr

and absorb the nutrients from our meals. Ensuring healthy digestion is vital (see previous article on gut health) but here are a few additional things we can do to help increase the availability of the nutrients in our foods so our bodies can more easily absorb them.

Avoid too much water before a meal

Try to avoid drinking a lot of water before a meal. A crucial step in the early stages of digestion is the production of stomach acid which helps to kill off unwanted bacteria, initiates the breakdown of food and prepares certain minerals to be absorbed and utilised by the body. Drinking a lot of water just before your meal may dilute your stomach acid and reduce its potential in this process. This may lead to food being poorly digested and nutrients being less well absorbed.

Drink your smoothies slowly

Smoothies are great for adding that extra veg intake to our day but they are often gone in a flash. The next time you drink a smoothie consider how long it would take you to eat that meal if you laid out all the contents on a plate. When we make a smoothie, we break down the food into a more manageable form, but we still need to our body to process and digest all that food so the nutrients can be properly absorbed. Slow down your smoothie intake and give your body the chance to process!

Olive oil

Add extra virgin olive oil to your salads. Olive oil is a healthy fat which helps the body absorb nutrients, especially good for fat soluble vitamins such as A, E and K found in your vegetables. Extra Virgin Olive Oil means the oil hasn’t gone through any refining process to strip out the fats.

Olive oil also has strong anti-inflammatory properties, so don’t be afraid to drizzle a little extra over your salad.

Black pepper

Black pepper contains a compound called piperine which has also shown to improve the absorption of certain nutrients, particularly some phytonutrients found in vegetables, so seasoning your food is important.

Dark leafy green vegetables

Dark leafy greens are a brilliant source of magnesium, an essential mineral which we sometimes struggle to get enough of. One of its main jobs is to help our muscle cells relax after contraction, enhancing muscle movement and aiding processes in the body including digestion. Magnesium helps to encourage smooth passage of the foods we eat for effective digestion and nutrient absorption. Try to include a portion (handful) of leafy green vegetables in your diet each day e.g. spinach, kale, cavolo nero, swiss chard, green cabbage.

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