When you go to the effort of making yourself a healthy meal or smoothie, you want to be sure that you are absorbing as much of the nutrients as possible, right?
So, it is good to know there are certain ways you can help support this process, and make sure you get the maximum nutrient boost with each meal!
Pairing Your Nutrients
Some essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, K, E, D are fat-soluble. Meaning you need to eat them with some fats in order to properly absorb them.
For example, if you are making yourself a green smoothie, with lots of spinach or kale, it helps to add some delicious good-fat smoothie options into the mix. For example:
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Nut butters
Another important nutrient combo to pair up is iron and vitamin C. This is because vitamin C helps in the absorption of nonheme iron from your food/smoothie.
Some delicious smoothie combos include:
- Kale and kiwi
- Oatmeal and strawberries
- Spinach and pineapple
- Spirulina and orange
You may also be interested in "Can smoothies replace meals?"
Antinutrients are plant compounds that hinder your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients.
Four of the more common include:
- Phytate (phytic acid) - These are mainly found in seeds, grains and legumes. They reduce the absorption of minerals, such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
- Lectins - These are also found in all plant food, mainly seeds, legumes and grains. They interfere with nutrient absorption and can be harmful in high amounts.
- Calcium Oxalate - This is the main form of calcium in many vegetables, including green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Any calcium bound to oxalate is poorly absorbed.
- Protease Inhibitors - Again these are predominantly found in seeds, grains and legumes and inhibit the digestive enzymes needed to digest protein.
Fortunately, though, there are ways you can reduce and even eliminate the majority of the anti-nutrients present.
Preparation techniques including cooking, fermenting, sprouting and soaking can be used on their own, or even used together (e.g. soaking, then boiling), to further reduce any anti-nutrients present.
If you are making a green smoothie, with ingredients such as kale or spinach, you can soak these for an hour beforehand to help reduce the calcium oxalate. This preparation beforehand will help you get the maximum nutrient boost with every sip!
For a delicious green smoothie recipe, check out this Matcha and Kiwi smoothie.