Catherine Perez, a vegan dietician, recently shared four essential food pairings for optimal nutrition absorption.
There are so many benefits to eating foods that are high in nutrients but we need to make sure that we are pairing them with foods that will help our body absorb them.
“Regardless of your dietary choices, your ability to absorb nutrients is going to kind of change throughout your life cycle,” she says.
Perez explains that foods have “different absorbability rates, and those can change, depending on how you treat those foods and even what you might be eating those foods with.”
Pairing foods is an easy way to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you can! Here are four essential food pairings, according to Perez.
1. Iron with vitamin C
Iron deficiency can be a concern for people following a plant-based diet, says Perez. Plant-based sources of iron are easier to absorb when they are paired with something that is high in vitamin C. Legumes and grains are rich in iron and you could pair them with good sources of vitamin C like broccoli, peppers, onions, etc.
Check out Vitamin C Rich Foods You Should Pair With Iron for Ultimate Absorption!
2. Zinc with Sulfur
Zinc intake may also be a concern for those looking to go plant-based. Zinc can be found in grains, seeds, and legumes. Zinc is more easily absorbed with paired with sulfur. Onions and garlic are good sources of sulfur so try making your legumes with onions and garlic!
Read our guide on How to get Zinc on a Plant-Based Diet to Improve Immunity and Reduce Inflammation!
3. Antioxidants with Fats and Fat-Soluble Vitamins
To make sure that you are absorbing antioxidants on your diet, make sure you pair foods like tomatoes, that are rich in the antioxidant lycopene wit fats like olive oil or avocado.
“A great example is lycopene from tomatoes. Simmer tomatoes in olive oil or if you’re making a bean salad with cherry tomatoes, add some fat like cubed avocado to it to absorb it better.”
Check out these 10 Uncommon Sources of Antioxidants You Never Knew!
4. Calcium with Vitamin D
Calcium is vital for everyone and many fear missing out on a plant-based diet. Thankfully, there are many plant foods that are high in calcium and they should be paired with Vitamin D to ensure absorption.
Still worried? Check out our guide on How to Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies!
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