Nutrition Absorption and Food Combinations - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-07-2010, 05:37 AM
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Hi there.

I have a question that I have been wondering about and I was hoping somebody could be of help.

I was looking for information on the absorption of certain nutritions and what foods combinations help or are limiting in this regard.

The problem is when search for this I mostly find information on Food Combining which seems to deal with not combining foods high in starches with food high in proteins or fats in the same meal as it makes your intestines acidic or alkaline etc.

This is right now not what I'm looking for.

To give you an idea, examples of information I am looking for are:

-Combine Vitamin C rich food (orange juice, tomato) with your spinach because it helps absorb the iron.

-Combine vitamin D rich food with calcium rich food to help the calcium absorption.

-Spinach and soybeans not so good together in the sense that the soy beans inhibit the absorption of calcium in the spinach.

-Tomatoes and cucumber not so good together because the cucumber negatively affects the absorption of vitamin C.

I would love to read about it in general or have a book with practical combinations. Am I looking for a traditional nutrition book here? Or a cookbook with a nutritional slant? I'm probably overlooking something really simple..

If you know a good book, blog or magazine article - or even the right term to search under it would be a great help.

Any comments or thoughts greatly appreciated!

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#2 Old 03-09-2010, 04:42 AM
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Anybody? Any thoughts could be of help..

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#3 Old 03-09-2010, 05:00 AM
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#4 Old 03-09-2010, 05:19 AM
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Yeah you come across a lot of this type of information. Would be no problem if I was looking for that.
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#5 Old 03-09-2010, 07:39 AM
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I don't think it's worth stressing too much over. Just eat a wide variety of colorful foods every day and you'll be fine.
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#6 Old 03-09-2010, 08:31 AM
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The degree to which the amount of an ingested nutrient is absorbed and available to the body is called bioavailability. Mineral bioavailability depends on several factors. Higher absorption occurs among individuals who are deficient in a mineral, while some elements in the diet (e.g., oxalic acid or oxalate in spinach) can decrease mineral availability by chemically binding to the mineral. In addition, excess intake of one mineral can influence the absorption and metabolism of other minerals. For example, the presence of a large amount of zinc in the diet decreases the absorption of iron and copper. On the other hand, the presence of vitamins in a meal enhances the absorption of minerals in the meal. For example, vitamin C improves iron absorption, and vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

In general, minerals from animal sources are absorbed better than those from plant sources as minerals are present in forms that are readily absorbed and binders that inhibit absorption, such as phytates , are absent. Vegans (those who restrict their diets to plant foods) need to be aware of the factors affecting mineral bioavailability. Careful meal planning is necessary to include foods rich in minerals and absorption-enhancing factors.

from here:

looks like you want to search for mineral bioavailability. hope that helps.
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#7 Old 03-09-2010, 11:16 AM
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I have read dozens of books on nutrition and health, and never come across one devoted to combining foods for optimal nutrient absorption. Most studies on how some vitamins and minerals have supportive or antagonistic relationships with one another are done with supplements, not foods, so they may be flawed to some degree.

If you are worried about nutrient absorption, get your hydrochloric acid tested. Insufficient hydrochloric acid will have a much more detrimental effect on nutrient absorption than any combinations of whole foods you might be eating.
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#8 Old 03-09-2010, 11:03 PM
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I'm not worried or stressed - just interested . Thanks for all the input so far.

I'm looking into bioavailability (thanks JFerringer!).

In Japan this topic is pretty well documented and in a more practical way you can find it in all sorts of books about vegetables or nutrition (it's called 食べ合わせ, or sigh, food combining). But I do read English a lot (lot!) easier, so I was looking for more information here.

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