On Valentine’s day, we celebrate the people who make our lives complete. But did you know, like people, many nutrients are better together?
Iron and Vitamin C
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiencies around the world.1 While iron is found in many plants, only a small amount of it is absorbed in our digestive system. Vitamin C boosts iron absorption by altering the iron found in plants to its more available form.
Lipids and Fat Soluble Vitamins
Many vegetables contain fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin E and A. These nutrients are better absorbed when consumed with a source of fat such as salad dressing or egg yolks. One study found that eggs co-consumed with a salad improved absorption of vitamin E seven fold.2
Vitamin D & Calcium
Calcium is an essential nutrient necessary for bone, heart, nerve and muscle function. Getting too little can result in osteoporosis. But for our bodies to absorb adequate calcium, we also need vitamin D, which induces calcium absorption in our digestive system. Vitamin D can be absorbed in our skin through sunlight, or found in foods such as eggs, liver, fish and fortified milk or juice.3
Some protein sources are incomplete, meaning they lack one or more of the essential amino acids needed for growth and development. But these incomplete proteins can make perfect pairs – like rice and beans! When eaten together they contain all the essential amino acids.4
1. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/
2. Kim JE, Ferruzzi MG, Campbell WW. Egg Consumption Increases Vitamin E Absorption from Co-Consumed Raw Mixed Vegetables in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr. 2016.
3. National Institute of Health. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/
4. International Food Information Council Foundation. http://www.foodinsight.org/protein-pair-nutrition-infographic