Food Pairings for Enhanced Nutrient Absorption

Vegetables, fruits, grains, fats, herbs, and spices can provide your body with nutrients that target different functions. Did you know that certain foods can help your body absorb certain nutrients better and at higher rates or percentages? Check these out:

Non-Heme Iron-Rich Foods & Vitamin C

Non-heme iron-rich foods, plant-based sources, when paired with vitamin C foods, have shown to help with iron absorption because vitamin C helps iron break down into a form that is easier for our bodies to absorb. If you want to get a little boost of iron absorption, these are some of the combinations you can do:

  • Spinach salad with tangerines or berries
  • Lentils with a side of orange juice
  • Roasted kale with lemon juice dressing

Turmeric & Black Pepper

Research studies show that turmeric (curcumin) can help with inflammation and has antioxidant properties. Studies have also observed that turmeric bioavailability and absorption are enhanced when you combine turmeric and black pepper (piperine). You can combine them by adding them to rice, your favorite chicken recipe, golden milk, or bone broth.

Vitamin D & Calcium

For your body to absorb calcium, you need vitamin D. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D with sunlight. We can also get vitamin D from foods like fish, egg yolk, liver, and supplementation. For our body to absorb calcium, there must be adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body. You do not have to consume them simultaneously, but make sure you consume vitamin D and calcium sources in your diet.

Tomatoes & Olive Oil

Tomatoes have a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene can help your body eliminate free radicals and reduce cell damage. Studies have shown that by adding olive oil, lycopene bioavailability is enhanced. Next time you are making your favorite marinara add olive oil on top!


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