To get the most out of your meals – 5 tips to increase bioavailabilityOctober 17, 2019
Even though we at Verival are committed to offer you an organic breakfast of the highest quality, one thing is certain: No, bioavailability has nothing to do with “organic”. But what does bioavailability mean? Bioavailability is a term that is probably not very well-known. If you have heard of it before, you may have mostly heard it in the context of medicine. The term has a (very important!) mission in nutrition but is still in its infancy. So what does bioavailability mean and how can you benefit from it? We have investigated these questions:
What does bioavailability mean?
Basically, the term bioavailability means the following: It is a pharmacological measure of the proportion of an active ingredient that is available in an unchanged form in the systematic circulation, especially in the bloodstream. This value indicates how quickly and to what extent the substance is absorbed and is available at the area of impact.
This sounds very complicated. To put it in simple words, bioavailability can be explained as follows: the body has certain “hurdles” that substances have to overcome. If you take something in orally, it has to be processed. However, the active substance should still arrive at the right place in the body. Bioavailability then means how much is available as an effective substance at the place of use after being processed by the intestine, liver or other of these so-called “hurdles”. In the case of intravenously administered substances, the bioavailability is automatically 100 percent, as the substances are injected directly into the bloodstream. The bioavailability is usually calculated using a formula.
How can I benefit from the ominous bioavailability?
Enough about pharmacology and medicine. How can this somehow confusing concept of bioavailability benefit me in everyday life?
Generally, it is a pity that currently so little is being said about the relation of bioavailability to nutrition and that the issue is still neglected in nutrition. Nevertheless, there is already solid evidence that this doctrine is not irrelevant for our well-being. A simple example of this would be the carrot. In order to increase the bioavailability of the contained vitamins in a carrot, fat is needed because the substances in carrots are liposoluble. This means that fat increases the bioavailability of the carrot. According to this simple principle, there are enough other vegetable and plant varieties of which the bioavailability can be increased easily. For many vegetables it is important to cook them beforehand to achieve the maximum bioavailability.
However, preparation is not the only thing that affects bioavailability. The age of a person or an intact intestinal flora is also a major component of this process. Just as important for maximising the bioavailability of different products is the quality of these products or the enzyme content. As a result, we can conclude that the bioavailability is extremely important for our personal well-being. If you pay attention to these simple steps, you can get the most out of your food with ease. But how can I integrate the different steps into my daily life?
5 simple tips to increase the bioavailability of your food
1. Everything begins with the shopping
The first priority should be to buy fresh and local food. If you buy a lot from the freezer section, one simply does not have the same prerequisites as someone who buys fresh products. That is why you should always try to consume your purchases as quickly as possible. Those who store their food for a long time are risking the loss of nutrients. For fruits and vegetables, the process of respiration begins with the picking process. The respiration process is a natural process that leads the plant to eventually use its own nutrients to stay alive. Therefore, we would recommend you to shop locally and eat your foods quickly!
2. Eat the Rainbow
Another important point is the variety of foods on your plate. The nutrient content of products varies constantly and depends on how they are grown, but also on the soil on which they are grown. If you pay attention to buy seasonal products, you also have a better chance of getting the most out of your products. Our recommendation: Buy organic! When you buy organic products, you can assume that the soil is of good quality and is not contaminated with too much pesticides or sprays.
3. Preparing your food correctly
Not only diversity on your plate is important but also the preparation of the products. Many people swear by mixing raw food and other preparation methods. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid cooking all kinds of vegetables together. It makes sense to add raw pieces. It’s the variety that counts!
4. Chew, chew, chew
Our penultimate very simple tip: Chew! For decades, the science has been agreeing on the fact that mindful chewing is important to get the most out of your meal. That’s also how bioavailability works: chewing well supports the entire digestive process.
5. Listening to your gut feeling
Not only chewing your food well, but the entire digestion plays an important role when it comes to bioavailability. The healthier the intestinal flora, the better the nutrients can be absorbed. In order to keep the intestinal mucosa as inflammation-free as possible, it is therefore advisable to avoid alcohol, antibiotics and pesticides as well as monosaccharides (single sugars). Each of us may also have one, two or more foods that he or she cannot digest so well. This is a clear sign of the body, which must be taken into account and as a result these foods should be removed from the diet as best as possible.
By the way, further inhibitors of the bioavailability are stress and unhealthy meals as well as regular medication intake. The result: If you take care of yourself, you automatically contribute a large portion to the maximum possible bioavailability! 🙂
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