Despite organic life having several fundamental differences from machines, there is one concept that is universal between organic life and technology. Both need an energy source to function.
Without energy, the human body will cease to function, just like a car that runs out of fuel. Fortunately, we have developed a sense of edible and inedible to consume the food we need to survive. Food is not difficult to come by for many people, and consuming it is very simple. Sometimes, food consumption is a problem since many Americans consume unhealthy food without moderation. A common misunderstanding is that food is not created equal, and some foods provide genuine nutrients while others are empty.
Knowing which foods provide nutrients and which are empty is critical to ensuring the food we eat is not wasted. Most readily available foods are processed and made with manufactured ingredients. These foods seem filling, but they provide few nutrients and are, therefore, worthless to a healthy diet. Even when we commit to a diet of "healthy" foods, concerns remain about how accessible those nutrients are.
Therefore, the goal is to create a diet consisting of foods with high bioavailability for their nutrients. The trick is figuring out which foods have this high bioavailability to create an effective plan. Fortunately, this information might be easier to identify than you think.
What are Nutrients?
You have almost certainly heard the term "nutrient" at some point in your life, most likely in your youth. While the simplest explanation for a nutrient is "they give us energy when we eat," the concept is significantly more complex. Nutrients have multiple variants that are absorbed differently and affect our biology. Understanding the different types of nutrients is important to ensure we do not damage the balance of our body's nutrition.
The first thing to understand is that there are 2 types of nutrients: micronutrients and macronutrients. Both types play important roles in our ability to function but are also found in different substances.
Macronutrients are the most expansive of the nutrient types because there are multiple definitions for what a macronutrient is. Regardless of the definition, macronutrients are the type we consume in the largest quantities. The goal of macronutrient consumption is to provide energy to the body. As a result, macronutrients are typically found in specific foods rather than the entirety of our diet. Fortunately, the foods that provide macronutrients are extremely common and are likely already a part of your daily intake. The foods in question include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Micronutrients are far simpler than macronutrients because they have a specific role when consumed. Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients indirectly affect our body's energy production. Micronutrients support our body's natural metabolism, which breaks down food for energy. Consuming micronutrients improves the metabolism's capabilities and makes it slightly easier to derive energy from what we eat. Micronutrients can be found in dietary minerals and vitamins, making them harder to acquire than macronutrients.
Generally, a healthy mix of macronutrients and micronutrients is required to supply the body. Unfortunately, finding sources of bioavailable nutrients could be challenging depending on dietary restrictions or other issues. While finding the right foods is a big challenge, there is another detail about which you probably want to know more.
What is Bioavailability?
The term "bioavailability" is not something everyone has heard of or understands because it is fairly technical. However, understanding bioavailability is critical to those looking to improve their nutrient intake. The term is typically used in pharmacological settings rather than dietary ones because it is most commonly used to describe medication effectiveness.
Despite its association with pharmacology, "bioavailability" can be applied to any substance we introduce to our bodies. In the simplest terms, bioavailability refers to the concentration of a substance that reaches our circulatory system instead of what our body eliminates. The body will not absorb substances lacking bioavailability, and we will not reap the benefits of what they offer.
While bioavailability does have strong ties to pharmacology, it has similar roots in nutritional science. Interestingly, the definition of bioavailability for pharmacological products does not apply to nutrition. The reason for this is that the rate of absorption for nutrients varies by person rather than by set chemical composition. In other words, your physical state and metabolic rate directly affect the bioavailability of nutritional supplements. If you are in poor health or have an abnormal metabolic rate, you might experience diminished bioavailability with your nutritional supplements.
While these details alter the definition of bioavailability concerning nutrients, the basic principle remains the same. High bioavailability means you absorb more nutrients into your system and waste less. Conversely, low bioavailability means you absorb fewer nutrients and waste more. The key detail is that nutrients with high bioavailability for one person might not have the same value for you due to physiological differences.
Unfortunately, low nutrient bioavailability can lead to health issues unless you make dietary adjustments to compensate for the issue. While little can be done to adjust your metabolic rate, your physical condition and the amount of nutrients in the food you eat can be addressed effectively.
Maximizing your nutrient intake with each meal is the first step to enhancing bioavailability. That said, you should consult your physician to determine your metabolic rate, physical condition, and any nutritional deficiencies you might have. These details will be essential to your diet and must be considered if you want to overcome bioavailability issues.
Foods With Highly Bioavailable Nutrients
Maximizing your nutrient intake means focusing on certain foods with high concentrations of essential nutrients and vitamins. The good news is that the foods exist; the bad news is that they can be difficult to acquire due to cost and production issues. It should not surprise you that the foods with the highest bioavailability are those in nature rather than a drive-thru. While modern markets have found ways to process most foods, others are readily available in markets with their natural compositions intact.
Some of the most nutritional foods you can consume include:
- Salmon: Salmon is one of the healthiest and most nutritional things you can eat, considering it has high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally, any salmon you consume will be wild rather than farmed, but all salmon contain these fatty acids. Omega-3 is not the only important nutrient salmon offers, though 100 grams of this fish contains 2.2 grams. Salmon is also rich in animal protein, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and B vitamins.
- Kale: Although kale is not for everyone, it is one of the most nutritional vegetables. Virtually everything in kale is highly bioactive and, therefore, a viable addition to a nutrient-rich diet. Kale provides vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin K-1, copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese. Kale is also lower in oxalates than spinach, making it a superfood.
- Seaweed: While snacking on a plant from the ocean might seem like a poor decision, seaweed is highly nutritious. There are thousands of different types of seaweed, and the edible species are a staple of eastern cuisine. Seaweed is purportedly more nutritious than plants found on dry land and is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. The true benefit of seaweed is its high concentration of iodine, a mineral vital to thyroid hormone production.
- Garlic: While Hollywood and Bram Stoker have popularized garlic for repelling vampires, it is far more significant as a dietary tool. Garlic has been used as a culinary tool for centuries, and its nutritional benefits support its continued use. Garlic has high concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium. These nutrients are all extremely important to improving our overall health and maintaining a healthy body, but there is a bonus feature. Recent research suggests the nutrients in garlic help reduce harmful cholesterol and regulate blood pressure (maybe Stoker was onto something, after all).
- Shellfish: Yet another nutritional treasure from the sea is shellfish, which have become a luxury item on the modern market. Shellfish include clams, oysters, mussels, etc., and are frequently consumed by those who can afford them. While shellfish are prized for their flavor, they provide other benefits that are far more substantial. Shellfish of all kinds are rich in vitamins and nutrients essential to the body. For example, clams are rich sources of vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, selenium, and iron. Clams are considered the best source of vitamin B-12, making them extremely valuable. Other shellfish boast similar levels of these nutrients.
- Liver: While the human liver is an extremely valuable organ, the livers of other animals are commonly used as a select cut of meat. Despite the unappetizing term, liver is quite popular and is often served in delicatessens worldwide. The appeal of liver has increased since we became aware of the various nutrients a serving of liver affords those who consume it. Liver contains copious amounts of vitamin B-12, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-2, vitamin A, niacin, folate, copper, iron, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. As a result, liver is considered a treasure trove of nutrients that are essential to the body.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are an extremely healthy and fairly popular treat and a source of fond memories for several people. While almost everyone has fond memories of snacking on blueberries in their youth, the gravity of their benefits was likely lost on us. Blueberries are not a major source of the vitamins and nutrients seen in the other items on this list, but blueberries provide an additional benefit that makes them highly effective. Blueberries are antioxidants, meaning they can correct and prevent oxidative damage in our bodies and allow them to function more effectively.
While these foods are not particularly special regarding bioavailability, they have substantial concentrations of the nutrients our bodies need. Since bioavailability from food varies depending on the person's physical state, consuming these foods provides an important benefit. They provide large quantities of the nutrients our bodies require, meaning we can stockpile the nutrients despite any bioavailability issues we might personally face. This is not to say you should indulge in excessive consumption of these foods, but that a balanced diet focusing on them can improve your overall nutrition.
If you are still struggling with nutrient deficiencies, some alternatives can circumvent the low bioavailability of food. Several nutrients can be absorbed through supplementary capsules that isolate the nutrients found in these foods and offer them in an extremely bioavailable medium. Supplementation is a delicate process that requires moderation and a trustworthy product. Without both, you risk suffering serious issues due to overuse or misuse of the supplements. The real trick is finding a supplement you can trust to improve your nutrition.
Keep it All Natural!
Bioavailability is a complicated issue that can confuse the average person since we are seldom informed of what it means. When something we need is hard to absorb, it can delay recovery efforts or attempts to get healthier. In some cases, nutritional foods and medications can be enhanced with other substances to improve their bioavailability.
Unfortunately, this does nothing to address our bioavailability issues due to our biology and genetic makeup. While stocking up on nutritional food can increase our chances of absorbing more nutrients, you should consult your physician to determine why you are struggling nutritionally. If an underlying condition inhibits your body's ability to absorb nutrients, you might need prescription medication to address the issue. Otherwise, you might need to consider a supplement.
We at Bella All Natural realize that improving health and beauty is difficult, and most products employ harmful ingredients. We have always maintained that the best solutions are the most natural ones. That is why we have carefully cultivated a catalog of natural supplements and products that yield the desired effect without using artificial ingredients.
Insofar as nutrition is concerned, our Omega 3•6•9 & Garlic supplements provide the key nutrients in garlic and most seafood. We also offer a Vitamin C Booster and other supplements that can help improve your overall nutrition. We encourage you to visit our website and determine which of our products is best for you. Regardless of your choice, remember to keep it All Natural!