How to get the most from the most from Nutrients

Eating a balanced diet is essential for ensuring a better health, but would just a balanced diet be enough? What equally matters is how you eat. This factor is often overlooked by most people but can literally change the nutritional aspect of our foods. There are certain foods which complement each other and should always be consumed together, while some require adequate spacing in between.

Here are a few hacks you need to stick by, in order to get maximum nutrition from your already balanced diet!

Iron and Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps in better absorption of all the Iron you get, especially from the non-heme iron you get from plant sources. Only 40% of the Plant food-based iron is absorbed in our body, and Vitamin C doubles or even triples the bioavailability.

So, try combining iron rich foods such as Green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, bajra with vit c rich foods like lemon or fruits like Gauvas!

Calcium and Vitamin D

Another famous combination you must know is this one. Calcium will reach its maximum potential only in presence of Vitamin D, which helps in absorption, transport and deposit of Calcium in bones and Teeth.

Consume fortified dairy sources, Tofu, Soy, Mushrooms for Vitamin D and Calcium!

Have good Fat with Fat soluble vitamins

Vitamin A D E K are called fat soluble vitamins as they require fats for complete absorption in the body. These donot dissolve in water. All these vitamins play very important roles as antioxidants, vision and other body functions. And, without fats- there is no way these vitamins would be metabolised in the body. Make sure you pair these vitamin containing foods with good fat sources like nuts, seeds and olive oil etc.

Sulphoraphane and Selenium

Sounds new, right? These two nutrients when taken together work synergistically to raise the overall anti-oxidant value and boost anti-cancer properties!

Consume Sulphoraphane rich foods like cruciferous vegetables- Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Brussel sprouts with Selenium rich Fish, meat, sunflower seeds etc.

Complement your plant proteins

Most Proteins you get from plant foods are not complete proteins. They lack one or more essential amino acids, in comparison to a complete protein like egg- which contains all essential amino acids. Make sure you combine a variety of foods to get the right mix of essential amino acids. Best example: Having Dal with Roti, hummus with whole-wheat bread.

Turmeric with Black pepper

Piperine in Black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin found in Turmeric, and boosts its anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, make sure you add some while preparing the golden potion- Haldi milk or even in your sabzis, for taking sure-shot Turmeric benefits!


Now, lets discuss some non-negotiable dietary habits- which restricts certain nutrients’ action in the body.

1.       Tea and Coffee with meals

Our breakfast isn’t complete without a cup of hot tea, especially in winters. But Tea and coffee contains tannins and caffeine- which hinder the absorption of Iron in the food by 60-80%. It is important to space these beverages and regular meals by atleast 30 minutes to an hour. 

2.       Calcium and Iron

Calcium hinders Iron as both these nutrients compete for absorption in the body. So, if you are consuming excess calcium rich foods, your iron absorption might get affected. Now, think twice before you consume Palak Paneer, you know why!

3.       Vitamin C and Cooking

Vitamin C is extremely heat-labile, which means a lot of it gets destroyed when you heat a vitamin C rich food. Try consuming them raw or project to minimal heat processing for maximum retention of Vitamin C in foods. Just a quick tip, In case you want to consume Hot lemon water, do not boil water with lemon. Add lemon juice a glass of luke warm water for retaining its benefits!

Try following these easy food combination tricks to get the maximum nutrients from all the food you consume!