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Tips To Improve Mineral Absorption In Your Body Naturally

posted on 8/2/2016 Facebook Facebook

The role of minerals for the efficient functioning of our system cannot be neglected. From maintaining heart and bone health to boosting memory and hormone production, minerals are crucial when it comes to optimal health. However our already nutrient deficient diets supplemented by poor eating habits often compromise on the absorption of essential minerals from food. 

There are several routes through which our body loses minerals—excessive sodium intake, stress, alcohol consumption, excessive use of diuretics and prescription drugs and too much caffeine intake. A mineral deficiency can result in classic deficiencies like anemia (iron), or osteoporosis (calcium), which overtime can manifest into chronic degenerative diseases. 

Mineral deficiencies may be difficult to detect as our body tries to rob these from storage sites (bones, muscles), in order to maintain necessary levels required for basic metabolic functions. Certain minerals may also compete with each other during absorption (calcium and iron). But there sure are ways to ensure an optimal absorption of essential minerals in the body. We tell you how to do it naturally. 

1. Vitamin C For Iron
The role of iron in the body cannot be glorified enough. Forming a major component of your red blood cells, iron helps in providing your cells with oxygen. It also plays an important role in energy production. Deficiency of iron can cause anemia which can hampers the overall function of your body. Again there are two types of dietary iron, heme and non-heme. While heme iron can be easily absorbed from iron rich foods like meat, poultry and fish, absorption of non heme iron (leafy greens, legumes, nuts, whole grains) is a little difficult. However, vitamin C is known to help the body improve the absorption of non heme iron. It binds to this form of iron and makes it more stable so that the body can absorb it well.

Foods To Eat: Citrus fruits, Berries, Papaya, Bell peppers, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Tomatoes

2. Vitamin D For Calcium
Your favorite bone mineral—calcium, is not only necessary for developing and maintaining strong, healthy bones but also for a steady heart rate. You can increase the absorption of calcium by loading up on vitamin D. This vitamin particularly improves the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract and inhibits its excretion through urine. While the best form of vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure you can also load up on certain foods. 

Foods To Eat: Fatty fish, vitamin D fortified products like dairy, juices, cereals and soy milk, eggs

3. Vitamin K For Calcium
Both vitamin D and K are known to work synergistically to stimulate the absorption of calcium. According to a study, vitamin K was found to play an essential role in maintaining bone density by binding with calcium and enhancing its absorption.

Foods To Eat: Brussel Sprouts, Chickpeas, Kale, Eggs, Dairy, Broccoli

4. Vitamin D For Phosphorus
Phosphorus is another focal mineral involved in making up the foundation of your bones. About 85% of your body’s phosphorus can be found in the skeleton. Vitamin D is believed to escalate the uptake of this mineral from the digestive tract. 

Foods To Eat: Fatty fish, vitamin D fortified products like dairy, juices, cereals and soy milk, eggs

5. Inulin And Mineral Absorption 
A soluble fiber found abundantly in tubers, inulin creates the optimal climate in the colon to increase the uptake of minerals from the food you eat. According to recent studies, inulin was found to upgrade the absorption of calcium by over 18 percent which in turn also helps in the absorption of iron and magnesium. Inulin is also known for its ability to relieve constipation, lower cholesterol levels and regularizing blood sugar levels.

Foods To Eat: Chicory Root, Artichokes, Garlic, Onions, Bananas, Raisins and Wheat. 

References: 
1.Hallberg L, Brune M, Rossander L. The role of vitamin C in iron absorption. Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1989;30:103-8. PubMed PMID: 2507689.
2.Teucher B, Olivares M, Cori H. Enhancers of iron absorption: ascorbic acid and other organic acids. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2004 Nov;74(6):403-19. Review. PubMed PMID: 15743017.
3.Christakos S, Dhawan P, Porta A, Mady LJ, Seth T. Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Dec 5;347(1-2):25-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.05.038. Epub 2011 Jun 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 21664413; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3405161.
4.Iwamoto J, Yeh JK, Takeda T, Sato Y. Comparative effects of vitamin K and vitamin D supplementation on calcium balance in young rats fed normal or low calcium diets. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2005 Aug;51(4):211-5. PubMed PMID: 16261991.
5.Rizzoli R, Fleisch H, Bonjour JP. Role of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on intestinal phosphate absorption in rats with a normal vitamin D supply. J Clin Invest. 1977 Sep;60(3):639-47. PubMed PMID: 893667; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC372408.
6.Abrams SA, Hawthorne KM, Aliu O, Hicks PD, Chen Z, Griffin IJ. An inulin-type fructan enhances calcium absorption primarily via an effect on colonic absorption in humans. J Nutr. 2007 Oct;137(10):2208-12. PubMed PMID: 17884999.

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