The topic of nutrition is so complex and comprehensive that it has its own science: nutritional science. Most of us now know how important a healthy diet is. Nutritional values, nutrient density and the right combination of different foods are just a few examples of what is important in a healthy diet. Another aspect that is essential for a healthy and balanced diet is the so-called “bioavailability” of food.
We would like to take a closer look at what exactly is meant by “bioavailability”, why it is so important and which foods are particularly bioavailable in this article.
What is meant by “bioavailability”?
In nutritional science, the term “bioavailability” describes how quickly and to what extent nutrients from a food are absorbed by the body absorbed, i.e. absorbed into the bloodstream. This is the amount of nutrients that can actually be absorbed by the body from a particular food and are available at the place of action instead of being excreted unchanged.
The bioavailability of food is an important aspect in nutritional science.
Why is bioavailability important?
Bioavailability influences the health and well-being of our body. High bioavailability is therefore important to ensure that our body is supplied with sufficient nutrients. A lack of important nutrients can lead to various health problems. For example, iron deficiency can lead to anemia, while iodine deficiency can impair thyroid function.
Foods with low bioavailability are therefore often less suitable for supplying the body with sufficient nutrients in the long term. Examples include unprocessed grain products, legumes and raw vegetables. Now you might be surprised because these foods in particular are considered very healthy, right? Although these foods contain important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber, their low bioavailability makes them difficult for the body to absorb. The topic of “bioavailability” is particularly important for vegetarians and vegans, because there are ways to increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in these foods. These options include, among other things, processing the food by cooking, steaming or soaking. Through these processes, undesirable substances such as: B. Phytic acid is broken down and the bioavailability of the nutrients in the food is increased.
However, it is important to note that nutrient bioavailability is not the only criterion for a healthy diet. A balanced diet should include a variety of varied foods to ensure the body gets all the nutrients it needs. Foods with initially low bioavailability can be important sources of nutrients in a balanced diet if they are processed correctly.
Overall, bioavailability is an important aspect of nutritional science. By choosing foods with high bioavailability and correctly using processing methods that increase the bioavailability of foods with low bioavailability, we can optimally provide our body with nutrients.
But what does the bioavailability of food actually depend on?
What does the bioavailability of a food depend on?
The bioavailability of a food is determined by various factors. First of all, the physical and chemical properties and composition of the food and the nutrients it contains play a role. For example, B. fat-soluble vitamins are better absorbed when taken together with fat. Because: Vitamin A, D, E and K require fat in order to be absorbed by the body. If a meal is low in fat, the bioavailability of these vitamins may be affected.
In addition, the high level of processing of food can reduce the bioavailability of originally contained nutrients. The production of refined grains and processed foods can result in many nutrients being removed.
On the other hand, other food components can also influence bioavailability. For example, the presence of phytic acids in grain products can inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
However, there are also certain diseases and health conditions that can affect the bioavailability of nutrients. Intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can affect the absorption of nutrients from food. Surgical interventions in the gastrointestinal tract can also limit or reduce the bioavailability of nutrients in the short or long term. In such cases, it may be particularly advisable to take nutritional supplements to provide the body with sufficient nutrients.
Which foods generally have low bioavailability?
Foods with low bioavailability
Foods with low bioavailability contain so-called “antinutrients” that inhibit the body’s absorption of nutrients. These antinutrients can affect the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium and can be found in various foods — particularly plant foods such as whole grains, legumes and nuts.
An example of one of these antinutrients in plant foods are phytates, which are found in the outer layers of grains, seeds and legumes. Phytates can inhibit the body's absorption of iron and zinc by binding to these minerals and making them inaccessible to the body.
Other antinutrients, such as oxalates, found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, can inhibit the absorption of calcium by combining with this mineral and forming insoluble complexes.
The unbalanced intake of foods with low bioavailability can lead to nutrient deficiencies and associated health problems in the long term. A long-term reduction in the intake of minerals such as iron, zinc or calcium can lead to anemia, a weakened immune system and an increased susceptibility to infections.
That's why it's important to be informed about the bioavailability of food and to process it optimally or by including other nutrients, such as: B. Fat, supplemented so that the nutrients in food can be processed by our body in the best possible way.
And how can you e.g. B. increase the bioavailability of foods with low availability?
How can you increase bioavailability?
As previously mentioned, there are ways to increase the bioavailability of nutrients in foods with low bioavailability. Soaking, sprouting or fermenting legumes, nuts and seeds can reduce the antinutrients they contain, which can lead to greater bioavailability of minerals. This is e.g. B. the principle that makes our protein organic porridge highly bioavailable, even though it is a grain product.
Likewise, combining less bioavailable foods (that actually contain many nutrients) with a vitamin C-rich side dish can increase and optimize the absorption of the nutrients they contain.
In fact, foods rich in vitamin C can increase the bioavailability of iron, as vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron in the intestines. A balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products can help improve the bioavailability of all nutrients.
In general, foods with low bioavailability should not be avoided as they can also contain important sources of fiber, proteins and other nutrients. However, it is important to be aware of how the bioavailability of nutrients can be influenced and what options exist to ensure and improve optimal nutrient absorption by the body. So if you happen to eat a less bioavailable food, for example: B. our Multi Vitamins with vitamin C to increase bioavailability.
And which foods have high bioavailability?
Foods with high bioavailability
Foods with high bioavailability contain nutrients that can be effectively absorbed by the body without the food having to be further processed. Because: They usually do not contain significant amounts of antinutrients that can inhibit the absorption of nutrients.
Animal foods such as meat, fish and dairy products generally contain a high bioavailability of proteins, minerals and vitamins. For example, iron from meat is more bioavailable than iron from plant sources.
Animal products such as eggs and dairy products also contain a high bioavailability of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Our B vitamin complex was also developed on the basis of high bioavailability and is optimally absorbed by the body.
Another example of foods with high bioavailability are certain types of vegetables and fruits that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals. Broccoli contains a lot of vitamin C, which promotes iron absorption.
By the way, green leafy vegetables such as chard and kale contain a high bioavailability of calcium.
Foods with high bioavailability are important for health because they ensure the body can effectively absorb and use the nutrients it needs. Deficiencies in essential nutrients can lead to a variety of health problems, including anemia, bone disease, immune deficiency and other diseases.
Supplements in the context of bioavailability
High-quality nutritional supplements can be useful to ensure that the body receives all the nutrients it needs or to increase the bioavailability of other foods.
Supplements are a good way to optimally support your health and fitness, especially for people who do a lot of sport and are very active. Supplements such as: B. isotonic drinks , usually an absolute must to replenish your energy stores.
Dietary supplements can be easily absorbed by the body if they are tailored to human biochemistry. Since the bioavailability of each supplement can vary depending on the nutrient and form of the dietary supplement, it is essential that you choose dietary supplements from reputable suppliers who ensure that their products have high bioavailability. Because: Some dietary supplements have a higher bioavailability than others.
For example, vitamin C from a natural source such as an orange is more easily absorbed by the body than synthetic vitamin C from a supplement. That's why we also use a natural source for our COC Curcuma Longa , which is a highly bioavailable supplier of vitamin C.
Iron supplements also have different bioavailabilities depending on the type of iron and the composition of the supplement.
BE THE CHANGE & bioavailability go hand in hand
We at BE THE CHANGE know the importance of bioavailability and put this, along with many other aspects, at the center of the development of our products.
Our foods, vital substance preparations and sports nutrition, which contribute sustainably to health and well-being and support and simplify daily nutrition, are tailored to human biochemistry and are therefore highly bioavailable, which enables the active ingredients to be optimally absorbed into the body.
We ensure the quality of all our products by giving equal weight to every step in production. We demonstrate our quality transparently using certificates .
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