Power Couples: Nutrient Supplements that Work Well in Pairs
Supplements are like people: some work well together, and some don't. To get the most out of the dietary supplements you take, it pays to know which ones play nice together and which ones could cause a ruckus on your playground.
Vitamin & Mineral Basics
Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs for the cells to function normally, for growth, and for proper development. There are thirteen essential vitamins, meaning these are the ones your body NEEDS to function correctly.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B9 (folate, folic acid)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamins are categorized into two groups.
These are vitamins that the body stores in fatty tissue. These are more easily absorbed in the presence of dietary fat. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Of the thirteen vitamins listed above, four are fat-soluble. That leaves nine that are water-soluble and not stored in the body. Any not used in body functions are excreted through the urine. Some small reserves may remain for a while in the body, but all nine must be replenished regularly. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that the body will store in the liver for a few years.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements That Work Well Together
If you want to get the best bang for your nutritional buck, you should pay attention to which nutrients and foods you're pairing with what supplements and foods. Some nutrients maximize the benefits of other nutrients, and some actually interfere with the benefits of their fellow nutrients. In effect, what you eat and when you eat it may be boosting the health benefits of your food and supplements, or your timing and choice of combinations could be depriving you of the good stuff in your health regimen.
Here's a look at some of the major vitamin and mineral pairs that prefer to work together.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is a mineral found mainly in dairy products. It's necessary for the development and protection of bones and teeth, for proper nerve transmission, blood clotting, and the regulation of muscle contractions. For calcium to be absorbed properly, it must have vitamin D.
Iron and Vitamin C
This combination increases the amount of iron absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. It is best taken with food to prevent stomach upset.
Vitamin A and Zinc, Vitamins C and E
Vitamin A doesn't like to play alone. For the body to properly metabolize vitamin A, it must have zinc. Also, by combining your intake of vitamin A with vitamins C and E, you protect vitamin A from oxidation before it is properly absorbed.
Vitamin E and Selenium, Vitamin C
Taking vitamin C when taking vitamin E ensures that any oxidized vitamin E gets restored, making it available for the body's use. Combining your intake of vitamin E with selenium enhances the antioxidant effects both of these nutrients have to offer.
Vitamin B12 and Acidic Foods
If you want to get the most out of your vitamin B12 intake, pair it with any acidic food to help increase the absorption of the nutrient. Some acidic foods that work well with vitamin B12 are citrus foods. Spritz a bit of lemon juice on fish or add it to your salad dressing to help get your B12 where it needs to go.
Vitamin D and Healthy Fats
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so it needs to be in the presence of fat to do its thing in your body. This doesn't mean you should stuff your face with french fries or fried onion blossoms when you take your vitamin D. Pair your vitamin D foods and supplements with healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, chia seeds, fish, nuts, or flax seeds. A couple of teaspoons of oil or a handful of nuts is all you need.
Vitamin C and Plant-Based Iron
For those on a plant-based diet, you need to be certain you're getting the iron your body needs. To make the most of the plant-based iron sources you're consuming, pair those foods with a source of vitamin C. Combining these foods with vitamin C helps break down the iron into a form the body can use more easily.
Tomatoes and Olive Oil
Lycopene is a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant. It's a plus to your healthy lifestyle when you can squeeze every bit of lycopene from the foods you eat. Toward that end, cook tomatoes with a bit of olive oil to enhance the absorption of lycopene. Not into cooked tomatoes? Serve them up fresh with a splash of olive oil.
Turmeric and Black Pepper
Turmeric is an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that adds a spicy jolt to your favorite foods. In addition, it can help lessen the symptoms of arthritis and may boost kidney health. To get the most of the turmeric you're adding to your diet, combine it with black pepper. Not only does it up the flavor factor of your dishes, but adding black pepper increases turmeric absorption.
Probiotics and Just About Everything
Nutrient absorption is the job of your gut. You have good bacteria and enzymes there that break down the food you eat and absorb as many minerals and nutrients as possible. An imbalance in the gut means ineffective absorption of nutrients. One of the best ways to ensure your gut is doing its best work is to consume probiotics. You can do it with foods such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir. Or you can take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Power Up With the Right Vitamin and Mineral Pairs!
Get the most from the foods you eat and the supplements you take. Pair your nutrients together for the most efficient use in your body. Power up by matching nutrients and minerals together that like to play nice. Your healthy body will thank you for it. Find all the nutrients and supplements your body craves at Tiger Fitness.