Have you ever taken dietary supplements and wondered why some of them need to be ingested with food and others not?
This is because there are fat-soluble and water-soluble nutrients.
Fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K need fat in order to be absorbed by the body.
Water-soluble nutrients -such as vitamin C and vitamin B- don’t need fat to be absorbed.
Taking them with water is enough since they don’t get stored by the body.
In this article I explain about coconut oil and nutrient absorption and how you can get the maximum benefit from the food you eat.
We need plenty of both water-soluble nutrients as well as fat-soluble nutrients.
They support several essential body functions such as our immune system, cells, heart, skin, tissue growth and repair, eyes and bones.
It’s important to have a basic understanding of how the nutrients in your food work, so that we know how to get the most of them.
The following fruits and vegetables contain good amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Most of them contain very little or no fat, except for one that is rich in good fats.
Do you know which one it is? (The answer is further down in this article!)
Vitamin A: Sweet potato, carrot, green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, apricot, mango and cantaloupe melon
Vitamin D: A specific type of portabello mushroom that is grown while exposed to sunlight
Vitamin E: spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, avocado, broccoli and papaya
Vitamin K: green leafy vegetables, brussels sprouts, garden cress, spring onions, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries
When you eat these cooked, you will probably use some sort of fat during the preparation or maybe eat it with something that contains fat.
But that fresh carrot juice full with vitamin A? It will need a little help to work its magic!
To get the maximum nutrients from raw foods like smoothies, juices or salads, you just need to eat them with a bit of good fat.
It’s really that simple, but many people are not aware of it and unfortunately miss out on an important part of the benefits.
There are several sources of good quality, healthy plant-based fat. These are some of the fats I like and try to eat on daily basis:
– coconut oil
– extra virgin olive oil
– coconut milk
– avocado (there it is!)
Healthy fats like these help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Plus they offer plenty of other health benefits.
How to use them?
I like to add olive oil to salads year-round.
When they’re in season I eat avocados all the time; in salads, smoothies, to make guacamole and chocolate mousse.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds sprinkled on top of salads add an interesting bite to it.
Coconut oil and nutrient absorption
I’ve been eating coconut oil almost daily for years and love how versatile it is. You can add it to smoothies, bake with it, cook with it, make healthy chocolates, add it to your coffee or chocolate milk and so much more.
When I make smoothies, I always add coconut oil or coconut milk to them. The taste is sweet yet subtle and it compliments most fruit.
Smoothies from vegetables such as green leafs (which are packed with fat-soluble vitamins!) can have a bit of a bitter taste. Adding coconut oil makes them not only healthier but also tastier!
The reason why coconut oil and nutrient absorption work particularly well together is thanks to the MCT’s (medium chain fatty acids).
MCT’s help the body absorb more nutrients than a type of fat that contains mostly low chain fatty acids.
They also help with digestion and metabolism. Unlike most other fats they are not stored in the liver, but instead are used as a direct source of energy. An other part of them converts into ketones, which are important fuel for the brain and the heart.