What is bioavailability?
Bioavailability. What exactly does it mean? And why is it so important when referring to food? The ‘bioavailability’ (absorbability) indicates what percentage of nutrients are absorbed in our food and thus become available to our body. Therefore, we obviously look for food sources with the highest possible bioavailability/absorbability, so that our body has sufficient (healthy) building blocks. Yet, little is known about the absorbability of most of the food we consume on a daily basis.
So what influences the bioavailability of nutrients?
Digestion and absorption of food are two complex processes: both depend on our individual digestive system, but also on the nutrients we ingest. When we feed our body with nutrients that are natural (without harmful substances), we will certainly get enough healthy and useful building blocks of nutrition. Fruits and vegetables for example are packed with (healthy) building blocks for our body.
However, when we eat food that is full of synthetic substances, added sugars, flavorings, E numbers, then fewer of these so-called healthy building blocks will become available for our body. Basically, both the quality and quantity of our food plays an essential role. For example, after a week of ‘junk food’ you will feel less energetic and fit than if you consume fruit and vegetables for a week. It is as simple as that. Yet often only the nutritional value is considered, while the absorbability of nutrients is at least as important. What should you pay attention to? And are there nutrients that increase the bioavailability of other nutrients?
What can improve the bioavailability of food?
Research shows that a large group of natural & vegetable pigments – also called carotenoids – are responsible for the high absorption of nutrients in fruit and vegetables. The carotenoids also have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, making it easier for our intestines to digest the nutrients. Since there is less inflammation in the body due to the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory function of the carotenoids, the food is easier to digest and therefore better absorbed.
Good fats: Omega-3 fatty acids
Our diets consist of the following macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The latter group often has a bad reputation. However, there are also healthy and essential fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from the fact that Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart, brain and more, vitamins need fat to be properly absorbed into our body. So basically, there is a nutrition synergy between vitamins and (good) fats. Because of this, supplement companies often advise to take a multivitamin or other supplements during or just after your meal, so that the nutrients will be better absorbed. What makes it even more interesting is that the previous mentioned carotenoids are fat-soluble molecules. In other words, the bioavailability of these carotenoids will also be optimized along with fat.
Unfortunately, the body is not able to make Omega-3 fatty acids or carotenoids on its own. We are therefore dependent on our food to get enough of these nutrients. In addition, it appears that the combination of carotenoids, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins ensures that the nutrients are absorbed as optimally as possible. This is a key reason why Marine Phytoplankton is unique.
Marine Phytoplankton - 1+1=3 effect
Marine Phytoplankton provides over 75+ natural nutrients, including carotenoids, Omega-3 fatty acids and various vitamins and minerals. This creates a 1+1=3 effect. Why? A food synergy occurs as the specific and unique combination of nutrients in Marine Phytoplankton enhance absorption. Moreover, the Omega-3 fatty acids in Marine Phytoplankton are also bound to phospholipids (certain group of fats). Long story short: the body can absorb these phospholipids Omega-3 fatty acids better compared to other Omega-3 sources, such as fish oil. Marine Phytoplankton also contains various nutrients that, among other things, stimulate the good bacteria in the gut, which improves digestion.
Adding Marine Phytoplankton to your daily diet not only provides a perfect complement of nutrients, but also improves the absorbability/bioavailability of other foods, especially when taken at the same time.