Pairing Nutrients For Performance

Just as the taste and texture of a peanut butter sandwich is enhanced by the addition of jelly, some nutrients work better in pairs. An article published by the Harvard Medical School points out that calcium is more easily absorbed into the body with help from vitamin D. It works the same way with the B vitamin folate, which depends on B12 to be absorbed, metabolized and stored in the body where both vitamins play a key role in cell division and replication.

In addition to supportive roles, some nutrients help counteract the potential adverse effects of another. While sodium, commonly known as salt, is an essential nutrient, most Americans take in thousands of milligrams more than they need each day. Increasing your potassium intake by eating more fruits and vegetables helps your system excrete more sodium and move toward a better nutrient balance.

The Bigger Picture: If you've ever wondered why milk and other calcium rich dairy products are often fortified with vitamin D, the concept of complementary nutrients should make more sense to you now. Likewise with the 'nutritional insurance' offered by multivitamins. Of course, the foundation of your nutrition goals should be built around a healthy, balanced diet. You can fine-tune from there.
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