CONSIDER A PROBIOTIC AND PREBIOTIC.
Probiotics—“good” bacteria that live in your gut—can improve digestion, which means better nutrient absorption, according to the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) Handbook on Gut Microbes. (It also means less bloating and gas, too).
Probiotic foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and even some types of pickles. You can also get it from a supplement, too: The WGO suggests choosing a brand with at least three different strains of bacteria, since greater variety can mean better digestion.
You can enhance the effectiveness of a probiotic by making sure you’re eating enough food with prebiotics, which basically feed the probiotics to keep them working well, a world renown nutritionist says.
They’re found in foods like asparagus, artichokes, bananas and leeks. So if you’re popping a probiotic, consider timing it with that post-workout banana
COOK YOUR VEGETABLES THE RIGHT WAY.
Cook your vegetables wrong and much of their nutrients may go up in smoke. Turns out, steaming your vegetables might be the best way to keep their nutrients intact.
In one Chinese study done on broccoli, researchers found that steaming the vegetable better retained its chlorophyll, soluble protein, and vitamin C than stir-frying or boiling it did.
And you don’t need to worry that cooking your vegetables is taking away some of its raw power.
In some cases, cooking may be even better than eating your vegetables raw: Cooked spinach and carrots, for example, have been shown to deliver higher levels of antioxidants when cooked versus eaten raw, says Elaine Magee, R.D., author of Food Synergy.
Cooking often breaks down a vegetable’s outer layers, making it easier to digest, and better able for nutrients like minerals to be absorbed, she says.