Stress and Bioavailability of Food Nutrients

Nutrition plays a HUGE role in our health and the connection between what we eat in times of stress cannot be ignored. A news item highlighted on NPR’s morning edition this morning drew attention to the availability of various nutrients in one’s typical eating process. The word “bioavailability” means the assimilation of food nutrients that have been digested in the stomach and small intestine and carried into the blood stream for various metabolic processes. It was noted today that for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E &K), to be bioavailable, one must ingest fat with the meal otherwise they are basically excreted. Fiber is not bioavailable (which is why it is recommend to eat so that it cleans out the gastro-intestinal tract). It is suggested that people who don’t consume much fiber per day (the average American eats about 8 grams per day, whereas the World Health Organization suggests about 40 grams per day.) Many people also miss out on what they think is a healthy consumption of vitamins and minerals but end up never ingesting them due to the way they cook the food (Intense heat kills vitamins, cooking veggies in water often leaches water soluble vitamins and minerals out of the foods and gets thrown down the kitchen sink. Some raw foods that are not chewed well also end up passing through the GI tract offering little to one’s health. AND STRESS can also impede the bioavailabilty of food nutrients.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Take time to prepare a good meal each day. Spend time actually tasting and chewing your food BEFORE swallowing it (some people call this “mindfulness eating”). If your busy lifestyle prevents you from preparing all three meals at home, consider preparing and eating at least one (1) meal a day for your immune system (organic foods with no herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and petro-chemicals).

• Links Worth Noting:
Did someone say comic relief? If you are looking for a good laugh each day (and perhaps a window in the world of “What were they thinking?” you will see no shortage of candidates for the coveted Darwin Awards (and other acts of stupidity) all of which are chronicled at this website: (please view at your own risk and don’t try ANY of this stuff at home!)

• Photo of the Day:
Did you know that humming birds stick their tongues out when sitting still? I am not sure why, but after filming many different species for my Earth Songs documentary, I am convinced this is a common occurrence. This still photo was taken from a scene from Earth Songs. It is a Purple-Throated Caribe humming bird filmed on the island of Dominica, West Indies. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:

Audrey Hepburn’s Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.”
— Sam Levenson

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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