Functional foods can help with nutrient absorption, bioavailability and utilisation.

This article will introduce you to the world of functional food and its role in bioavailability and nutrient absorption. In my role as a nutritionist and dietician, I'm often asked what foods can improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Functional foods are the answer. As we dive into the topic of functional foods, you will learn about their importance, how they can be incorporated into your daily diet, as well as examples and tips on optimal nutrition absorption.

What is the importance of functional foods in nutrient absorption and bioavailability?

The body's ability to absorb and utilize nutrients is referred to as nutrient absorption. The role of functional foods in this process is significant. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. They also contain antioxidants and help with digestion.

Consuming functional foods has been shown to improve health. In a study published in Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers found that people who eat more functional food have lower chronic disease risk. These foods are not only rich in essential nutrients, but they also have bioactive compounds which promote health above and beyond nutrition. A high intake of functional foods can have negative side effects such as nutritional imbalances. It is therefore important to maintain a varied and balanced diet.

Get Started with Functional Foods

Understanding the foods that fall into this category, and their benefits is essential to understanding functional foods. Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, nuts and legumes are all functional foods. Fiber is abundant in these foods, and it helps with digestion.

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, combining functional foods with other food can increase nutrient absorption. Pairing salads with fats, for example, increases absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Moderation is the key to a healthy diet.

Example of Foods that Enhance Nutrient Absorption

Other Tips

Water helps with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Exercise can improve digestion and nutrient absorption. Alcohol and highly processed food can interfere with the digestive process. Yoga and meditation, which are stress-management techniques, have also been shown to promote digestive health.


Functional foods are crucial for nutrient bioavailability and absorption. They are not only nutrient dense, but also have compounds which aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. In order to maximize the benefits of these foods, you should include a wide variety in your diet.