Food is such an integral part of each day. Not only does it fuel us physically, but also it is the center of most social events. Food is something I can talk to anyone about, which is what I love most as a Nutrition Science major. No matter where people are from or what they do or whether they are tall or short, they eat food. Food connects us all fundamentally. 

Although every human understands food is necessary to function, not everyone understands the science and the information behind the food they place in their mouths. That's where I enter! Here are some interesting facts about food that you may not have known but will help you immensely! Remember how it is said: "[food] knowledge is power." 

1. Eat iron-rich foods with vitamin C.

juice, citrus, tangerine, orange
Amelia Hitchens

You should eat iron-rich foods (especially plant-based ones) with vitamin C since vitamin C increases the bioavailability of iron. What does this mean? This means that vitamin C enables your body to better absorb a larger percentage of the iron found in the food you consume.

Next time you make a spinach salad, add a squeeze of lemon or a freshly cut orange to put this trick into practice. Or eat an orange along with an iron-enriched cereal for breakfast tomorrow! 

2. Avocado is one of only two major sources of oleic fatty acid (a healthy fat!).

avocado, guacamole, vegetable
Rebecca Holstein

Avocado toast isn't just great for a drool-worthy, aesthetic Instagram photo! It's also an excellent way to consume monounsaturated fat (omega-9), a healthy fat that will keep you fuller for longer and is also an integral part of cell membrane structure.

3. Eat flax as meal, not seeds.

cereal, buckwheat
Xinwei Zeng

If you want to absorb the healthy omega-3 fats in flax seeds, grind them up (or purchase them pre-ground) as flax meal. Omega-3 fats are essential, meaning that they must be obtained from the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. 

4. Eat vitamin B12 in fermented foods.

beer, ice, tea
Elizabeth Emery

Vitamin B12 is most commonly found in animal food sources, but fermented foods are a wonderful vegan and vegetarian-friendly source. Vitamin B12 gives us energy as well as participates in DNA synthesis, cell replication and nerve fiber protection. You can easily obtain vitamin B12 from animal food sources, but you can just as easily obtain it from kombucha, sauerkraut, tofu, kimchi, or miso. 

5. Cinnamon stabilizes and regulates blood sugar levels.

cinnamon, cookie, sweet, candy, chocolate
Natalie Rodriguez

Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar, meaning that it prevents you from "crashing" after a sugar rush by preventing insulin spikes. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your oatmeal or smoothie. 

6. Papayas and pineapples possess powerful enzymes for digestion.

tropical, Fruit, pineapple, juice
Sam Jesner

Both papayas and pineapples contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help break down proteins and improve overall digestion. Eat some of these fruits with your meal to feel light and avoid tummy discomfort! 

Hopefully these tips and tricks inspire you to make a few small tweaks or new additions to your diet to boost the health benefits of your next meal. Bon appetit!