As a child, we were often told to eat our vegetables to get big and strong. When we became older, we understood that this means we need to consume the proper amount of nutrients and minerals. Nutrients are what’s required for cells in our body to function properly. Without them, the human body would lack energy, the ability to regulate bodily functions and build tissues, organs, and bones. In other words, nutrients are crucial to our existence. If you’re always tired, experiencing skin or digestive problems, you may have a nutritional deficiency. Let’s talk about the four nutrient deficiencies that are incredibly common today and how to fix it.
Vitamin D Deficiency
There’s a reason why our energy levels are higher during sunny days; it’s because of vitamin D. Almost every cell in the human body has a receptor for vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D is produced in our bodies. It’s typical with people who live away from the equator to be vitamin D deficient because they have less exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is a tricky deficiency to catch as the symptoms aren’t always visible. You may experience weakness or immune problems. There are very few foods containing vitamin D such as egg yolks, and cod liver oil. Taking a supplement such as Metagenics or increasing sun exposure is the most effective.
Iron is an incredibly important nutrient that shockingly many people lack. Iron is a crucial part of red blood cells as it connects with hemoglobin, transferring oxygen to cells. It’s one of the most common deficiencies today, with 25% of the world’s population affected. Preschool children, menstruating women, vegetarians, and vegans have an increased risk of deficiency. Tiredness and weakness are an example of the symptoms most associated with a lack of iron. Increasing the intake of red meat, shellfish, and canned sardines are the best way to increase iron levels.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you’re experiencing nerve problems such as tingling, or muscle weakness, bowel problems, and vision loss, you could be lacking vitamin B12. Though it’s rarely discussed, vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for the body. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’re most likely to be vitamin B12 deficient as it’s only found in animal foods. Unless you’re taking a supplement, if you don’t eat animal products, you’re not consuming vitamin B12. Eating foods such as eggs, milk products, organic meat, and shellfish will increase your vitamin B12 levels.
If you’re prone to headaches, it could be more preventable than you thought. Though it’s highly overlooked, approximately 75% of Americans are not meeting their recommended intake. But a lack of magnesium can cause more than a headache. In addition, it’s also associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. By eating dark, leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts, and whole grains, you’ll be able to increase your magnesium levels.
By knowing the most common vitamin deficiencies, you’ll be able to talk to your doctor and see if you’re lacking any nutrients. By increasing your intake of specific nutrients you require, you’ll see your body and mind change for the better.