Do Not Let Nutrient Deficiencies Stop You from Living Your Life to the Fullest

Do you often feel tired? Have you been experiencing cold hands and cold feet lately or tingling fingers for no apparent reason?

Have you noticed a sudden abnormality in your heart rhythm? Or maybe there are times that you get nauseous even though you are not doing anything that could have caused it?

Photo: Piqsels

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly ten percent of the American population suffers from nutrient deficiencies. This condition can affect the quality of one’s life since it is often characterized by fatigue, muscle aches, bone pain, and other symptoms. If neglected, the deficiency could lead to more serious problems.

So strive to meet the daily recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals along with other nutrients which you can easily obtain from food and supplements.

7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

  1. Calcium. This mineral is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. Our heart also needs calcium for muscle contraction and electrical signaling from its sinoatrial node to its two atria and two ventricles. Our nerve cells or neurons require calcium for transmitting electrical signals as a form of communication between our muscles and glands, the brain and the spinal cord, and our various sensory receptors. There are studies that suggest calcium in combination with vitamin D can help in lessening the risks of developing diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

    Signs of calcium deficiency: low bone mass, numb and tingling fingers, osteoporosis, and abnormal heart rhythm

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    Calcium-rich foods: milk, yogurt, cheese, canned sardines and salmon with bones, kale, bok choy, broccoli, collards, almonds, and sesame seeds

  2. Vitamin D. This is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you are taking it as a supplement, you must combine it with a type of oil or fat for maximum absorption. Meanwhile, this vitamin is needed by our body in order to absorb calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D is also essential to the immune system; it is responsible for the regulation of T and B cells, macrophages, keratinocytes, and dendritic cells. Based on studies, vitamin D also controls the growth of cancer cells.

    Signs of vitamin D deficiency: rickets, osteomalacia, fatigue, muscle aches, bone pain, and mood shifts. If neglected, it can result in the development of cancer, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, diabetes, and heart disease.

    Photo: Piqsels

    Sources of Vitamin D: sun, supplements, and certain foods like egg yolk, oily fish, liver, and red meat

  3. Iron. This mineral is vital in the production of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Iron is also important for the creation of myoglobin, the protein that supplies and stores oxygen in muscle tissues, and of certain hormones and cells.

    Signs of Iron deficiency: fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, confusion, loss of concentration, sensitivity to cold, shortness of breath, pica, rapid heartbeat, brittle nails, hair loss, and pale skin. If neglected, it can result in iron deficiency anemia.

    Photo: Piqsels

    Iron-rich Foods: red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, dark green and leafy vegetables, beans, certain dried fruits like raisins and apricots, and peas

  4. Magnesium. This mineral is abundant in our body as well as in a wide variety of food. Magnesium is important to the body’s more than 300 enzyme systems that include energy production, nerve and muscle function, regulation of blood pressure, control of blood glucose, protein synthesis, and bone development. It is also essential in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and glutathione which helps in reducing oxidative stress among others.

    Signs of Magnesium deficiency: chronic low level can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis

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    Magnesium-rich foods: green and leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grain cereals

  5. Vitamin B12. This is a water-soluble vitamin, which if taken as a supplement must be done so with water and on an empty stomach for maximum absorption. Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is required for nerve and brain function, as well as for the production of DNA, nerves, and blood. It also helps in keeping bones, heart, brain, skin, nails, and hair healthy.

    Signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency: Weakness, tiredness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pale skin, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, smooth tongue, vision loss, nerve problems, and mental health troubles, including depression and mood changes.

    Photo: Piqsels

    Foods rich in Vitamin B12: animal liver and kidneys, beef, clams, sardines, tuna, trout, salmon, poultry, eggs, and dairy products

  6. Iodine. This mineral is vital for thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones like thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 has a crucial role in every cell, from metabolism and energy use to repair and growth.

    Signs of Iodine deficiency: If neglected, the condition can lead to hypothyroidism, goiter, cretinism, mental retardation, increased infant mortality, and decreased fertility rate.

    Photo: Piqsels

    Iodine-rich Foods: seafood like fish and shellfish, egg, milk, cheese, yogurt, and iodized salt

  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Known as “good fat,” two kinds of these fatty acids come from fish — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). On the other hand, the kind of omega-3 that comes from plants is called alpha-linolenic (ALA). Among its many benefits are lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood clots, preventing plaque formation in the arteries, lowering triglyceride levels and blood pressure, minimizing inflammation, and raising good cholesterol levels.

    Signs of Omega-3 Fatty Acid deficiency: dermatitis, dry and scaly skin, depression, joint pain and stiffness, hair changes, and dry eyes

    Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Wild salmon, mackerel, herring, bluefin and albacore tuna, anchovy, halibut, sea bass, and striped bass

  8. Photo: Piqsels

    So, start living your life to the fullest by enjoying the sunshine and a wide variety of healthy and delicious food! You’ll find yourself fully energized, more mentally alert, and happier than ever!

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