These Are the 5 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies

August 11, 2018 • By Sophia Smith
The estimated reading time is 5 minutes

Have you ever wondered why you keep getting those headaches or why you’re feeling tired? A simple explanation for this could be that it’s a sign of nutrient deficiency in your diet. With a hectic and stressed lifestyle, it may be hard to make sure that you’re getting all of your body’s most important nutrients.

Nutrient deficiencies can lead to a variety of health-related issues. Most of them aren’t dangerous, but they could be an explanation as to why you’re feeling unwell.

  1. Vitamin D

Did you know that almost every cell in our bodies has a receptor for vitamin D? In other words, vitamin D is an essential vitamin that our body depends on. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may be a bone loss, muscle weakness and an increased risk of fractures.

Most foods don’t contain significant amounts of this vitamin naturally, but you may find it in some enhanced products such as milk and juice. Vitamin D is produced out of our cholesterol in our skin whenever it’s exposed to sunlight. This is one of the reasons why we see a higher tendency for Vitamin D deficiency in countries where there isn’t much sunlight during the winter months.

What to eat to get vitamin D:

-    Fatty fish: salmon, sardines, and mackerel

-    Egg yolks

-    Enhanced products with vitamin D

  1. Vitamin B12

Brain, blood, and nerve function - This is also an essential vitamin that our body needs. Every cell in our body needs this important vitamin!

However, Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, especially among women, vegetarians and elderly. In fact, more than 20% of elderly people may be deficient due to a slower or no absorption in the digestive system.

Some symptoms of deficiency may be extreme exhaustion, paleness, heavy breathing, numbness in fingers and toes, and balance trouble.

What to eat to get vitamin B12:

-  Meat: Red meat is high in vitamin B12

-  Eggs

Milk products

-  Organ meat such as liver products

-  Shellfish

  1. Magnesium

It’s not only vitamins that your body can lack. Minerals are also important nutrients that play a key role in many of our body’s functions, and magnesium is one of them.

Magnesium is important for teeth and bone structure, and it’s involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions.

Some important symptoms of magnesium deficiency may be muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome.

What to eat to get magnesium:

-              Nuts: Almonds have the highest levels of magnesium

-              Dark chocolate

-              Whole grains

-              Green vegetables: Spinach contains a lot of magnesium

  1. Iron

Iron is another essential mineral that the body needs and iron deficiency affects more than 25% of people worldwide. In order for the blood cells to bind hemoglobin and transport oxygen to cells, they need iron.

It’s very common among menstruating women as well as in young pregnant women.

Some symptoms may be Weakness, exhaustion and a weakened immune system.

Eat this to get enough iron:

-              Red meat

-              Organ meat such as liver

-              Shellfish

-              Sardines

-              Beans

-              Broccoli

-              Spinach

-              Seeds

Some research suggests that vitamin C can enhance the iron absorption.

  1. Potassium

Another essential mineral is potassium, and this mineral helps your nerves, muscles, and heart to function properly. This mineral works as an electrolyte, which is how your nerves send electrical impulses, or messages, throughout your body.

A lack of potassium in your body could lead to symptoms like:

-              Diarrhea

-              Constipation

-              Tingling

-              Numbness

To ensure that you’re getting enough potassium, you should eat foods like:

-              Bananas

-              Whole grains

-              Milk products

-              Beans

-              Peas

3 less common nutrients deficiencies, but still very important nutrients:

Vitamin C:

If you eat a lot of fruits and drink orange juice in the morning, you should be fine on this one. However, some people still experience a lack of vitamin C.

Vitamin C plays a big part in healing wounds, it helps your immune system, and it acts as an antioxidant by preventing cell damages.

Some symptoms of vitamin C deficiency may be bruising, slow wound healing, dry skin, bleeding gums, and nosebleeds.

Vitamin B7 and B3:

Vitamin B7 and B3 help the body converting food into energy. This is a very rare deficiency, but those who experience it, often experience serious hair loss and splitting hair and nails.

Other symptoms may be chronic tiredness, muscle pain and cramps, and tingling in the hands and feet.

To get enough vitamin B7 and B3, you need to eat foods like egg yolks, organ meats, nuts, fish, dairy, seeds, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, yeast, bananas, and whole grains.

If you’re unsure if you’re getting enough nutrients in your daily diet, you could check out your nearest health store and stock up on prescription free dietary supplements.

Sophia Smith

She is a renowned nutritionist and freelance writer whose topics of interest include healthy living and healthy eating. She is passionate about introducing new and delicious healthy meals while balancing her time between cooking and going to the gym. Her mission is to change the life of as many people as she can and make them the best version of themselves.
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