5 Essential Nutrients You May Be Missing From Your Diet
Although we live in a culture of abundance and can have almost every food we want, we may suffer nutritional deficiencies that can be harmful to our health. This article will cover the five major vitamins and minerals deficiencies, how to spot them and how to restore your body’s nutrients. Many of us can have one or more of these nutritional deficiencies without even realizing it, but should give attention and treat these deficiencies as soon as possible.
Main 5 vitamins and minerals whose absence harms our health:
1. Lack of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps to build red blood cells in our body and nervous system function.
How to identify lack of vitamin B12? This deficiency may lead to a feeling of fatigue, tingling in the feet or tips of the palm fingers and even depression. You can check the lack of this vitamin by doing blood tests.
How to complete the lack in vitamin B12? You can consume it from animal source foods only: meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Vegetarians have to put emphasis on getting this vitamin from eggs, while vegans should consult a doctor and take B12 supplement.
Further reading: read more about this subject in my article Warning Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Correct It.
2. Iron deficiency
Iron is a mineral component of the red blood cells.
How to identify iron deficiency? If we lack iron we may feel anemia, fatigue and dizziness. You can find if you lack iron in a simple blood test.
How to complete iron deficiency? you need to consume animal source foods: meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Unlike vitamin B12, you can get iron also from vegetarian food sources such as beans, tahini and green vegetables. You can increase its absorption from the food if you combine it with vitamin C, which you can find in oranges, tomatoes, peppers and more, for example: a combination of chicken breast with orange juice can help us optimize the absorption of iron from food.
There are some foods that interfere with iron absorption, such as calcium-containing foods such as dairy products or foods that contain caffeine like in coffee and tea, so you should eat these foods separately from foods containing iron. If you had fish for lunch, drink coffee two hours after the meal.
Further reading: read more about this subject in my article How To Increase Iron Levels In Your Blood.
3. Lack of Omega 3
Omega 3 is an unsaturated fatty acid that helps anti-inflammatory processes in the body. It has also been found that this acid helps reduce the risk of heart and blood vessels diseases, as well as reduces depression. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are necessary to our bodies and we need to consume them from food.
How do you identify lack of omega 3? Omega 6 is found in almost all processed foods but Omega 3 is uncommon in the same way, leading to excess consumption of omega-6.
How to complete lack of omega 3? There are omega 3 supplements which are a quick solution, but alternatively you can consume two fish dishes per week (especially North Sea fish) as well as consuming walnuts and flaxseeds daily.
For more information you can read my article about the Health Benefits Of Omega 3 Fish Oil.
4. Magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is an essential mineral for our body. It has a great importance to proper functioning of the heart and nervous system and preventing muscle contraction. A close relationship has also been found between lack of magnesium to an increased blood sugar levels, and therefore it is recommended for diabetics to consume it as part of maintaining sugar balance in their body.
How do you identify magnesium deficiency? The deficiency may arise from little consumption from food, due to increased physical activity and calcium intake that compete for magnesium absorption into our bodies. You can find here the top signs that you have magnesium deficiency and what to do about it.
How to complete magnesium deficiency? Magnesium should be consumed mostly through vegetable: beans, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, almonds, avocados and whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice.
5. Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is very important in the absorption of calcium in the body and helps maintaining bone density.
How do you identify vitamin D deficiency? vitamin D deficiency can lead to decreased bone density and affects the function of the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck and is responsible for body metabolism. Lack of vitamin D is very common today in the Western world, partly due to the use of sunscreen and less sun exposure. Other reasons for this deficiency are functional problems of the liver and kidneys (both help to transform the vitamin obtained from food into its active form in the body). You can check the level of vitamin D in a simple blood test.
You can read more about this subject in my article about 12 common diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency.
How to complete vitamin D deficiency? After consulting with your physician, you can take is as a supplement. You can also get it from the following food sources: fish, dairy products fortified with vitamin D and eggs.
To summarize, periodic blood tests and ensuring balanced menu can help to prevent many of these common nutritional deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and maintain quality of life and well-being.
There is another vitamin deficiency that can lead to a permanent brain damage, but is rarely diagnosed. Read more about it here: