5 Essential Nutrients You May Be Missing From Your Diet

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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 deficiencies that harm your 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 suffer from anemia and as a result suffer from fatigue and dizziness. You can find if you lack iron in a simple blood test. Anemia can also be detected using the MCHC 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 disease, blood vessels disease and stroke, reducing insulin resistance, reducing the risk of depression, improve cognitive function and brain development and visual system of fetuses and infants, and the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer. Recently a review of studies found that a high intake of EPA and DHA is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids : EPA and DHA that are produced from fish, and ALA which is derived from plant sources such as sage and flaxseed. The Most recommended are those produced from fish. This is because our body is able to use ALA, but it first needs to convert it to DHA and EPA, and the resulting conversion rate is very low.

DHA has a structural role in cell membranes, and are particularly dominant in the nervous system, brain and eye. EPA has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels, and prevents depression and improves mood, cognition and concentration, as it regulates the neural signal transmission in the brain.

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.

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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. Consuming adequate amount of magnesium is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

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. There is hardly any disease that has not been linked to this vitamin. It is essential to treat osteoporosis and prevent fractures in old age, maintains balance and muscle strength, it also has the ability to regulate the immune system and inhibit the development of inflammatory processes in the body in many ways.

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A link has also been found between vitamin D levels and insulin resistance, which is the first step in the development of diabetes ‭type 2 and it’s also essential for reducing the risk of heart attacks, helps prevent obesity and even improve athletic performance. Read here more about 12 common diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency.

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.

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.

Six Important Nutrients You May Be Missing If You Are Vegan

While vegetarians don’t consume meat, fish, and poultry, vegans take it a step further and exclude all animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products and honey. Instead, their nutrition is based on fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. The question that is often asked is are there any health risks in vegan diet? The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet creates a sensible and safe plan. But if you have a health condition, check with your doctor before going vegan.

Here are important nutrients you may be missing from your diet if your are vegan:

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1. Proteins

Proteins are one of the most important nutrients in building the body. The recommended amount for an adult is 0.8 grams of protein per day per kilogram of body weight. Boys who are still growing need grater amount ranging from 1-1.2 grams per kilogram (for boys involved a lot in sports, the amount should be even greater).

For vegans it is important to eat complete protein that includes all the essential amino acids that are crucial for the body. Complete protein can be achieved by a proper combination of grains and legumes. You can get protein from plant sources in many ways: whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds – such as chickpeas, beans of various kinds, peas, quinoa, nuts, almonds, flaxseed and more. A good combination between these foods provides a complete, high-quality protein. For more information read my article about 13 surprises sources of meat-free protein.

2. Vitamin B12

This is one of the essential vitamins for the human body, and is found mainly in meat and its products. This vitamin is very important for brain function and nervous system, to build hemoglobin and prevent anemia.

Plant food sources include relatively small amounts of this vitamin and its availability is small. It is therefore recommended that vegans be tested occasionally by physician, and will receive supplement of this vitamin if needed.

3. Iron

Iron is a very important mineral to the human body. It is used in building hemoglobin and its absence can cause anemia, fatigue and damage growth.

Usually the amount of iron and its absorption rate are lower in plant food sources in comparison to animal food sources, so vegans are more prone to iron deficiency. Iron exists in plant food sources is called nonheme and is very influenced by other substances that enhance or decrease its absorption.

Effective absorption enhancer is for example vitamin C, if it appears in the same meal that contains iron. In this case the vitamin C significantly increases the iron absorption in the blood.

It is therefore recommended for example to eat legumes with fresh vegetables or fruits that are rich in vitamin C. Berries are especially high in vitamin C. You can find easy and nutritious berry recipes in my e-book The Healing Berry Guide. This e-book will teach you about the incredible health benefits of berries and how to transform your health with them.

Even soaking the legumes and sprouting them greatly enhances iron absorption as well as other minerals. However caffeine found in coffee and tea, inhibits iron absorption, so it is recommended not to drink them soon before or after meals.

4. Calcium and vitamin D

Avoiding milk and dairy products requires to complete calcium from other sources. Calcium is abundant in leafy vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, spinach, etc.), in different seeds such as sesame seeds, flaxseed, nuts and almonds.

Also it is advisable to consume products fortified with vitamin D that may also be missing in a vegan diet.

5. Essential fatty acids

Not eating animal food sources such as fish and eggs may lead to a lack of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3. It is therefore recommended to use alternative sources such as algae and seaweed, walnuts, chia seeds and ground flaxseed.

6. Iodine

A vegan diet is low in iodine, so it is recommended to consume salt fortified with iodine.

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10 Responses to 5 Essential Nutrients You May Be Missing From Your Diet

  1. Robbyn says:

    Woah – I almost went full Scientific on you there…
    Didn’t see the “Deficiencies ” wirtten in the title…:D

    Since we started using Chemical Methods to “save” our crops – we began decreasing the healthy and content of these crops…

    In a way – I’m glad we have GM-tech…just wish they’d apply it correctly to our crops rather than abuse it for their own wealth…><…

    Anyway – nice article…:)

  2. Frieda Gelber says:

    How does one identify a natural organic source of Vitamin B 12 supplement for a raw organic vegan?

  3. Lana says:

    I have been suffering with a servere bladder infection for more than an year. I have been to the Gynae to the urologist and to several doctors… The urologist said I have a stretch bladder and that’s why I am getting infections. She did not listen when I told her that I picked up a germ last year in hospital and that I have been on antibiotics for the last year just to survive. How can u urinate propely with an acute bladder infection. Yet she did not listen and gave me more antibiotics. I told her that I am allergic to certain antibi but yet again she told me to drink probiotics. I drank 8 a day and the bladder infection just got worst. My body is now also immune to antibiotics. I have now discovered DE, and I am much better. I drink it three times a day or I won’t cope…. Also I drink a probiotic in a liquid form the doctors I think is just killing us…. Prescribing antibiotics that only puts a layer over the germ so we can go back for more meds once the germ gets out again….. I will never see another doctor, I am greatful for all your advice ….. If someone out there is suffering with a bladder or infection please take DE. It saved my life and never take antibiotics, I nearly died… I could not walk and I was in terrible pain…. E – coli multiplied in my body…. I even did urine test and the doctor thought I am making it all up!

    • hennez says:

      what is DE? im from the netherlands and i never heard from it..

      • Lisa says:

        Diatomaceous Earth, this really works but be sure you get food grade DE. What it is is silica witch we need and do not get enough of from our foods today.

    • Phyllis Fehn says:

      You sure are lucky to be alive. I know Doctors don’t listen. Only you knows your body. What medicines you can take and medicines you can’t take. A whole year is a long time to go through with what you went through. I’m glad you found the help you needed.

    • Pam Popple says:

      I also suffered from UTI and bladder infections and took antibiotics for a year and then off and on. Then I realized I was getting it due to the liquid soaps , shampoos and conditioner I was using. So you might want to try and change those.

  4. DrainTheShjt says:

    When I was a kid….tomatoes had flavor Now: Bland and crunchy texture
    Then: strawberries were small but chock full of flavor…. Now: Large and weak off-flavor.
    Then: Nectarines were very sweet, soft, and juicy…full of flavor.. Now. texture is more like an apple and the flavor is more tart.
    Then: One could use seeds from their plants to grow new ones….Now: Mosanto is coding them to make sure you don’t try to re-use without paying a premium and risk lawsuit.
    Yeah, you “scientists” have really helped us out …..thanks a lot greedy-ass jerks.

  5. nofat37.com says:

    If you don’t feel your best every day, you may be lacking an essential nutrient that could make all the difference in the world.

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