Symptoms of Vitamin and Nutritional Deficiency
Are you getting all the nutrients you need for your body to function properly? Guess what? Regardless of what you believe, the answer is … probably not. The caveman diet, the ketogenic diet, dairy-free diet, Atkins, South Beach, Dukan, carb-restricting and fat-free diets can all leave unhealthy holes in a smart nutritional approach to what you eat. This could lead to nutritional and vitamin deficiencies which harm your health, both mentally and physically.
The following 7 nutritional deficiencies and their symptoms are the most common in the United States, and in other modern societies. Accompanying each deficiency is a list of the foods you can target for replacing the missing nutrient, mineral or vitamin. Remember that in most cases a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish like salmon or mackerel, and whole grains can deliver a complete nutritional profile.
Deficiency symptoms – pale skin, thin hair, constant fatigue
This is the most common nutritional deficiency. Iron is referred to as a vitamin, although it is not. It is a mineral which helps your body make red blood cells. A low-iron diet means your body can’t deliver oxygen properly. Eat beef, beans, oysters and spinach to improve your iron intake.
Deficiency symptoms – numb feet, legs and hands, balance problems, fatigue, swollen tongue, paranoia and loss of memory
Vitamin B12 is a vital component in the production of DNA. It is also important for manufacturing your brain’s signal sending system. Vegans often have a vitamin B12 deficiency. A B12 supplement or a diet rich in chicken, fish, milk and yogurt is the answer to providing this necessary nutrient.
Deficiency symptoms – weak appetite, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, drastic personality changes, muscle cramps
Magnesium helps you produce energy. It is also important for bone health. Some medications cause a low level of magnesium. Spinach, almonds, black beans, peanuts and cashews are extremely high in magnesium.
Deficiency symptoms – fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, weak appetite and muscle cramps (symptoms are often vague)
Calcium is linked to bone health. It is also crucial for proper nerve and muscle functioning. Two or three servings of yogurt or milk a day provides all the calcium you need. Cheese and dark leafy greens like kale deliver plenty of calcium as well.
Deficiency symptoms – aching muscles, weak bones, chronic weakness and fatigue (symptoms are often vague)
As with calcium, vitamin D is important for proper bone health. Food sources for vitamin D include yogurt and milk. This important nutrient is also found in salmon and tuna. Just 15 minutes of exposure from sunshine on your skin triggers your body to manufacture all the vitamin D you need each day.
Deficiency symptoms – lack of strength, abnormal heartbeat, weight loss and constipation
Potassium is crucial if your heart, kidneys and major organs are going to work properly. Eating disorders, kidney disease and diarrhea are some known causes of potassium deficiency. Bananas, many vegetables, beans, peas and whole grains are potassium rich.
Deficiency symptoms – prematurely gray hair, fatigue, swollen tongue and mouth ulcers
Folic acid is extremely important for women during their childbearing years. Women are recommended to take a folic acid supplement daily as long as they are able to have children. Fortified cereals, dark leafy greens, oranges and beans are all high in folate.
The above 7 vitamins and minerals make up the most commonly absent items in a modern-day diet. In every case, a one-a-day or multivitamin supplement is available. As always, it is best to receive your necessary nutrients and minerals from nature. You also wants to eat foods that are as close to their natural condition as possible. Obviously, fish has to be cooked. The same applies to eggs.
However, whenever possible, eat raw, fresh foods. Fruits and vegetables with as little packaging and processing possible are packed full of all the vitamins and minerals a human being needs. These foods are extremely versatile and usually inexpensive as well. Eat whole grains and lean meat in addition to fruits and vegetables and it is easy to enjoy a nutritionally perfect diet.
Deficiency symptoms – bleeding gums, bruising easily, dry, brittle hair, nosebleeds, inability to fight infection
We mention vitamin C only because the modern-day diet often doesn’t supply enough. In most cases, this is a deficiency that does not lead to significant health conditions. It is important because it is related to healthy growth and repair of tissues throughout your body. Oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit, watermelon, broccoli, green and red peppers, spinach and tomatoes all deliver high quantities of vitamin C. Severe deficiency in vitamin C is uncommon. You can take a vitamin C supplement to ensure you are getting enough of this important health component. As in all cases, if you can receive your vitamin C through foods, that is the preferred option.