Vitamins and minerals are extremely important for your body as they take part in the various physiological processes that take place in your body and help your body function optimally. Nowadays, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are far more common than you may have realized. People are aware of the common deficiencies like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber deficiencies, but there are many other deficiencies out there that are as common as these deficiencies. People do not seem to be serious about other deficiencies because they are not talked about frequently. But they can have serious negative effects n your health. Some deficiencies may impair the functioning of your immune system, some may affect your sleep-wake cycle, and some may even affect your ability to metabolize food efficiently.
The Major Deficiencies That Can Harm Your Health
Magnesium, selenium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 deficiencies are some of the major deficiencies that can severely impact your health. If you have low levels of magnesium in your body, you can suffer from asthma, migraine headaches, constipation, poor sleep, muscle pain, and restless leg syndrome.1 A selenium deficiency can result in muscle soreness.2 Low levels of iron in your body can result in anemia, fatigue, poor-quality sleep, anxiety, depression, tongue soreness, muscle pain, and heartburn.3 A deficiency of zinc can result in recurring and persistent sores in the mouth, mental fatigue, rashes, poor wound healing, and even night blindness.4 And a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anxiety, depression, memory loss, fatigue, and neuropathies.5
Why You Could Be At Risk For Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies And What You Can Do About It
1. Refined Foods And Sugars Make Up A Large Portion Of Your Diet
Refined foods and sugars are extremely unhealthy on their own because they lack nutrients and are loaded with chemicals that harm your health. And at the same time, they also contain products that prevent the absorption of nutrients and hamper your metabolism.6 Take a step back and evaluate your diet. If refined foods and sugars make up a large proportion of your diet, you should try consuming as less of them as possible. Instead, eat more fruits, dark leafy vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and organic meat.
You Eat A Lot Of Grains
You may think that grains are extremely good for you because of their fiber content. And they are. But too much of even a good thing is bad. If you consume too many grains, it can backfire as it can prevent the absorption of nutrients.7 You should try to keep your portions small and should stick to gluten-free grains as much as possible. You can try getting your carbohydrates from other sources like legumes, nuts, and seeds. But you need to be careful about eating them too as too many nuts, seeds, or legumes, have a similar effect.
3. The Vegetables And Fruits You Eat Lack Nutrients
Even if you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, you can still end up being nutrient deficient because these fruits and vegetables may be grown in nutrient deficient soil. You need to be more careful about where your food comes from. Buy more organic foods and try to buy them from your local farmers who tend to grow their crops on more nutrient-rich soils.
4. Your Gut Does Not Have A Healthy Microbiome
Your gut is a home to many types of bacteria. Though some of them may be harmful, most of them offer you multiple health benefits and occur naturally in your gut. These bacteria help you digest the food you eat and absorb the nutrients. They also help eliminate harmful products your body does not need. The level of good and bad bacteria have to be in balance in order for your gut to be healthy. If you have an overgrowth of the bad kind of bacteria, it can lead to numerous gastrointestinal issues and can prevent the adequate absorption of nutrients.8 You should make it a habit of replenishing your healthy microbiome by having prebiotics and prebiotics. Fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, yogurt, and sauerkraut are good sources of probiotics.
|↑2||Selenium. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑3||Iron. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑4||Zinc. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑5||Vitamin B12. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑6||Sweet Stuff. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑7||Caballero, Benjamin. “Nutritional implications of dietary interactions: a review.” Food Nutr Bull 10, no. 2. 1988.|
|↑8||Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Zehra-Esra Ilhan, Dae-Wook Kang, and John K. DiBaise. “Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation.” Nutrition in Clinical Practice 27, no. 2. 2012.|