January 2 2018
If it is one thing many of us know it is that the human body needs vitamins and minerals of different sorts for both body development and preventing disease. To further examine this, each and every vitamin and mineral work uniquely and in conjunction with one another to help with bodily maintenance and function. Many of us are aware that it is important to eat a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but it’s only until we’re not getting enough do we truly realise the effects. There are so many little indicators that could mean a deficiency in vitamins or minerals that so many people have that so many people likely do not even pay any mind to.
Why does this tend to happen though? In some cases our bodies have difficulties absorbing different types of vitamins and minerals, in other cases it could be our diets. Whatever the case, there are many different signs that we should look out for that could lead to a potential deficiency in our bodies. Below is a chart for symptoms that come with some relatively common vitamin and mineral deficiencies:
- Iron Deficiency: The ways you can spot an iron deficiency is excessive fatigue caused by a lack of hemoglobin which is a protein iron makes that helps to carry oxygen throughout the body and without that oxygen reaching your tissues and muscles, your heart will have to work harder to move more oxygen-rich blood around your body, which can make you tired. This can also lead to paleness, dizziness, frail hair and nails and difficulty breathing. The best way to combat this is to have a diet rich in dark green vegetables (such as spinach or kale), tofu and eggs or to take an iron supplement.
- Vitamin D Deficiency: Most people do not realize that they are deficient in vitamin D because the symptoms are generally quite subtle. You may not notice them easily, even if they are having a significant negative effect on your quality of life. Having an overall lowered immune system could actually be a signal for a lack of vitamin D in your body since vitamin D directly affects the cells that fight off infections in your body. Bone and back pain and weak teeth are another symptom of vitamin D deficiency due to its role in helping maintain healthy bones and teeth. A big symptom is frequent depression, especially around the winter since vitamin D is essential in helping maintain healthy serotonin levels in our brains. It is recommended to consume a diet rich in fatty fish, soy and to take fish oil supplements.
- Calcium Deficiency: Signs for calcium deficiency can range widely from person to person but generally speaking, calcium deficiency leads to high blood pressure, heart palpitations, fainting, chest pain, tooth decay muscle tension and osteoporosis (especially in women). In order to get a healthy amount of calcium in our diets to prevent deficiencies would be through foods such as kale, watercress, broccoli, kefir and many dairy products if not through supplements.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for tissue growth throughout our bodies. It helps with collagen production which in turn helps with joint flexibility and it maintains skin, blood vessels, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and is present in many antioxidant rich foods; because of this it helps to fight off many free radicals and helps to prevent the development of certain illnesses like cancer or heart disease. Signs of vitamin C deficiency can range from frequent bruising, red patchy skin, as well as frequent infections like the flu. Opt for foods like bell peppers, oranges, strawberries and kale if you need more vitamin C in your system!
- All kinds of vitamin B: There are multiple types of vitamin B and they all play very important rolls in the human body. Not all types of vitamin B do the same thing. Actually the different types of vitamin B all come from different types of foods. Vitamin B-12, for example, is found primarily in meat and dairy products. B-7, B-9, B-1 and B-2 are typically found in fruits and vegetables. That being said, different vitamin B deficiencies could all appear differently, generally speaking however, vitamin B deficiencies could be summarized as skin problems, fatigue, and numbness in extremities, brittle hair and brittle nails and in the case of a folate deficiency, this can increase the risks of birth defects in pregnant women. To ensure a healthy amount of all the vitamin B’s, your diet should consist of whole grains, kefir, fatty fish, legumes such as almonds and leafy greens.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and impacts our blood pressure, metabolism, immune function nervous system and many other aspects of health. Sadly, magnesium deficiency is an incredibly common occurrence. Over calcification in the body (namely the arteries) is a common side effect of a lack of magnesium in the body since magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium in the body which can lead to heart disease. Muscle spasms and aches are another common side effect which goes hand in hand with over calcification stiffening your muscles. High blood pressure and increased anxiety, insomnia, and depression are also common side effects of magnesium deficiency. Eat a diet rich in legumes like almonds, dark leafy green vegetables and beans like kidney or black beans.