Nutrient Deficiencies: How to Know if You Have Them and Tips for Eating Right
Do you wonder if you have a nutrient deficiency? Learn more about nutrient deficiencies, common symptoms to watch for, and how to nourish your body.
Nutrient deficiencies are still surprisingly common today, even in highly developed countries. They have a huge impact on public health and are responsible for many different “mysterious” symptoms. You might even be dealing with one or more nutrient deficiencies right now without realizing it!
If you have one (or several!) nutrient deficiencies right now, it’s important to know. Once you know what nutrient you’re deficient in, you can make lifestyle changes or take a dietary supplement (such as Hersmoothie) to help boost your intake of the nutrients your body needs in greater amounts.
Here are a few things every woman should know about nutrient deficiencies, their most common symptoms, and how to boost your body’s nutrient intake.
What Nutrients Do We Need?
Nutrients are chemical substances that can be found within every living thing on the planet. In humans, they are necessary to break down food and provide us with energy. They’re also essential for regulating our body processes, such as thyroid function, metabolism, temperature, blood pressure, and any other body function you can think of. Communities and government entities that are interested in improving public health and maximizing disease control should emphasize sufficient nutrient intake.
The six categories of nutrients our bodies need to survive and thrive are:
Water is in a category all its own. Though it doesn’t contain calories (which means it doesn’t provide your body with a caloric source of energy), it is essential to sustain life.
When you don’t have enough of any of the essential nutrients your body requires to function properly, you are dealing with a nutrient deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies affect millions of people throughout the world.
How Do You Know if You Have a Nutritional Deficiency?
Now that you know a little bit about nutrients and how important they are, let’s go over some top ways to know if you have a nutrient deficiency. Here are some of the most common nutrient deficiency symptoms.
- Severe hair loss
- Bone pain
- Slow-healing wounds
- Burning sensation in the tongue or feet
- Poor night vision
- Irregular heartbeat
These are all common nutrient deficiency signs and symptoms. These deficiencies can significantly impact public health.
Most Common Deficiencies
Here are some of the most common deficiencies experienced by people in developed countries such as the United States:
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. If you have vitamin D deficiency, you may experience bone pain, fatigue, muscle aches, and mood changes. People who are deficient in vitamin D are also more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Some people develop vitamin D deficiency because they don’t spend enough time in the sun. Others may not be able to produce sufficient vitamin D in their bodies even after prolonged sun exposure. If you think you have a vitamin D deficiency, you may want to increase your intake of foods containing vitamin D (such as tuna, fortified milk, salmon, or fortified cereal). Many doctors recommend that adults take a daily vitamin D supplement because vitamin D deficiency is so common.
- Iron: When you’re deficient in iron, your body can’t carry oxygen through your body very efficiently. This is because red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body, and iron is required to produce red blood cells. Iron deficiency can result in anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can cause fatigue, a sore or tingly tongue, pale skin, shortness of breath, and cold hands and feet. Iron deficiency can also cause cravings for unusual things (like soil or chalk). You have a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia if you are pregnant or if you have a heavy menstrual flow. Those following a vegetarian or vegan diet are also more likely to experience iron deficiency than those who eat meat. This is because meat (especially red meat) is a good source of iron, and it is harder to get adequate iron intake from vegetarian sources.
- Folate: folate (also known as vitamin B9) is a micronutrient that is especially important for women of childbearing age to consume. Folate deficiency in newborns is associated with poor growth, diarrhea, and birth defects. Folate is a dangerous micronutrient deficiency for pregnant women to have, which is why folate supplementation is strongly recommended.
- Calcium: Calcium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies. It is associated with abnormal heart rhythms and tingling or numb fingers. A calcium deficiency may be prevented by getting at least three servings of milk products per day. If you don’t tolerate milk well, you may have an increased likelihood of developing a calcium deficiency. Fortunately, you can take a supplement to increase your calcium intake and reduce your chances of experiencing the symptoms of calcium deficiency.
- Vitamin C: Even though scurvy is extremely uncommon these days, minor vitamin C deficiency is quite common. If you’re not getting enough vitamin C, you may get dry skin, have mild joint and muscle pain, experience immunodeficiency, or form bruises underneath your skin. If you go too long without eating foods with vitamin C, you could eventually develop scurvy.
- Iodine: Iodine is an essential micronutrient that regulates thyroid function. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is estimated to have an iodine deficiency. One of the most common signs of iodine deficiency is a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). Severe iodine deficiency can lead to development abnormalities (especially in children).
- Zinc: This is a micronutrient that is very important for immune health. If you have a zinc deficiency, your body will have a more difficult time fighting off infections. Insufficient zinc can also lead to hair loss, a reduced sense of smell and taste, and a lack of alertness.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is commonly found in animal products, which means vegetarians may need to supplement their diets with it. Vitamin B12 is an important micronutrient for the production of red blood cells. It also helps provide the body with energy. If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you’re likely to feel fatigued and have difficulty with “brain fog.” Balance problems and an inflamed tongue are also associated with B12 deficiency.
Other common micronutrient deficiencies include vitamin K deficiency (in infants), B vitamin deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, sulfur deficiency, and magnesium deficiency. Less common nutrient deficiencies include vitamin K and phosphorus deficiency. Manganese deficiency used to be rare, but it is becoming more common. Nitrogen deficiency doesn’t often occur in humans but is a common deficiency in plants.
How Can You Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies?
If you think you have any of the common micronutrient deficiencies, it’s important to try to get more of the nutrients you’re deficient in. If you’re having trouble getting nutrients from your daily dietary intake, it’s probably time to take a supplement. Supplementing with a product that contains important micronutrients can also be helpful for preventing deficiency in the first place.
If your diet could use some improvement, here are some good dietary sources of essential micronutrients:
- Nuts and seeds
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Egg yolks
- Fatty fish
- Orange and red produce
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole grains
You may need help from a dietician if you try to eat a healthy diet but still have symptoms of nutrient deficiency.
How Can Hersmoothie Help?
Hersmoothie is a delicious product that contains many of the micronutrients your body needs to maintain optimal health. Visit Mixhers resources to learn more about this product and other products made for women.