5 Signs You’re Not Getting All of The Nutrition You Need
Consuming a diet enriched with healthy, nutritional foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, carbs and all of the right vitamins and minerals, is incredibly important, but it’s also an increasingly difficult task in this day and age. When we’re low on nutrients, we can experience both mental and physical symptoms such as tiredness, lack of concentration, low moods, hair loss and weak or soft bones.
But it’s challenging to get all of the nutrients that we need to stay healthy from our diet alone. In recent years, soil has been depleted of nutrients, so what we eat no longer delivers the levels of vitamins and minerals that our body needs. As a result, vitamin deficiencies are on the rise, with approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK suffering from vitamin D deficiency and 1 in 10 deficient in vitamin B12.
How do I know if I’m vitamin deficient?
Nutrients are crucial for proper health and development, from providing energy, building and maintaining our bones and teeth and helping to regulate bodily functions such as metabolism and thyroid function. When something falls off balance, it can take effect in many different ways. Here are a few of the most common signs of a vitamin deficiency to look out for.
You’re constantly tired
Frequent tiredness and weakness can signify your body is lacking in iron, B12, vitamin D, magnesium or folic acid. Deficiency of these vitamins can sap strength and energy because they affect the red blood cells that carry oxygen to your vital organs. When you’re low on oxygen, you will feel wiped out all of the time, no matter how much sleep you get.
Your memory’s gone AWOL
Not getting enough of the proper nutrients can impair your brain’s functions and make it harder to concentrate and remember things. This is particularly common in iron or vitamin B12 deficiencies, leading to slower response times, confusion, and persistent forgetfulness.
Many vitamin deficiencies can impact your mental health and can even lead to depression or anxiety if left untreated. Low B12, B6 and Vitamin D levels may affect the production of serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our mood.
Wounds heal slowly
If you notice that wounds are taking longer to heal than usual, it could be a sign of a deficiency in zinc. It can also manifest itself as acne, eczema, or alopecia.
Pins and needles
Are you experiencing frequent pins and needles in your hands and feet? This can be a result of low B12 levels which can affect nerve cells. If left untreated, this tingling feeling can eventually become permanent.
Make sure you’re getting the nutrition that you need
The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re getting enough of the key nutrients: Iron (in which a quarter of women are deficient – you’ll find it in red meat, nuts, pulses and fortified cereals), plus B vitamins found in green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and spinach as well as eggs, fish and kidney beans. Zinc is equally as essential and can be found in lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, lentils and nuts.
As we mentioned earlier, taking an excellent nutritional supplement is just as important as eating well. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and strengthening the immune system, however, it’s tough to get enough of it in our diet alone. For this reason, we recommend taking 2000iu in the form of a supplement every single day, all-year-round but some people require more than this.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of vitamin deficiency, you must seek the advice of a medical professional and get your levels checked. The next step is to look at your diet to determine where your body might not be getting the nutrients it needs and then determine how best to address the issues. It can be helpful to work with a nutritionist to learn exactly how to overcome poor eating habits and embrace a more nutritious lifestyle through both diet and supplementation.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.