The saying “You are what you eat” hints at the vital importance of food in our whole-body wellness. A healthy diet is essential because we rely on food for nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that we need to perform and feel our best. Getting the proper amounts helps us maintain a healthy weight, arm our body’s immunity system, and keep our hormones balanced.
When your body cannot get the nutrients it needs, it leads to adverse symptoms that can make you miserable and lead to bigger health issues down the road. Read on to learn more about nutrient deficiency and what you can do to avoid it.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrients are responsible for proper growth and development in children as well as promoting health throughout the entire lifespan. Unfortunately, insufficient nutrient levels are prevalent in the US, with 31% of Americans at risk of deficiency in at least 1 nutrient.
Calcium is a signaling molecule for heart, nerve, and muscle function and is essential for blood clotting and maintaining a regular heartbeat. You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral, with the majority found in your teeth and bones.
Numbness or tingling in your fingers or heart arrhythmia could be a sign of calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis in adults. Women are especially susceptible to calcium deficiency.
To replenish your body’s supply, add dairy, boned fish, or green leafy vegetables to your diet.
Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone production and regulating its function, but nearly ⅓ of people in the world are deficient.
Iodine deficiency leads to increased heart rate, unexplained weight gain, and shortness of breath, as well as an enlarged thyroid gland, called a goiter.
Iodine-rich foods include fish, dairy, and eggs, as well as table salt with iodine.
Iron is instrumental in how red blood cells move, attaching to hemoglobin and transporting oxygen to the body’s cells. Iron deficiency is widespread, affecting more than 25% of the world’s population.
There are 2 types of iron. Heme iron is well-absorbed by the body and is only obtained from animal foods, particularly red meat. Non-heme iron is found in plant and animal foods and is not as easily absorbed but more common than heme iron.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, impaired immunity, and lowered brain function.
Eating a diet rich in red meat, shellfish, oysters, or canned sardines helps refill the body’s heme iron, while leafy greens, seeds, and beans help maintain a healthy non-heme iron supply.
Vitamin B12 also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps your body form blood and impacts brain and nerve function. Your body cannot produce B12 on its own, so it relies on food or supplements for its supply.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include impaired brain activity, enlarged red blood cells, and increases in the amino acid homocysteine, raising your risk for heart disease, stroke, or dementia.
To get enough B12 in your diet, eat shellfish, meat, eggs, or liver.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D acts as a steroid hormone for the body, activating and deactivating genes. This fat-soluble vitamin is produced when the skin’s cholesterol interacts with sunlight exposure. Around 42% of the US’s population is vitamin D deficient.
The symptoms of vitamin D include bone loss, increased risk of fractures, reduced immunity, and muscle weakness.
In addition to the sun, dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, cod liver oil, or egg.
Like calcium, magnesium is vital for bone health and how well your body produces energy. Magnesium deficiency is challenging to diagnose because most severe symptoms do not present until levels become dangerously low.
Magnesium deficiency can cause stomach issues, loss of appetite, or seizures, leading to diabetes, chronic diarrhea, or celiac disease. Further, studies have found that magnesium-deficient adults are 16% more prone to depression.
Eat almonds, peanuts, cashews, edamame, or black beans to normalize your magnesium levels.
Add a Supplement
If you cannot get the vitamins and minerals your body needs from food alone, supplements can help maintain healthy levels. For example, if you are low in calcium and magnesium, our Cal-mag Plus D contains calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Particularly if you are on a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy regimen, you can benefit from a dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplement. DHEA is known to increase bone density, reverse hormone-related problems, and improve sexual function. This natural hormone decreases as we age, making it necessary to incorporate a DHEA supplement into your daily routine.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you get the vitamin and mineral amounts you need is to incorporate an effective daily vitamin, such as our Daily Mega multivitamin/mineral, available with iron or without iron. This supplement supports immunity, increases nutrient intake, and encourages detoxification.
Experience Whole Body Wellness With Dr. Randolph’s
When you are ready to live your healthiest life yet and discover how good you can feel with the proper nutrient levels and balanced hormones, contact the expert team at Dr. Randolph’s Ageless and Wellness Center. We offer you thorough medical insights, guidance, and supplements you need to feel your best — no matter your age or stage.