The Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies in a Modern Diet
There are plenty of essential nutrients for good health. It is possible to get most of them from a balanced, real food-based diet. However, the typical modern diet lacks several very important nutrients.
It is a main component of red blood cells, where it binds with hemoglobin and transports oxygen to cells.
Iron deficiency affects so many people these days. It is very often indeed that I find my clients with this as an issue. The most common consequence of iron deficiency is anemia. The quantity of red blood cells is decreased and the blood becomes less able to carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms usually include tiredness, weakness, weakened immune system and impaired brain function.
The best food sources of iron:
- Red meats
- Liver meat
- Seeds (pumpkin, sesame.. etc)
- Green veg such as broccoli, kale and spinach.
Finally, vitamin C can enhance the absorption of iron. Eating vitamin C-rich foods like orange and bell peppers along with iron-rich foods can help maximize iron absorption.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions like a steroid hormone in your body.
It travels through your bloodstream and into cells, telling them to turn genes on or off. Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D.
Vitamin D is produced from cholesterol in your skin upon exposure to sunlight. Thus, people who live far from the equator are likely to be deficient unless their dietary intake is adequate or they supplement with vitamin D.
Adults who are deficient in vitamin D may experience muscle weakness, bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures. In children, it may cause growth delays and soft bones
The best food sources of Vitamin D:
- Fatty fish such as Salmon, sardines… etc
- Cod Liver oil
- Eggs, particularly yolks
But main source would be the sun or supplementation.
Calcium is essential for every cell in your body. It mineralizes bones and teeth, especially during times of rapid growth. It is also very important for bone maintenance. Additionally, calcium serves as a signaling molecule. Without it, your heart, muscles, and nerves would not be able to function.
If your intake is lacking, your bones will release calcium. Therefore, the most common symptom of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, characterised by softer and more fragile bones.
The best food sources of Calcium:
- Dairy products
- Dark leafy greens
It is essential for blood formation, as well as brain and nerve function. Every cell in your body needs B12 to function normally, but your body is unable to produce it. Therefore, you must get it from food or supplements. B12 is only found in sufficient amounts in animal foods, although certain types of seaweed may provide small quantities. Therefore, people who do not eat animal products are at an increased risk of deficiency.
One common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anemia, which is a blood disorder that enlarges your red blood cells and impaired brain function.
The best food sources of Vitamin B12:
For those out there that are vegetarians or vegans, go for fortified cereals, soy products and consider supplements.
Low intake and blood levels of magnesium are associated with several conditions, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Deficiency may be caused by disease, drug use, reduced digestive function, or inadequate magnesium intake. The main symptoms include abnormal heart rhythm, muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, fatigue, and migraines.
The best food sources of Magnesium:
- Dark Chocolate
- Dark leafy greens
- Whole grain foods
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