Despite the fact that the role of vitamins and minerals get downplayed by many medical practitioners, it is thought that 31% of people are deficient in one more nutrient.
In addition to serving as fuel for the body, and providing the protein necessary to repair and maintain it, having a healthy diet serves to provide the myriad of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that facilitate the vast number of biochemical processes in our body that sustain life. Vitamins and minerals are just as important as the calories that provide fuel. Getting enough of so many nutrients is a big deal!
In spite of this, it is estimated that 31% of Americans––almost one third!––are walking around with nutritional deficiencies.
This, sadly, is unsurprising, given the diet that many people in The United States consume. Generally, many people subsist on processed foods, sugary beverages, and food generally not resembling anything found growing or living in nature. Fruits, vegeagbltes, lean meats––whole foods in their natural state––are sadly largely missing from many people’s diets. Yet, these are precisely the foods we should be consuming in abundance on a regular basis if we are to meet the daily requirements of vitamin consumption.
The modern food landscape, sadly, has all but eliminated a broad spectrum of nutrition from the foods most people eat every day. Nutrient dense foods have been scrapped in lieu of foods high in sugar, salt, fat, and simple carbohydrates. Instead of being packed with vitamins and minerals, these are loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and dangerous artificial fats. It is no wonder so many of us experience a poor level of health.
Research has identified 5 of the most common nutrient deficiencies:
Important for heart health, brain health, and energy production, B6 is a nutrient our bodies does not produce, so we must glean it from our diets. Needs range from 1.3–2.0mg per day depending on age and sex. Good food sources of B6 include chicken, spinach, and salmon. You might be deficient in B6 if you experience: rashes, depression, tongue swelling, fatigue, cracked lips and a weak immune system.
Important for heart and respiratory health, it is recommended that people get between 2.4-2.8mcg of B12 per day. Good sources of B12 include eggs, beef, salmon, and tuna. You might be deficient if you experience irritability, fatigue, sore tongue and mouth sores, numbness and tingling in your hands and feet.
Many Americans are thought to be lacking in Vitamin D, but this nutrient is important for bone health and immune health. Your skin produces vitamin D in the presence of the sun, but it is also important to get some from food sources. Salmon is a good source of vitamin D. 15-20mcg per day is recommended depending on your age. Deficiency symptoms include, fatigue, muscle weakness, back pain, and frequent infections.
Iron is an important part of red blood cells. Women need more iron than men, 18mg per day and 27mg per day if you are pregnant. Men only need 8mg. Beef, chicken and eggs are all good sources of iron. If you experience fatigue, muscle cramps, or brain fog, you may be deficient on iron.
Calcium is important for heart health, nerve health, and maintain healthy bones. 1,000-1,200mg per day is recommended depending on your age. Yogurt is a good sources of calcium. Calcium deficiencies can lead to muscle cramps and pains, heart rhythm problems, and osteoporosis.