There are foods that help many vitamin and mineral deficiencies and therefore combat many health problems. If you don’t eat right, you don’t get the right nutritional requirements for your body to heal and be healthy all the time!
Many so-called healthy diets today, leave gaps in specific vitamin and mineral nutrition for the body to function properly. This could lead to nutritional and vitamin deficiencies which harm your health, both mentally and physically.
7 Nutritional Deficiencies and Foods To Add To Your Diet
The following 7 nutritional deficiencies and their symptoms are the most common. Accompanying each deficiency is a list of the foods you can target for replacing the missing nutrient, mineral or vitamin. Remember that in most cases a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish like salmon or mackerel, and whole grains can deliver a complete nutritional profile.
- Iron deficiency symptoms – Pale skin, thin hair and constant fatigue.
This is the most common nutritional deficiency. Iron is referred to as a vitamin, although it is not. It is a mineral which helps your body make red blood cells. A low-iron diet means your body can’t deliver oxygen properly.
- Foods to Eat – Eat beef, beans, oysters and spinach to improve your iron intake.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms – Numb feet, legs and hands, balance problems, fatigue, swollen tongue, paranoia and loss of memory.
Vitamin B12 is a vital component in the production of DNA. It is also important for manufacturing your brain’s signal sending system. Vegans often have a vitamin B12 deficiency. A B12 supplement may be necessary.
- Foods to Eat – A diet rich in chicken, fish, eggs, milk and yogurt is the answer to providing this necessary nutrient.
- Magnesium deficiency symptoms – Weak appetite, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, drastic personality changes and muscle cramps.
Magnesium helps you produce energy. It is also important for bone health. It is also helpful for those suffering with anxiety and stress as it is a relaxant. Some medications cause a low level of magnesium.
- Foods to Eat – Spinach, almonds, black beans, peanuts and cashews are extremely high in magnesium.
- Calcium deficiency symptoms – Fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, weak appetite and muscle cramps (symptoms are often vague).
Calcium is linked to bone health. It is also crucial for proper nerve and muscle functioning. It has always been thought that dairy products are all you need. You may have heard that two or three servings of yogurt or milk a day provides all the calcium you need. However, your body needs a balance of magnesium and calcium for calcium to be ‘absorbed and utilised’ by the body.
Fir people with osteoporosis, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium are needed together to build strong bones.
- Foods to Eat – Cheese and dark leafy greens, such as kale and broccoli deliver plenty of calcium as well. Other foods include bok choy, almonds, fortified tofu, green beans and salmon.
- Vitamin D deficiency symptoms – Aching muscles, weak bones, chronic weakness and fatigue (symptoms are often vague).
As I said, vitamin D is important for proper bone health. Just 15 minutes of exposure from sunshine on your skin triggers your body to manufacture all the vitamin D you need each day. You also need the sun for your liver to function properly and help with your cholesterol.
- Foods to Eat – Food sources for vitamin D include eggs, cheese, yogurt, soy milk, beef liver and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
- Potassium deficiency symptoms – Lack of strength, abnormal heartbeat, weight loss and constipation.
Potassium is crucial if your heart, kidneys and major organs are going to work properly. Eating disorders, kidney disease and diarrhea are some known causes of potassium deficiency.
- Foods to Eat – Bananas, many vegetables, beans, peas and whole grains are potassium rich.
- Vitamin C deficiency symptoms – Bleeding gums, bruising easily, dry, brittle hair, nosebleeds, inability to fight infection.
Vitamin C helps boost your immune system and is important because it is related to healthy growth and repair of tissues throughout your body.
- Foods to Eat – Oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit, watermelon, broccoli, green and red peppers, spinach and tomatoes all deliver high quantities of vitamin C.
The above 7 vitamins and minerals are the most common vitamins and minerals lacking in most people’s diets. You can always take a multi-vitamin supplement, however it is better to receive your necessary nutrients and minerals from nature’s food sources!
Whenever possible, eat raw, fresh foods. Fruits and vegetables with as little packaging and processing are packed full of all the vitamins and minerals you need. Eat whole grains and lean meat in addition to fruits and vegetables and it is easy to enjoy a nutritionally perfect diet.
If you look at the image above (which I am happy for you to share!) you will see that certain ‘colored’ food groups help with certain health areas.
- White Foods – Help the immune system, protection of the stomach, low cholesterol, healthy heart and healthy gut.
- Yellow and Orange Foods – Help with low cholesterol, healthy heart, healthy joints, eye protection and preventing cancer.
- Red Foods – Help with healthy heart, healthy blood vessels, skin protection, cellular rejuvenation and preventing cancer.
- Purple Foods – Help with healthy heart, healthy blood vessels, improved memory, cellular rejuvenation and protection of the urogenital system.
- Green Foods – Help with the protection of the stomach, healthy bones, eye protection, immune system and preventing cancer.
As always, whatever foods you to choose to eat for your health, moderation and variety is the key. Add some of these foods to your grocery list and eat daily and you won’t have problems with vitamin and mineral deficiencies or other health problems.
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