We need a certain amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients on a daily basis, as they are critical to biological processes in the human body. Given the amount of food the average American consumes, it is surprising to think that we might have any problem getting the appropriate nutrients.
Deficiencies Almost Everyone Has
Folate Deficiency: Folate plays an important role in the production of DNA and other generic material, as well as in cell division and synthesis.
Symptoms of folate deficiency include changes in the color of hair, skin, and nails, fatigue, and mouth sores
Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is a mineral needed for proper thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. Additionally, it is crucial to bone health, brain development, metabolic regulation, and growth.
Symptoms of iodine deficiency include weight gain, trouble breathing and shortness of breath, enlarged thyroid gland, and increased heart rate.
Magnesium Deficiency: Magnesium is needed for countless bodily functions, such as nerve signaling, brain health, enzymatic reactions, and more. Magnesium deficiency, which is very common these days, has been associated with diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, and nausea.
Calcium Deficiency: Calcium is important for bone health and maintenance. But, it is also crucial to nerve transmission. Symptoms of calcium deficiency include bone fragility, muscle cramps, and abnormal heart rhythm.
The best sources of calcium include boned fish, whole milk and dairy, and dark green veggies.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Vitamin B-12 is needed for proper brain and nerve function as well as for the production of DNA. According to Harvard Health Publishing, vegetarians and vegans are at the highest risk of developing B-12 deficiency because plants do not produce the nutrient.
Symptoms of B-12 deficiency may include: memory loss, hallucinations, paranoia, numbness in the feet, hands, or legs; dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and a swollen, inflamed tongue.
Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D is needed for skin and bone health as well as for nerve transmission through the body. Exposure to sunlight is the best way to acquire vitamin D, because it is created from cholesterol produced by the skin.
Vitamin D deficiency affects 82% of people with dark skin; 74% of elderly individuals, and 42% of U.S.adults.