Are You Sick, or Nutrient Deficient?

We live in a pill-popping society. The first sign of trouble we’re reaching for a pill to make it all better. None of us want to feel sick, and a speedy recovery is often our top priority.  But there are two  things we have to keep in mind:

1. We may not be sick.

2. That pill may not cure us, just suppress our symptoms, only to return later.

In other words, we may actually have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency.

According to a report by the CDC, the U.S. population has good levels of vitamin A and folate in the body. However, some groups still need to increase their levels of vitamin D and iron.  The report also found that deficiency rates for vitamins and nutrients vary by age, gender, or race/ethnicity. For example, deficiency rates can be as high as 31 percent for vitamin D deficiency in non-Hispanic blacks.

With that said, it’s good to know what some symptoms are for vitamin deficiency.  Here are a few as an example:

Calcium deficiency symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • poor appetite

Potassium deficiency symptoms:

·         weight loss

·         muscle weakness

·         constipation

·         abnormal heart rhythm (in severe cases)

B12 deficiency symptoms: (severe)

·         numbness in the legs, hands, or feet

·         problems with walking and balance

·         anemia

·         fatigue

·         swollen, inflamed tongue

·         memory loss

·         paranoia

·         hallucinations

Iron deficiency symptoms:

·         extreme fatigue

·         weakness

·         cold hands & feet

·         brittle nails

·         unusual cravings (dirt, ice, starch)

·         poor appetite

Vitamin D. An estimated one billion people worldwide are deficient in this important nutrient.1  A few studies indicate a deficiency in this nutrient may be linked to the following:1,2

·         multiple Sclerosis

·         type 1 Diabetes

·         common cold

·         the flu

·         heart disease

·         bone fractures (in older adults)

·         head sweating

·         gluten sensitivity

·         inflammatory bowel disease

·         Crohn’s Disease

·         achy bones

Magnesium deficiency symptoms:3

·         loss of appetite

·         vomiting

·         fatigue

·         tingling

·         muscle contractions

·         cramps

·         seizures

·         abnormal heart rhythms

·         hypocalcemia

·         hypokalemia

Nutrient Dense Foods

This just a small sample of vitamin deficiency problems.  Are all ailments due to vitamin deficiencies? Of course not. However, they should not be automatically discounted either.

The foods we eat can either help us or hurt us. The key to good health is to eat a variety of fruits, veggies and drink plenty water. Here is a chart of top nutrient dense foods and their nutritional values:

Nutrient Dense Foods  Nutrients
Spinach Vitamins K, A, B2, B6, E, C, B1, omega-3 fats, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, copper, potassium, zinc, protein
Brussels sprouts Vitamins K, C B6, B1, B2, folate, omega -3 fats, copper, iron, pantothenic acid,

phosphorous, fiber, calcium, zinc

Avocados Vitamins K, B6, E, C, potassium, fiber, pantothenic acid, copper, folate
Almonds Vitamins E, B2, biotin, manganese, copper, fiber, magnesium, molybdenum
Tomatoes Vitamins C, K, B6, B3, B1, E, molybdenum, potassium, fiber, copper, magnesium, zinc, chromium, phosphorous
Sweet potatoes Vitamins A, C, B3, B1, B2, biotin, manganese, potassium, fiber, phosphorous, copper
Strawberries Vitamins C, B6, manganese, fiber, iodine, potassium, magnesium, omega 3-fats, folate, biotin, phosphorous
Turnip greens Vitamins K, A, C, E, B6, B2, B1, B3, omega-3 fats, folate, copper, fiber, calcium, iron, protein, manganese, potassium
Cauliflower Vitamins C, K, B6, B2, B1. B3, choline, omega-3 fats, potassium, protein, magnesium, fiber, manganese

In addition to eating these and countless other healthy foods, add herbs and spices to your diet. Herbs have been used for thousands as remedies for many ailments. Cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary and thyme are all popular herbs known for their natural healing properties.

Also, minimize the intake of soda and processed foods. These foods have little nutritional value and can increase the risk of having health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

A great way to get the nutrients you need is by consuming herbs and spices. Here a few of the most popular:

The foods we eat can either help us or hurt us. The body needs an adequate supply of nutrients to function properly and if it does not receive them, it can start to break down. Many times, these health issues don’t happen overnight: It may take years to see some of these symptoms. In addition to eating a healthy diet, go outside and get a dose of vitamin D daily.

If you’re not feeling well take a good look at your diet.  It just might be a vitamin deficiency and a change in diet may be just what the doctor ordered.

Want more great tips? Find other great ideas in my award winning book The 3 Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Fitness, and The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips For Hard Working Professionals. Available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and Audible versions.

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