5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies and What to Do About Them
You may not know it, but a lack of key nutrients can be the reason why you feel fatigued, cranky, or lethargic. Many nutrients are absolutely essential for a healthy mind and body. The demands of modern life can make it hard to get all the nutrients you need in three meals a day. Because of this, some deficiencies are more common than others. Here’s what they are and exactly how to correct them: 1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is not just for healthier bones, research shows that it also plays a role in your immune function, insulin resistance, and blood pressure1. This deficiency is extremely common, especially if you live in a colder climate or don’t spend that much time in the sun. Although there are some foods that contain vitamin D, you’ll most likely want to consider supplementing with vitamin D. Research suggests that vitamin D3 is the most effective form. 2. Magnesium: You may have heard a lot about magnesium lately and for good reason. This mineral is used in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body and plays a role in the health of your heart, blood vessels, brain, bones, skeletal muscles, lungs, and pancreas2. Magnesium is most commonly referred to as the "relaxation mineral" because it helps the body handle stress and promotes GI regularity. 3. B vitamins: According to the Harvard School of Public Health, only a fraction of U.S. adults currently get the recommended daily intake of all B vitamins from their diets alone3. It can be a bit confusing to know which B vitamins are the most important and what combo you might need to take. Each one is different, but they all work together to support energy production and neurological function. We suggest taking a B-Complex vitamin because it contains all eight B vitamins your body needs. 4. Omega-3s: Doctors and scientists are getting behind the health benefits of the 'good' fats found in avocado, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. But of all the beneficial fats we should be consuming, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fish oils) might be the most important. Eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two primary omega-3s that support a healthy heart and brain function, inflammatory response, and blood sugar/triglycerides just to name a few4. 5. Calcium: Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium to function properly5. Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may help protect your body against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. A long-term deficiency can lead to dental changes, cataracts, alterations in the brain, and osteoporosis, which causes the bones to become brittle.
References: 1. What are the risks of vitamin D deficiency?, June 27, 2018 2. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease, 2015 Jan;95(1):1-46. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00012.2014. 3. Harvard School Of Public Health, Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 4. The evidence for α-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: Comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, 2014 Nov 14;5(6):863S-76S. doi: 10.3945/an.114.005850. Print 2014 Nov. 5. National Institue of health, Calcium, Fact Sheet For Consumers