Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies

In the United States, a foundational requirement for optimal nutrition is by eating a balanced whole-food diet. It is quite often difficult to get the sufficient amounts of both vitamins and minerals if you don’t eat real food. Where and how your food is grown influences your nutritional intake. The soil quality is just one example that influences the quality of your food. Your body’s ability to absorb and metabolize nutrients is also influenced by your age and certain health conditions you might have. These can raise your risk for deficiencies in both vitamins and minerals.

Some of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies suggested from studies by the U.S. and the U.K. are vitamins D, E, A, C, magnesium and calcium.

The following nutrient deficiencies are possibly the most important to have an impact on your health: vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin C, animal-based omega-3, vitamin K2 and potassium. The majority of problems stem from a lack of oily fish, nuts, seeds, fermented foods and fresh vegetables in your daily diet.

Animal-based omega-3 fats and DHA deficiencies are associated with an increased risk of death from all causes. Omega-3 has been revealed as the sixth biggest killer of Americans. Even when taking supplements, the nutrient deficiencies are still common. By optimizing your vitamin D, it can go a long way toward improving your health. However, before adding vitamin D, please get your vitamin D blood levels drawn so that you do not harm your liver by possibly overload. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and if you get too much, the liver stores it and you can possibly have liver problems. Liver failure can happen if there is a large overload.

Magnesium plays an important role in your body’s detoxification processes, preventing headaches, managing cardiovascular health, reducing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. It is estimated by the experts that 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. There are signs and symptoms of 100 factors that will help you decide if you might be deficient, and all are listed in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book, “The Magnesium Miracle.”

Keep your potassium balance for optimal health by watching your sodium intake. By eating mostly processed foods, you are virtually guaranteed to end up with an imbalance. The ratio of sodium to potassium is one of the most important risk factors for managing a normal cardiovascular function. More potassium-rich foods are able to better manage this.

photo of different kinds of vegetables

Foods that are rich in potassium are white beans, spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, oranges, red grapefruit, plums, prunes, raisins, bananas, artichokes, lima beans, acorn squash, nuts and seeds, apricots, avocado, garlic and bee pollen.

Your brain health requires vitamin E. An estimated 81% of 2 to 8 year olds, 98% of teenagers and 95% of adults are at risk for this deficiency. Vitamin E deficiency may affect the brain and studies have found it may help delay the loss of cognitive function.

Vitamins A & D work in tandem and evidence suggests that without vitamin D, vitamin A can be ineffective or even toxic. Your calcium intake must be balanced with vitamin D, magnesium and K2. Excessive amounts of calcium and lack of magnesium can lead to muscle spasms and possible heart attacks. Too much calcium and a lack of vitamin K2 will cause hardening of the arteries and softening of the bones. Too much vitamin D and a lack of vitamin K2 are what produce the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification of the arteries. Supercharge your diet with nutrients such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds and fruits and vegetables. Choose wisely now for a healthier future.

Dr Fredda Branyon