- Eating foods with empty calories can make you nutrient deficient
- Calcium deficiency is common in elderly
- Vitamin D deficiency is also quite common
Nutritional deficiencies occur when your body is not able to absorb nutrients from the food you eat, or when you are constantly eating foods with little or no nutritional value. Nutrient deficiencies can cause a variety of problems in the body, ranging from digestion problems to skin disorders, dementia, bone deformities, mental health problems and much more. In this article we are going to talk about some of the most common nutritional deficiencies and what you can do about them.
Most common nutritional deficiencies and how you can prevent them
1. Iron deficiency: Yes, iron deficiency is very common, especially among young women. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia, a condition which can make you feel tired and weak. Anaemia has the capability of weakening your immune system and impairing brain function. You can deal with iron deficiency by eating iron-rich foods like spinach, legumes, tofu, beans, eggs, shrimp and brown rice to name a few.
2. Iodine deficiency: Iodine deficiency is common in countries where soil and food supply has low iodine levels. The body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency can result in hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body is unable to make enough thyroid hormones. Severe iodine deficiency may result in mental retardation and developmental abnormalities in children.
3. Vitamin D deficiency: One of the top reasons for Vitamin D deficiency being too common is people spending most of (or even all) of their time indoors. The sunshine vitamin is synthesised in the body in the presence of sunlight. Deficiency of Vitamin D can also result in muscle weakness, bone loss, increased risk of fractures and soft bones in children. It may be difficult to get Vitamin D from food sources. Nonetheless, it is better to include Vitamin D rich foods or foods fortified with Vitamin D in your diet. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, eggs, mushrooms, oysters, shrimp, milk and dairy products to name a few.
4. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Lack of enough red blood cells in the body is the reason why Vitamin B12 deficiency is so common. Insufficient red blood cells means that the body does not get enough oxygen. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause blood disorders and impair brain function. Fatty fish, dairy products and eggs are foods that can provide you Vitamin B12.
5. Calcium deficiency: This deficiency is more common in young females and elderly. Deficiency of calcium puts you at higher risk of osteoporosis in old age. To increase your calcium intake, you should include more dairy, almonds, seeds, leafy greens, beans and lentils in your diet.
All in all, a healthy and balanced diet which includes seasonal, local and home-cooked foods can keep all such nutritional deficiencies at bay. Make sure that consumption of junk foods, processed and packaged foods is kept to bare minimum. Aerated drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages also need to be kept off the table. Practice portion control and avoid overeating to stay healthy and prevent weight gain.
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