As an American, we are bombarded with weight loss programs, low-fat, low carb meals and gluten free advertising everyday. We focus so much on what’s being taken out of our food so that its “healthier” that we rarely think about what key nutrients we are missing in our everyday diet. There are specific nutrients that we are missing in our daily diet that overtime has lead us to be critically nutrient deficient. These deficiencies have led to become chronically ill, more susceptible to disease formation and have hindered our everyday quality of life.
What is a nutrient deficiency? What happens to your body when it deprived from key nutrients?
Nutritional deficiencies, also known as malnutrition, are the result of your body not getting enough of the nutrients it needs. Sometimes when we hear the word “malnutrition” we think of starving kids in third world countries but malnutrition actually hits much closer to home. 70% of American’s are malnourished and lack a healthy diet.
Here are a couple of things that can happens to your body and health when you lack key nutrients.
- Reduced muscle and tissue mass
- Decreased stamina and energy
- Breathing difficulties and a higher chance of respiratory infection
- Craving unhealthy and inedible materials
- Poor libido (sex drive)
- Fertility problems
- Lowered immune system and increased chance of infection
- Heightened chance of cancer and other cellular related diseases
Now we will talk about the top 8 nutrients Americans are deficient in and what foods you can introduce in your diet that can help your body become more balanced and healthy.
Vitamin D is an essential part of our diet because it helps strengthen our bones and prevent multiple conditions like diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, glucose intolerance and countless others. Low blood levels of vitamin d have also been associated with:
- Increased chance of developing a cardiovascular disease
Adding Vitamin D Into Your Diet
Vitamin D is best absorbed through the sun but if you live in a place with limited sun exposure 400 IU is the recommended daily dose. 30 minutes of sun a day is the recommended amount if you choose to go the natural route. You can also get a vitamin d spray for spraying under your tongue from Dr. Mercola here. It’s easier for vegans to use the spray above because most vitamin d sources are animal based.
4 Foods that contain Vitamin D:
- Fatty fish (herring, sardines etc.)
- Mushrooms (lighter colored)
- Pure Organic Orange juice with no additives (or a lot of oranges!)
- Egg yolk
Calcium is essential for maintaining health bone and teeth but the body also uses calcium in other parts of the body such as in nerve and muscle functioning and blood clotting. Low blood levels of calcium have been associated with:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle spasms
- Increased blood pressure
- Tooth Decay
- Brittle bones
Adding Calcium Into Your Diet
Women 19 to 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of dietary calcium per day. Women 51 and older should get 1,200 milligrams. Men should take 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day and 1,200 milligrams a day after age 70.
5 Foods that contain Calcium:
- Collard greens
- Black eyed-peas
Magnesium is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium also aids in the absorption of calcium, relief from bronchospasm (constricted airways) in the lungs, and improvement of parathyroid function. Low blood levels of magnesium have been associated with:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Nausea an vomiting
Adding Magnesium Into Your Diet
The recommended daily dose of elemental magnesium is 400 mg per day. It is estimated that up to 80% of Americans are deficient in Magnesium. Magnesium can be taken in powder, food or capsule form. The doses vary depending on your specific needs, If you are treating depression, anxiety, insomnia or any other mood disorders, its recommended that you take more than 1,000 mg per day. You can get magnesium in your body simply through a magnesium spray or you can also get a magnesium supplement known as natural calm here.
6 Foods that contain Magnesium:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seed
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system and helps prevent many eye and skin disorders. Low blood levels of Vitamin E have been associated with:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Abnormal eye movements
- Unsteady walking
- Loss of muscle mass
Adding Vitamin E Into Your Diet
15 milligrams a day is the recommended amount. You can get a vitamin E supplement from Dr. Mercola here.
5 Foods that contain Vitamin E:
- Sunflower seeds
Vitamin K is essential for normal blood clotting. It also appears to play a crucial role in bone mineralization and cell growth. Falling short may cause you the following symptoms:
- Easy bruising
- Excessive bleeding from wounds
- Brittle bones
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
- Blood in stool and urine
Adding Vitamin K Into Your Diet
Women need 90 micrograms a day. Men need 120 micrograms a day. You can get a vitamin k supplement here, or get it in your diet.
5 Foods that contain Vitamin K:
- Basil (dried)
- Kale (cooked)
- Brussel sprouts (cooked)
It is estimated that 44% of Americans aren’t getting enough Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight, healthy intestinal cells, and immune function. Low blood levels of Vitamin A have been associated with:
- Night blindness
- Diminished immune system function
- Difficulty fighting infections
Adding Vitamin A Into Your Diet
Adult women need 700 milligrams a day. Men need 900 milligrams. You can take a vitamin a supplement or get vitamin a in your diet.
5 Foods that contain Vitamin A:
- Sweet potato’s
- Butternut squash
Potassium is essential for regulated blood pressure, prevention of heart and kidney disorders, lowered chance of anxiety and stress, as well as enhanced muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and proper functioning nervous system. Low blood levels of Potassium have been associated with:
- Increased risk of kidney stones
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Abnormal heart Rhythms
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or numbness
Adding Potassium Into Your Diet
Adults should get for 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.
5 Foods that contain Potassium:
- Apricots (dried)
- White beans
Vitamin C is not only support our immune system, it also helps detoxify our body, promotes healing of all of our cells, and allows us to cope with stress. It also supports the good bacteria in our gut while destroying detrimental bacteria and viruses, neutralizing harmful free radicals, removing heavy metals and protecting us from pollution. Low blood levels of Vitamin C have been associated with:
- Tender gums
- Tooth loss
- Sunken eyes
Adding Vitamin C Into You Diet
Men need 90 milligrams a day and Women need 75 milligrams a day. Camu camu is a berry that grows in the amazon floodplains and is the richest food source of vitamin c on the planet. You can get camu camu berry powder on amazon to add to smoothies or juices.
5 Foods that contain Vitamin C:
- Citrus fruits (lemon, orange, lime etc.)
- Camu Camu Berry
Incorporating a couple of these nutrients into your diet will not only benefit you immediately but will help you maintain a healthy mind and body as you age. There is nothing worse then not enjoying life of diminished health and illnesses. Aches, pains, anxiety, depression and weak bones are not just a side effect of aging, they are a direct cause of being nutritional deficient and lacking these important vitamins in minerals as part of a diet. You can live the rest of your life disregarding the signs your body is giving you to change your diet or you can take action and prevent future illnesses so you can live a happy, whole and fulfilled life.