In a fast paced world full of rigid schedules, we often end up eating the same things over and over again because it is easy and we do not have to think about it. Consuming the same foods along with the daily environmental stressors can create dangerous nutrient deficiencies.
Nutrient deficiencies cannot only make you feel sluggish but they can cause inflammation increasing your risk for chronic diseases, heart issues, autoimmune diseases and even weight gain.
Three Of The Most Common Nutrients That The Typical American Is Deficient In Are Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body. It is used in energy production, nerve and muscle activity, detoxification, blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, and bone health.
Most people are unaware that it is one of the most common deficiencies in the United States, it is estimated that 80 percent of people are deficient of this vital mineral.
Common Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency (Also Known As Hypomagnesaemia) Include:
- Tight muscles that will not loosen up
- Nervous and anxious energy
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome or aches
- Poor Digestion
- High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
- Kidney and liver damage
- A precursor to nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium
- PMS symptoms worsen
- Disrupted mood and irritability
- Decreased bone density
- ED (Erectile dysfunction)
The RDA for Magnesium According To The NIH (National Institute of Health) Is As Follows:
- Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
- 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
- 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
- 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
- 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
- 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
- 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
- Adults 31 years and older: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
- Pregnant women: 350–360 milligrams
- Women who are breastfeeding: 310–320 milligrams
Food sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, spinach (provides 49% of daily value in just one cooked cup), Swiss chard, broccoli, brussel sprouts, bananas, avocados, nuts, almonds, cashews, legumes, black beans, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, and some whole grains. If a food naturally contains dietary fiber then it also most likely contains magnesium. Fortified foods like cereal provide magnesium but it is best to get it from the natural sources listed above.
Supplementation is also a great consideration; toxicity of magnesium is very rare. If your body has too much it typically gets rid of it through loose stool. 200-500mg of magnesium is recommended daily.
Vitamin D has a long list of functions, including: bone health, blood pressure regulation, glucose balance, immune health, mental health, and weight management. As most may know already the main source of vitamin D is from sun (20-30 min every day between 10 am and 2 pm is optimal.)
Common Signs Of A Vitamin D Deficiency Include
You Suffer From Depression Or Sadness More Then Usual – Vitamin D helps with depression and blues.
You Have Darker Skin – This is simply because the pigment in your skin does a better job at filtering out vitamin D and you need more time in the sun to absorb it.
You Are An Individual Who Is Over 50 Years Old – This population is not out in the sun as much and the kidneys are not as efficient at converting the vitamin D into the form that the body uses to function properly.
You Have Digestion Issues – Leaky gut is one of the main causes of most nutrient deficiencies including vitamin D; the distress causes you to get rid of the vitamin before utilizing it for absorption.
The optimal range of vitamin D should be between 50-70 ng/ml. Food sources of vitamin D include; egg yolks, fatty fish, dairy products and fortified grains. The best source is the sun.
You Are In The Overweight, Obese Or Extremely Lean Population – Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so if you are overweight with excessive adipose (fatty tissue) your body needs more vitamin D due to the fatty tissue “sucking it up,” and if you are lean your body may not have enough fatty tissue to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Supplements are highly recommended to those who have low vitamin D levels in addition to the foods mentioned above and time in the sun. A basic rule of thumb is approximately 1000 IU of vitamin D per 25 pounds of body weight (i.e. A 125 lb. person would take 5000 IU per day) unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Vitamin A is the name of a group of vitamins that are fat-soluble. Vitamin A boosts the immune system, it is critical for vision, and overall cellular communication, specifically between the heart, lungs, kidneys and other vital organs.
Signs That You May Be Deficient In Vitamin A
Those at higher risk for a vitamin A deficiency include pregnant or lactating women, infants born prematurely, and those who have cystic fibrosis, Cohn’s or celiac disease.
Alcoholism, digestion issues, zinc deficiency and pancreatic disease can affect how the body absorbs vitamin A. A deficiency can lead to night blindness, macular degeneration and increase your risk of cancer due to its critical role over cellular growth and communication.
The most important provitamin A is beta-carotene and retinol, which is a plant pigment antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A. You may deficient in vitamin A if you have dry rough skin, a poor immune system and suffer from the flu, pneumonia, or bronchitis.
The RDA for vitamin A is given in the form of retinol activity equivalents, which is 700-900 mcg.
The food sources of vitamin A include liver, fatty fish, milk, eggs, orange and yellow vegetables, cantaloupe, apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach, mangos, broccoli, tomato products, fruits, fortified dairy, fortified grains, and some vegetable oils. Most multi-vitamins contain vitamin A in the form of retinol and beta-carotene.
In order to ensure that you receive optimal amounts of vitamin A, eat a variety of fatty fish, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
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