It may sound strange to think of anyone in the US as being nutrient deficient. We are a country where food is cheap and bountiful, one would think nutrient deficiencies were rare.
However, at least 1/3 of the population (children and adults) in the US are deficient in at least one vitamin. This is even though the average American diet consists of over 3,000 calories.
So, how is it possible that Americans are nutrient deficient when they have plenty to eat?
Calories consumed don’t equal nutrients. Nearly half of the calories Americans consume come from nutrient barren foods (think processed foods, carbs, sugar, sodas, etc.).
Although Americans aren’t starving for food, many of them are starving for nutrients.
Read below to learn more about nutrient deficiency, why it’s important for your health, and what you can do about it such as supplements for general health.
Health Consequences of Vitamin Deficiency
Nutrient deficiency can have many different symptoms and health consequences depending on what nutrients you are deficient in. For example, a lack of vitamin A weakens the immune system and leads to night blindness.
Not enough phosphorus can make it difficult for your body to fight oxidative stress, which is linked to cancer. Vitamin D deficiency, the most common vitamin deficiency for both adults and teens, impairs immunity and increases vulnerability to osteoporosis, autoimmune illness, metabolic disorder, and diabetes.
As we consider the wide-ranging occurrence of nutritional deficiencies and their medical implications, it becomes clear that the widespread situation of “fed yet nutrient deprived” could likely be a major contributing factor to the epidemic of chronic disease in the United States.
4 Ways To Avoid Vitamin Deficiency
While nutrient deficiencies can cause serious health problems, the solution is rather easy. Improving your vitamin and nutrient levels is a matter of simple lifestyle changes. With consistency, your nutrient levels will improve over time.
Below are 4 ways to avoid vitamin deficiency.
1. Eat a Variety of Foods
Your best source of vitamins and minerals comes from the foods you eat, but not all foods have everything you need. Therefore, you must eat a variety of different foods in different food groups to get the nutrients your body needs to function properly.
Fruits, vegetables, and plant foods are some of your best sources of most vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, folate, and more. Meanwhile, meats, fish, and dairy are your best sources of vitamin D, iron, and omega fatty acids.
Ideally, each meal should contain something from each food group. Only then can you be sure you are getting a variety of nutrients your body needs.
2. Avoid Eating Too Many Processed Foods
Most processed foods are made with fillers and additives that pack very little nutrient density. Foods like white bread, cookies, crackers, sugary cereals, candy, sodas, and fast food are examples of calorie-dense foods with few nutrients.
These foods are designed to feed your taste buds, not your body. The more a food has been processed, the fewer nutrients it’s likely to have. Sometimes even overcooking can deplete a food’s nutrients.
Also, according to this dentist who does dental implants in Newmarket, processed foods are detrimental to your dental health due to their high sugar content.
In addition, processed foods may lead to overeating or bingeing. When you fill up on nutrient sparse foods, no matter how much of them you eat, your body isn’t satisfied. Your body craves nutrients, which makes you crave foods to get those nutrients.
If you don’t give your body what it needs, the cycle will continue.
Avoid eating processed foods when you can and stick to natural, whole foods closest to their original form.
3. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamin supplements are both natural and lab-made nutraceuticals designed to treat vitamin deficiencies. Including them in your daily regimen can help to increase your nutrient intake.
Vitamin supplements aren’t made to replace food, your main source of nutrients, but they can help fill in where your diet lacks. In some cases, nutrients may be more bioavailable in supplement form than when consumed through diet.
Taking a daily multivitamin is an easy way to supplement your diet and ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. However, make sure you get your multivitamin from a reputable source, such as Zen Nutrients.
It’s important you choose your vitamin supplements wisely as the industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning you don’t always know what you’re getting. Zen Nutrients is a natural supplement company that offers a variety of quality multivitamins made from natural ingredients and formulated in an FDA-registered lab.
When it comes to vitamin supplement quality, you want only the very best.
4. Get Your Blood Work Done
Most people don’t know they’re nutrient deficient, let alone what they’re deficient in. The only way to truly assess your nutrient deficiency is to get your blood work done.
Having your blood drawn and analyzed will point you in the right direction toward what supplements you need more of or those you may need less of.
If getting your blood work isn’t possible, then stick with a high-quality, high-potency multivitamin supplement.
Avoiding Nutrient Deficiency–The Takeaway
A vitamin deficiency can have serious consequences for your health, so it’s important to take steps to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Eating more nutrient-dense foods, taking a quality multivitamin supplement, and getting your blood work analyzed are simple steps you can take to avoid nutrient deficiency and stay healthy.