Is your hair losing its elasticity, falling and thinning? Or are you having frequent bleeding in the gums as well as scaly patches on the skin? If you are experiencing such symptoms, it can only mean vitamin and mineral deficiency if not elongating age. The severity of these deficiencies can also be treated by vegan vitamin supplements like those by Vie, Gummies Garden, SmartyPants, or Nature Made. But unfortunately, these supplements cannot guarantee a hundred percent healthy outcome. The best way to get back on track is to consume a completely healthy and energizing diet.
Now let’s dig in deep. What exactly is a vitamin-deficient diet? It’s a term given to the long-term shortage of particular nutrients in the body that may or may not go unnoticed. Some people might not even be aware of the vitamins they lack, while most experience symptoms ranging from minor to severe. Following are the details about the most common vitamin deficiencies and how to get rid of them:
What is it?
Iron deficiency or anemia is the evident shortage of hemoglobin in the blood, causing red blood cells to diminish rapidly from the bloodstream. Hemoglobin ( Hb or hgb) contains iron, and it also gives the blood it’s red color.
- Scratchy or pale skin
- Short breath
- Weakness or constant tiredness
- Varying headaches
- Frail and fragile nails(easily breakable)
- Burning or pain in the tongue
- Intense fatigue
When diagnosed with iron deficiency, you should increase the consumption of iron-rich foods such as:
- Red meat.
- Leafy greens.
- Fortified cereals.
Doctors may recommend iron supplements, but it would be best to keep them as a last resort.
Vitamin D Deficiency
What is it?
It’s very much likely for you to be suffering from vitamin D deficiency if you live far from the equator or if your skin has a dark complexion that produces less vitamin D when in contact with sunlight. Vitamin D is very important for you to take in as it uses calcium from your diet to maintain healthy and strong bones as well as muscles. Skeletal deformities, soft bones in addition to rickets, osteoporosis, and frequent fractures are the outcome of vitamin D deficiency.
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cramps or muscle weakness
- Depression and mood swings
- Extreme fatigue
The cure for vitamin D deficiency is luckily an easy one. Increased exposure to sunlight and fatty fish and dairy products are the main components of a healthy, vitamin D deficiency-free lifestyle.
Plus, there’s an array of branded and effective vitamin D supplements available.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
What is it?
Each cell in the body needs vitamin B for various functions such as forming blood, helping the nervous system, or brain function. Mostly, vegetarians are diagnosed with cobalamin (vitamin B12 deficiency). That’s because this vitamin is present in animal products.
- Disturbed vision.
- Pale and yellowish skin
- Mouth ulcers
- Soreness or redness on the tongue
- Depression and mood swings
- Change in the pattern of walking or moving around
- Weakness and loss of will or appetite
For increasing the amount of vitamin B12 in your body, you must increase the intake of the following foods:
- Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and also low-fat milk
- Various kinds of seafood, for instance, salmon, trout and tuna fish
- Lean meat, for example, liver, beef and chicken
- Fortified cereals
Supplements, B12 injections and high dose oral B12 are the alternatives. But your priority should always be the foods (listed above) rich in vitamin B12.
What is it
Iodine deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies that affect less than half of the world’s population. Iodine regulates the metabolic rate and balances thyroid function by producing thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormone manages growth, bone development, brain enhancement. Therefore, its deficiency can cause serious damage to your body. Especially in children, it may cause developmental abnormalities and retardation.
The common symptoms are
- The enlarged Thyroid gland called the goitre
- Shortness of breath
- Weight gain
- Increased Heart rate
The following dietary sources can give you an iodine boost. They are:
- Fish:85 gram gives 66% Dailly Value of Iodine
- Eggs: 1 large egg contains 16%of the daily value of Iodine
- Seaweed: seaweed is a good source of Iodine
- Dairy: only 245 grams of yogurt gives a natural boost to iodine
There are some countries that have made it mandatory to include iodine in salt, which has been successful in reducing iron deficiency cases in children and adults.
Apart from iodized salt, some vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be cured through vitamin supplements.
Vitamin deficiency occurs when the intake of vitamins has been put off for a long time, or your body has lost the ability to absorb them. There are two severities of vitamin deficiencies: primary deficiency and secondary deficiency. Primary deficiency is caused by less intake of a particular mineral or nutrient over a long time. Secondary deficiency is related to the malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.
Although there are various factors affecting the required level of minerals and vitamins in your body, you can avoid deficiency by eating a vitamin-rich diet containing meat, fruits, dairy and vegetables.
*Photos by August de Richelieu