Long ago, food was considered medicine. Everything was organic - used to heal disease, honor gods, and nourish bodies. Technology came along and took us to exciting new levels. Everything got faster and easier, unfortunately, so did our food.
Now, many of the healthy foods we buy are laced with chemicals. Technology has stepped into our kitchen; making food bigger, cheaper, and quicker. Whether food is being tampered with to lengthen shelf life or improve the food's appearance, we're getting less of the good stuff and more of the bad stuff.
Because of the convenience and availability factor of unhealthy food, most of us are not getting the amount of nutrients our body needs. According to an article in DSM.com, one in three Americans suffer from at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency. That might not sound like a big deal, but one deficiency in our health could have major overall effects. In no particular order, here are five deficiencies that women commonly have, their side effects, and a solution. Don’t worry fellas, there will be a follow-up article just for you.
Iron is tricky. Not enough can affect your energy levels, cause anemia, and weaken the immune system. But having too much is just as dangerous. It can induce cell damage, destroy the lining of blood vessels, promote cancer and heart attacks. Luckily you can find out your iron levels with a simple blood test. 20-80 ng/ml is a healthy amount of ferritin (blood cell protein that contains iron).
#2) Riboflavin (B2)
Riboflavin is found in milk, cheese, nuts, green vegetables, and enriched flour. Often grouped with B Complex vitamins; it prevents cervical cancer, migraine headaches, muscle cramps, burning feet syndrome, acne, and certain eye conditions. Here’s the recommended dosage according to The University of Maryland Medical Center:
Women, 19 years and older: 1.1 mg (RDA)
Pregnant women: 1.4 mg (RDA)
Breastfeeding women: 1.6 mg (RDA)
*Take between meals for best absorption.
#3) Vitamin D
Helps the body absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. It’s common to find calcium and vitamin D combined into one pill to insure absorption. Vitamin D promotes strong bones and teeth, keeps the mind alert and positive, reduces the risk of cancer, blocks radiation, and boosts the immune system. This is a powerful vitamin that you shouldn’t go without. The recommended daily amount is 600 IU for people from 1-70, and 800 IU for those over 70 years of age.
#4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Great for the brain, heart, and cholesterol levels. They are important for brain memory and performance. Different organizations recommend different amounts, but 500 mg is a good number to aim for. You can get this by eating two fatty fish meals per week.
*Great omega-3 article by Dr. Mercola. Read here
99 percent of the calcium in our bodies are in our bones and teeth. Women need 1,000 mg a day. If you’re over the age of 50, 1,200 mg is recommended. Dairy foods are a great start, but don’t stop there. Greens, fruit, legumes, and seafood all have calcium.
Of course, there are many more vitamins and minerals to be aware of. In the interest of time, I chose to focus of five. Revive Life Lab has a great chart if you'd like to dig deeper. The most important thing is to become aware of your body and how you feel. Don’t settle for discomfort. Do some research, see a doctor, and live an optimal life!
Self Magazine - http://www.self.com/story/4-common-nutrient-deficiencies
Dr. Mercola - http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/19/most-common-nutrient-deficiencies.aspx
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