How to know when your body is lacking these 5 nutrients – Lack of #4 and #5 can lead to death
A balanced diet can improve symptoms because it contains complete nutrients. Before the early 1900s, people didn’t know that vitamins existed or that a lack of them could contribute to disease. Once scientists made that connection, though, the food supply began to change. Beginning in the 1920s, for example, salt became fortified with iodine to prevent goiter, an enlarged thyroid causing symptoms including fatigue , weight gain and decreased body temperature. In the 1940s, milk was fortified with vitamin D to reduce the incidence of rickets, which caused children to have bowed legs and knocked knees.
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Fast-forward 75 years and deficiencies still exist, just different ones for different reasons. Today, people are consuming foods high in calories, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. Many of these foods are highly processed and lack an abundance of nutrients needed to grow and thrive. In particular, most people are lacking vitamins A, C and D, calcium, fiber, magnesium and potassium, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Adolescent and premenopausal females tend to lack iron.
The goal is to get in the nutrients sweet spot – not too little and not too much. (Too much of certain nutrients can cause health problems, too.)
Here are some of the most common nutrients you may be lacking and how you can get your fill:
1. Vitamin D
A lack of vitamin D in adults can lead to osteomalacia, a condition in which bones begin to soften. It can also worsen osteoporosis, which leads to brittle bones. Because it’s easy to overdose on vitamin D, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test before taking vitamin D supplements.
Foods providing vitamin D: egg yolks, fortified cow’s milk, fortified cereals, fatty fish