Nothing is as good as obtaining your nutrients from real food. Unfortunately today our food is not as pure as it once was, nor is our soil as rich in nutrients as it once was. Add to that daily pollutants, a busy schedule, stress and illness, it is very common to have deficiencies in nutrients. Today I will cover the 5 most common deficiencies that have a massive impact on your health, your training performance, or even just day to day activities, and your fat loss goals. Have your GP perform blood tests to check your levels and supplement where required.
Magnesium is a mineral found in seaweed, fish, grapes, carrots, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, some beans, tomatoes, artichokes, sweet potato, and avocados to name a few. It is a mineral that is vastly reduced in our soils today, meaning that our food source is very deficient of this mineral. When our food source is deficient, it means we no longer obtain adequate levels from our food, therefore we need to supplement with it. Most people are deficient in magnesium to some degree. It is best to get tested to ensure you are taking the correct dose so that you are obtaining adequate levels.
· Helps you sleep better by improving the efficiency of the production of melatonin, our sleepy hormone. Magnesium also helps reduce cortisol that rises with stress and so magnesium helps a person relax more and sleep better.
· Magnesium helps the production of serotonin, our happy hormone which improves our mood.
· Magnesium helps muscles repair and recover more efficiently by helping in the production of Insulin-like Growth Factor, which helps muscles grow. It also helps in the production of energy stores in the muscles (ATP=Adenosine Triphosphate).
· It helps muscle relax, allowing the break down and distribution of lactic acid, which otherwise accumulates in the muscles causing pain and cramps. This makes it a perfect supplement for people who exercise and experience muscle soreness.
· It helps in the production and function of thousands of enzymes around the body which helps you digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
· Magnesium helps insulin work more efficiently distributing glucose around the body rather than allow it to build up in the blood stream.
· It works in conjunction with calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2 and a perfect balance of the four is required for optimal health.
· It is one of the crucial minerals to help in the improvement of bone density.
· It helps prevent heart attacks.
· It improves symptoms of Asthma.
· And helps regulate blood pressure.
Some of the signs that show you are deficient in magnesium are numbness and tingling, pain in the neck and back, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, changes in moods, muscle soreness and cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, and out of control cholesterol readings. Magnesium levels can be depleted in the body by prescription medication and fluoride, which is why filtered water is recommended.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is synthesized by your body, when you absorb the UV rays from the sun. 10-30 minutes of full sun exposure is enough each day. You can also obtain it from certain foods such as organic butter, pastured/free range eggs, fatty fish such as salmon or sardines, mushrooms, red meat and liver.
· Helps strengthen bones and teeth
· Helps strengthen your immune system
· Supports your muscles and nerves, so you can function better
Some of the signs you may be deficient include heart palpitations, lethargy or fatigue, mood swings, depression symptoms even if you don’t suffer depression, bone pain, muscle aches and pains, and muscle cramps.
Have your Vitamin D levels tested regularly, every 3-6 months to ensure you have adequate levels, particularly in the colder months where you will be exposed to less sunshine.
Great sources of iron include red meat, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, shellfish, liver, quinoa, and turkey.
· Iron is responsible for making hemoglobin which transports oxygen around your body.
Some of the signs you may be deficient are extreme fatigue, pale skin, dark circles under your eyes, mood swings, depression symptoms, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, light headedness, dizziness, weakness, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, pain in the chest.
Have you iron levels checked regularly every 3-6 months, particularly if you suffer with anemia.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that you can obtain from all citrus fruit, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and peppers, to name a few.
· Crucial for the repair and rejuvenation of all cells in the body.
· Vital to help your immune system.
· Helps absorb iron.
· Maintains health of bones, teeth and collagen.
· Helps wounds heal.
Severe deficiency of vitamin C can cause Scurvy, however in today’s day and age, this is extremely rare. Signs of less severe deficiency include lethargy, irritability, sores in the mouth, weakness nails, problems with teeth and gums, dry hairs and skin, and anemia.
It is not common to test for Vitamin C, and is safe to supplement if you are not sure if you are deficient. You cannot have too much vitamin C as your body will simply urinate it out if you have more than you need.
Great sources of zinc are read meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy (if you can tolerate it), eggs, mushrooms, asparagus, corn, oats, garlic, and broccoli, to name a few.
· Helps build your immune system.
· Enhances smell and taste.
· Maintains thyroid function.
· helps your wounds heal.
· Helps your blood clot.
You can have your zinc levels checked via a blood test, urine test or hair analysis. Just ask your doctor to check this for you.
Sings you are deficient in zinc include reduced immune function causing you to become ill easily and regularly, loss of appetite, hair loss, thyroid dysfunction, impotence, skin and eye lesions, feeling cold all the time, and vision problems, are the most common signs.
– Coach Terri