In today’s technologically-advanced society, many creations and cures have been found to prevent many illnesses that affect everyone around the world. However, even with all the advancements in medicine and technology, there are still some things that can’t be fixed unless you take extra measures to insure you stay healthy. Something so simple as a multivitamin can help prevent common aches and pains, but the bioavailability of a vitamin, in pill form, is low and some is even excreted in our urine.
Until we find a perfect way to make sure we get our daily dosages of vitamin and minerals, fruits and vegetables will always be the go-to for them all.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies affect almost every person on this earth to some degree, and are the cause of many minor and in some cases major problems. Our body needs specific vitamins like B12 and D, and specific minerals, like calcium, to function at its best. Without them, the body will suffer and have many side effects because of it.
Our body will survive on all the vitamins and minerals that are available, however there are some that we need more than others. Very simple signs that you are deficient in one or multiple vitamins and minerals are tiredness, soreness, fatigue, and weakness.
Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms
Here is a small list of very key vitamins and minerals that our body needs to reach peak performance, and the signs you need to watch out for to determine if you’re deficient in them.
- Calcium is a mineral responsible for helping our bones grow and keeping them as strong as possible. Without calcium you will experience severe muscle cramping along with high fatigue and loss of appetite°. A good way to make sure you hit your calcium is by drinking milk or eating anything with milk in it like cheese. ^
- Vitamin D, which coexists and cooperates with calcium to help strengthen your bones. In most cases signs of deficiency are just weakness in muscle and bones. The best way to make sure you hit your daily dose of vitamin D is to eat yogurt, or other milk products, just like calcium, since these two go hand in hand. ^
- Folic acid, which is mainly useful for pregnant women and is what prenatal vitamins are made up of. A deficiency in this vitamin causes a low count of red blood cells which affects the growth of the fetus since all its nutrients travel through the bloodstream. A very common and visible sign of low folate (folic acid) levels is a swollen tongue. A great way to make sure your levels are good is to eat oranges or beans. ^
- Vitamin B-12 helps with production of DNA and neurotransmitters in the brain. There are a lot of signs that can show a deficiency in this vitamin, such as numbness usually in the hands and feet, loss of memory, and high fatigue. The most beneficial way to keep normal doses of B-12 is to eat more meat , such as chicken. However if you’re vegan, which is very common to have a deficiency if you are, you can eat foods that have B-12 added to them, such as cereals or tofu. ^
- Iron helps produce red blood cells. Although many people don’t seem to think this is important, it is. Without a high enough level of iron in the body, your body cannot transport oxygen as effectively as it needs to. This leads to anemia, causing high levels of fatigue. A crucial way to obtain enough iron is to eat meat, spinach and kidney beans. ^
These are just a fraction of the vitamins and minerals we need to survive and function properly. There are other important ones such as potassium or vitamin A, but the five I listed are the most common and seem to cause the most effects if levels are not enough.
Although you can simply take a multivitamin, or take multiple ones for each certain vitamin or mineral, nothing will be as effective as real food. Making sure to eat very nutritious and all around balanced diet is the most effective and beneficial way to make sure you and your body are healthy and can perform at optimum levels, says Kate Patton, M.D.
If you think you don’t get enough fruits or vegetables in throughout the day, and can’t seem to eat enough, taking a multivitamin as a precaution and extra safety measure is always a great idea. Without vitamins and minerals our bodies would never be able to perform in the gym or perform every day, so do yourself a favor and make sure you eat right so you can train hard and thank yourself later down the road for doing so.