Did you know that 10% of people in America have a nutritional deficiency?
At first glance, this number might not even seem that high. But when you consider the uprise of healthy eating and the amount of information that’s so readily available, you see that there’s no reason for this to be today’s reality.
And it shouldn’t be, as nutritional deficiencies can have very damaging consequences, both in the short and long term.
If you never consider which organic vitamins and minerals you need when you go grocery shopping, it’s time to change that. And this article is the perfect starting point!
7 Essential Organic Vitamins and Minerals
The best way to stay out of that 10 % is by educating yourself on what your body needs and how you can get it.
Below, you’ll find seven micronutrients you’ve most likely heard about before, that are essential for your mental and physical health.
If you discover that you’re deficient on any, supplementing can be a good idea. You’ll find many brands that sell exactly what you need, like the Dr. Joel Wallach products, for example. Take the supplements as instructed by your doctor, and you’ll get your health back in no time.
Note: the recommended daily intake you see for each micronutrient below is for the average American.
1. Vitamin D
When you think of vitamin D, you probably think about the sun. And rightly so, as sun rays are one way of getting it.
Think about the time you spend in the office or at home taking care of the kids and relaxing in front of the TV. How much time do you spend under the sun?
It’s crucial to get enough of this vitamin, because it reduces the risk of flu, lowers cancer progression, and keeps your bones healthy. It’s also particularly crucial for people with diabetes, as it effectively regulates insulin levels and helps manage the disease.
Recommended daily intake: 15 mcg.
Signs of deficiency: Bone or muscle pain, hair loss, fatigue, and early symptoms of depression.
Sources: Broccoli, tuna, eggs, salmon, and skim milk.
Magnesium is a mineral that allows for hundreds of enzymes in your organism to work correctly. It helps relax your muscles, reduces PMS symptoms, reduces the risk of osteoporosis due to menopause, and minimizes anxiety levels.
Moreover, magnesium helps your body absorb calcium. In other words, not getting enough of this mineral might result in a double deficiency.
Recommended daily intake: 380 mg.
Signs of deficiency: Muscle weakness or twitches, fatigue, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmia.
Sources: Nuts, legumes, leafy greens, mineral water, and potatoes.
We’ve all heard about how important it is to stay hydrated, and potassium helps your body do. Potassium regulates the fluid balance in your body.
Potassium allows more oxygen to get to your brain, boosting your neural activity. It’s also vital for your muscles. It strengthens them, helps them relax, improves their reflexes, and prevents you from getting painful cramps.
Recommended daily intake: 4,700 mg.
Signs of deficiency: Muscle weakness, anemia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and regular headaches.
Sources: Banana, chicken, potatoes, nuts, and avocados.
Throughout our childhood, we’re told about the importance of drinking milk to get enough calcium and grow strong muscles. There is some truth to that statement, as calcium is directly related to your bone density.
However, there are other sources of calcium that are getting increasingly relevant, as the dairy industry is declining.
Nevertheless, calcium is crucial for everyone. It helps keep your muscles and heart in a good state, as well as prevent blood clotting and relax your muscles.
Recommended daily intake: 1,000 mg.
Signs of deficiency: Cramps, spasms, brittle nails, hair loss, and irritated gums.
Sources: Milk, tofu, kale, fortified foods, seaweed, and salmon.
5. Vitamin B12
If you’re a vegan or even a vegetarian, we’re 99% sure you’ve heard about vitamin B12 before. This is because you can only get this vitamin through animal products. Therefore, many vegans need to take supplements.
Vitamin B12 prevents anemia, macular degeneration, and neuron loss. Besides, it improves your mood and boosts your energy.
Recommended daily intake: 2.4 mcg.
Signs of deficiency: Fatigue, loss of balance, dizziness, and mood swings.
Sources: Dairy products, fortified foods, meat, and eggs.
Iron is a mineral that stimulates your mental and physical performance, helps treat anemia, and boosts your immune system.
Iron is particularly important during pregnancy. The body needs more of it during that period, and not getting enough might lead to premature birth and impaired development of the baby.
If you donate blood regularly, you should pay special attention to your iron levels, as it’s common for regular blood donors to have anemia.
Recommended daily intake: 8 mg.
Signs of deficiency: Pale skin, chest pain, sore tongue, dizziness, and constant cold hands and feet.
Sources: Lentils, cashews, leafy greens, and tofu.
7. Vitamin A
Finally, vitamin A is essential to boost your immune system, develop strong bones, reduce acne, and prevent certain types of cancer.
Vitamin A also maintains the health of your eyesight. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to convert light into electrical signals to your brain, and you wouldn’t see correctly.
Recommended daily intake: 800 mcg.
Signs of deficiency: Night blindness, dry skin, throat infections, acne, and dry eyes.
Sources: Eggs, citrus fruits, cod liver oil, butter, and sweet potato.
Give Your Body What It Needs
When was the last time you got some blood tests?
No matter what type of diet you follow, it’s essential that you keep a close eye on your nutritional health. The truth is, deficiencies can affect anyone.
So, try to maintain a balanced diet, get blood work done at least once a year, and adjust your regimen accordingly. Beware of any warning signs that you might be missing some organic vitamins and minerals, and discuss supplementing with your doctor.
In other words, put your health first!
If you enjoyed this article and want to read more on nutrition, make sure to explore our blog further.