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Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are a critical component of good nutrition.
A vitamin is a more complex molecule, while a mineral is a single element in the periodic table. Vitamins are other essential nutrients the body needs in small amounts of work properly while minerals are specific kinds of nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly.
Eating a balanced whole-food diet is a fundamental requirement for optimal nutrition. Unfortunately, even if a person does eat well, how and where the food was grown can also influence the nutritional intake.
A deficiency often happens slowly over time and can be caused by a number of reasons. An increased need for vitamin and mineral, lack of vitamin and mineral in the diet, or difficulty absorbing the vitamin and mineral from food are some of the more common reasons.
Some of the common symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are as follows:
What types of vitamin and mineral deficiency are there?
Without vitamin and mineral, children develop birth defects, blindness and an inability to learn properly, among the other long-term disabilities. Here’s how to recognize some common vitamin and mineral deficiencies:
Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. It also supports proper function of your blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and hormones. Signs of severely low calcium include fatigue, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and a poor appetite. Natural sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and small fish with bones, beans, broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, tofu, cereals, juices, and peas.
This vitamin is also critical for bone health. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be vague- fatigue and muscle aches or weakness. It is mainly produced by the action of sunlight on the skin. To get enough vitamin D, three servings of fortified milk or yogurt daily and eating fatty fish such as salmon or tuna. People who don’t get much sun exposure are advised to take a vitamin D supplement.
Potassium helps the kidneys, heart, and other organs work properly. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include weight loss, muscle weakness, constipation, and in severe cases, an abnormal heart rhythm. For natural potassium sources, eat bananas, whole grains, milk, vegetables, beans, and peas.
More than half of the iron in your body is in red blood cells. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to your tissues. Iron deficiency develops slowly and can cause anemia. The symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include feeling weak and tired. To boost iron levels, eat iron-fortified cereal, beef, oysters, beans, lentils, and spinach.
Vitamin B12 aids the production of DNA and helps make neurotransmitters in the brain. Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes neurological deterioration, megaloblastic anemia, and possible impaired immune function among other health consequences. You can get vitamin B12 from animal sources, for vegan people; opt for vegan foods fortified with B12, such as non-dairy milk, meat substitutes, and breakfast cereals.
Folic acid or folate plays a key role in cell multiplication and tissue growth. It is needed for the production of blood cells. Symptoms of a folate deficiency include fatigue, gray hair, mouth ulcers, poor growth, and a swollen tongue.
The body needs magnesium for hundreds of chemical reactions. Proper functions of muscles and nerves, brain function, energy metabolism, and protein production are controlled by magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. In more severe cases, it can lead to numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, personality changes, or low potassium or calcium levels. To help retain to normal, eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, and edamame.
Chronic illness responds well to natural medicine, beginning with a good diet. But many people have become so deficient over the years that the body cannot get enough nutrients from food alone, so, vitamin and mineral supplements are required to speed recovery.
A naturopathic program and a suitable diet can be made for individual requirement. Such program can rapidly boost vitality. Dietary supplements can be extracts or concentrates, and they can occur in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, liquids or powders. These may be taken alone or with other supplements that help the body absorb or use the mineral. We at Holistic Panama can help you decide how much, how often you should take and what the best supplement for you to take. Contact us today!
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Our founder: Jason Kerr