The American diet may be convenient, but it also allows for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The symptoms of many vitamin deficiencies may develop slowly, so you could be unaware of any concerns until they interfere with your life.
The five most common vitamin deficiencies involve iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, B12, and D.
Iron deficiencies are a common cause of anemia, which is characterized by a lack of healthy red blood cells. Iron helps the body produce a part of red blood cells called hemoglobin.
Symptoms of an iron deficiency include:
- Brian fog
- Symptoms of depression
- Muscle cramping
You can ensure your body receives iron from your diet by including beef, chicken, eggs, leafy greens, lentils, and beans.
Calcium deficiencies may cause bones to become weak and brittle. Calcium also supports nerve and muscle function.
Symptoms of a calcium deficiency include:
- Muscle cramping and spasms
- Muscle aches and pains
- Irregular heartbeat
- Poor appetite
Dairy products, soy, almonds, leafy greens, and sardines all serve as excellent sources of calcium.
3. Vitamin B6
Bodies don’t store vitamin B6, so it’s essential to replenish it with your diet daily. Vitamin B6 supports the body’s immune system, the heart, and the brain. It’s also part of the process that converts the food you eat into energy.
Symptoms of a vitamin B6 deficiency include:
- Skin rashes
- Weakened immune system
Vitamin B6 is found in animal and plant-based foods, including tuna, salmon, dark leafy greens, bananas, cantaloupe, and poultry.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 serves many essential roles in the body, including aiding in creating red blood cells and maintaining appropriate levels of homocysteine, which can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Patients with a vitamin B12 deficiency may experience:
- Struggles with balance
- Yellowing skin
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. In addition, fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts serve as sources of vitamin B12.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is instrumental for bone and immune system health. Those who don’t get enough vitamin D may be more prone to bone fractures and softening.
Symptoms of a lack of vitamin D include:
- Muscle weakness
- Back pain
- Frequent illnesses
To ensure your body gets enough vitamin D, the best foods to eat are fatty fish and fish liver oils. You can get vitamin D from egg yolks, fortified dairy products, cereals, and spending time in the sun.
Visit our practitioner-grade supplement sites for quality sources of vitamins: