You may have a balanced diet but with everyone being different we all have different nutritional needs. Here are 5 common nutrient deficiencies and what you need to eat to increase your intake.
Vitamin B12 – This nutrient is important for energy production and the normal function of the nervous system. Vegans and vegetarians may find themselves more likely to be deficient as main food sources providing the vitamin are fish, chicken, milk and yogurt. If you don’t eat these foods a supplement may be your best option otherwise foods fortified with vitamin B12 like plant milks, soy products and breakfast cereals.
Vitamin D – even throughout summer time vitamin D deficiency is common. We spend a lot of time indoors with work and then when we do get outside high factor sun creams can stop our skin from producing the vitamin. Vitamin D is vital for bone health and the normal function of the immune system but can be hard to obtain optimum levels when following a vegan diet as the main food sources are eggs and oily fish. Mushrooms can contain some vitamin D but a daily supplement may be needed to be confident you have enough in your body.
Magnesium – Lacking in magnesium can make us tired and can also affect the health of our teeth and bones. To make sure you have optimal levels try including more nuts such as almonds and cashews, green leafy vegetables and wholegrains such as brown rice in your diet.
Calcium – most people are aware that calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth but it also contributes to normal muscle function and other functions within the body. Most people think of dairy products when thinking of calcium intake but other good food sources are dark, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale as well as oranges.
Iron – feeling tired all the time, looking pale and thinning hair can all be signs of an iron deficiency. Good food sources are pulses and beans, eggs and green leafy vegetables such as kale and watercress.