What Is Nutritional deficiency?
It is defined as the inadequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals (needed for growth development in the body), which leads to malnutrition or several other diseases.
Nutritional deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems such as bone disorder, skin problems, eye problems, mental disorder, sexual disorder, digestive disorders, blood disorders etc.
Common types of nutritional deficiencies are:
- Iron deficiency
- Iodine deficiency
- Calcium deficiency
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Magnesium deficiency
What Are The Symptoms Of Nutritional deficiency?
The symptoms of nutritional deficiency may vary depending upon the type of nutrients which body lacks in.
The common symptoms which can be observed in nutritional deficiency are:
- Fatigue, loss of appetite
- Loss of height, pale color of eyes and skin
- Acne, lethargy
- Muscle cramps
- Symptoms according to the nutrient deficiency:
- Vitamins deficiency: anemia, weight loss, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, pale color of skin, dizziness, mental problems, weak bones, eyesight problems
- Calcium deficiency: weak and brittle nails, depression, hallucinations, muscle spasms, dry skin, tooth decay, cataracts, itching, numbness of the skin, osteoporosis
- Magnesium deficiency: Muscle cramps, twitches, mental disorders, asthma, high blood pressure, fatigue, irregular heartbeat
- Iron deficiency: Headaches, tiredness, hair loss, damaged skin, restless legs, swelling, food cravings, cold hands, and feet.
What Are The Causes Of Nutritional deficiency?
There can be several different causes which can lead to nutritional deficiency. Some of the main causes are enlisted below:
- Unhealthy eating habits: Eating processed or fried foods, which lack in essential nutrients, leads to nutritional deficiencies.
- Health conditions: A person is suffering some disease can also suffer from nutritional deficiency. Such as in celiac disease body is not able to absorb the nutrients. In some conditions, the body is not able to make enough red blood cells leading to nutritional deficiency.
- Low diet: Inadequate or low diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
- Medications: Intake of several medicines to treat certain conditions can lead to nutritional deficiency. Such as intake of proton pump inhibitors affects the absorptions of vitamins. Intake of medicines to control the cholesterol reduces the production COQ10.
- Inflammation: Any type of inflammation in the body blocks the functioning of microvillus in our small intestine which is responsible for absorbing nutrients in our body.
- Lack of intrinsic factor: Some people lack in intrinsic factors which are responsible for absorption of Vitamin b12 in the body.
- Other causes can be excess alcohol intake, pregnancy, infection, cancer, HIV and hormonal changes.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Nutritional deficiency?
- Eat a healthy diet: If you are suffering from nutritional deficiency then eat a healthy and organic diet as much as possible. A complete diet will help to provide the essential nutrients to your body.
- Add supplements to your diet: Taking supplements along with your daily diet will help you to complete your daily requirement of nutrients.
- Exercise: Daily exercise will help you to stay fit and healthy and will help to prevent a number of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity. Such diseases can lead to nutritional deficiency also.
- Stay hydrated: It is recommended to drink at least 2litres of water a day to stay hydrated. This will help to absorb the nutrients. Water helps distributing the nutrients to all the parts of the body.
- Take sound sleep: Lack of sleep can lead to many health disorders which can disturb the nutritional balance of the body. It is must to have an adequate and sound sleep.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Nutritional deficiency?
- Avoid processed and fried food: These types of foods lack in essential nutrients and are unhealthy for the mind and body also. The amount of salt and spices is very much high in these foods. So these should be avoided.
- Avoid alcohol: Excess consumption of alcohol reduces the capacity of body to absorb the essential nutrients especially vitamins.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking reduces the absorption of vitamin C and can lead to its deficiency.
- Avoid consumption of packaged beverages: Packaged beverages are not fresh and contain preservatives also. These lacks in nutrition which our body requires.
- Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals is one of the top most causes of nutritional deficiencies. Instead of eating a heavy diet at one go, it is better to eat small diets in parts. This will also prevent many severe diseases such as obesity.
What Are The Best Foods For Nutritional deficiency?
- Green vegetables and legumes: Broccoli, carrots, beet root, spinach, cabbage, beans, oats, are rich sources of iron and minerals.
- Fresh fruits: Apple, Orange, Grapes, Kiwi, pomegranate, berries, Guava, Avocados are full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. These can be consumed as whole or in the form of juice.
- Dry Fruits, nuts and seeds: Soy seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews are good source of omega 3 fatty acids along with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
- Whole grain foods: Brown rice and whole wheat bread are rich source of magnesium.
- Salmon. Shellfish, kale, seaweed: These are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
- Egg yolks: Rich source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These are good for eye health. These are rich source of proteins also.
- Dairy products: Skimmed milk, low fat milk, yogurt, cheese are rich source of iron and calcium.
- Fibrous food: Brussels sprouts, lentils, pears, blueberries, oat meal contain high amount of fibres which improves the digestion.
What Are The Worst Foods For Nutritional deficiency?
- Fast foods: Burgers, pizzas and other fast foods lacks in essential nutrients. These only increase the body fat and make body more vulnerable to disease.
- Packed foods: Avoid intake of packed food as these contains lots of preservatives which are not good for health.
What Are The Medicines For Nutritional deficiency?
What Are The Tips To Manage Nutritional deficiency?