Common Vitamin Deficiencies And How To Fight Them

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You know your body needs vitamins to live and thrive, but which ones and how do you get them naturally?

• Health: Food & Nutrition • Health: How-To

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are more common than you might think. When we live in a world where unhealthy foods surround us and convenience seems more important than health, it’s no wonder. Here are a few common vitamin deficiencies and how you can avoid having them:

Vitamin A
It is important to the health of your epithelial tissues, vision, and your immune system. You can get it through Beta-carotene, but sometimes, particularly if you have a thyroid problem, your body may have a difficult time converting it. To avoid it, you should eat foods rich in vitamin A. These include: eggs, milk, fortified cereal, liver, orange or green vegetables and fruits such as sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, peaches, apricots, papayas, cantaloupe, and mangoes. The darker they are the better.

Vitamin D
It plays a key role in your immune system health. This deficiency is common for those with autoimmune thyroid disease, but can affect anyone. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight on your skin your body converts, which is unique for a vitamin. You can take vitamin D supplements, but can get it naturally through egg yolks, fortified foods such as milk, soy milk and orange juice, or oily fishes such as tuna, sardines, or salmon.

Vitamin K2
Even though this vitamin may be unheard of to many, they can be deficient in it. It shows up as a deficiency through tartar buildup or tooth decay, osteoporosis, and / or arterial calcification. You can supplement naturally through egg yolks, goose liver, aged cheese, fish eggs or fermented soybeans.

Vitamin B12
This helps produce DNA and makes neurotransmitters found in your brain. This deficiency is common for vegans or those who have had weight-loss surgery. The deficiency shows up as leg / hand / feet numbness, problems with balance and walking, anemia, memory loss and more. B12 shots and supplements are available, but you can find B12 in foods like fish, chicken, yogurt, and milk. For vegans, non-dairy milk, breakfast cereals, and meat substitutes that have been fortified with B12 are available.

Vitamin C
Humans are one of the few animals that can’t synthesize vitamin C internally. We have to get it from the foods we eat. Vitamin C has biosynthetic and antioxidant functions as well as aids in immune function and absorption of iron. Vitamin C is necessary for biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and neurotransmitters. It also plays a role in protein metabolism. Vitamin C supplements are available just about anywhere, but can be found naturally in red/green peppers, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe and Brussels sprouts. It doesn't come in grains unless it is fortified breakfast cereal.

In a world where food is available to the majority, it's a shame that many of us suffer from vitamin deficiencies. It isn't too late. You should talk to your physician about a simple blood test that will show if you are deficient in any of these vitamins. Whether or not you are at the present time shouldn't matter. You can begin eating healthier and including these foods in your diet. Remember the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" Don't forget to also read Common Mineral Deficiencies And How To Fight Them.