Study after study reveals that North Americans are not eating enough vegetables and fruits. A new study finds that there are many who do not even eat one serving per day. This is why malnutrition is common in our society even though there is an abundance of food available for most. In my years providing nutritional counselling I have never seen anyone have perfect blood work if minerals and vitamins are tested along with the standard blood work.
The most common deficiencies I see are:
1. Vitamin D – it is believed that at least 40 per cent of Canadians have less than the minimum
requirement for D. Many experts believe this minimum level is way to low for optimal bone,
mental health and disease prevention. Symptoms may take years to display themselves.
2. Iron – deficiency effects 25% of population worldwide. Young children, menstruating and
pregnant women and vegans and vegetarians have increased risk of deficiency unless great care
is taken with diet. Symptoms include fatigue weakened immune system, and impaired brain
3. Vitamin B12 - is necessary for every cell in your body to function especially your brain and
nerves. It is believed that much of dementia among the elderly is actually a B12 deficiency as
absorption decreases with age.
4. Magnesium - defiency is common among 50 per cent of the population and even more
common among the sick, elderly, those that take prescription drugs, and those with digestive
5. Vitamin A – is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and is vital for a healthy immune
6. Iodine – deficiencies are more common due to the use of sea salt versus processed salt which is fortified. 1/3 of people are lacking worldwide. Iodine is essential for thyroid function, brain
and bone development and maintenance.
These deficiencies result in serious symptoms and have long term consequences. Get tested so you know for sure where you stand and eat a whole foods diet high in vegetables and fruits.
Supplementation is also recommended. A good multivitamin is good insurance.
What most people don't know is that they are deficient in nutrients. When I was diagnosed with cancer I discovered that I was deficient in Vitamins D, B12, and Iron. I was also deficient in melatonin, magnesium and zinc. All of these vitamins and minerals are linked to increased cancer risk and present themselves in symptoms that we often ignore.
Here are some of the symptoms you should never ignore:
1. Pale skin or unusual pallor
2. Ridged or spoon-shaped nails
3. Mouth issues - cracked lips, ulcers, fissures, swollen tongue
4. Fatigue and muscle weakness
5. Food cravings
6. Inability to loose weight
7. Lightheadedness, feeling faint, heart palpitations
8. Constipation or diarrhea
9. Skin problems
10. Hair loss
11. Neurological disorders - vision issues, dementia, brain fog
12. Numbness and tingling
13. Menstrual issues
14. Depression and Anxiety
if you have these symptoms ask your doctor for blood work so that you can start a vitamin regime.
Stay tuned for the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Susanne Jakubowski is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Therapist, and cancer survivor.