Nutritional deficiencies: which are the most common and how to prevent them

Nutritional deficiencies: which are the most common and how to prevent them


Nutritional deficiencies, especially referring to mineral salts and vitamins , are often caused by incorrect nutrition . eating in an unbalanced way, in fact, causes deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, fibers , good fats and nutrients that ensure the optimal functioning of the organism. There are, more than others, more widespread nutritional deficiencies which, if left untreated, can cause the onset of certain pathologies. At the same time, some diseases have as a specific symptom a mineral or vitamin deficiency which can be counteracted through a healthy and balanced diet.

Vitamin deficiency

The vitamins often deficient are above all those of the B group – especially B6 and B12 – vitamins C and D.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin  D is essential for various biological functions, such as for example the homeostasis  and  metabolism of calcium  and phosphate , promoting the physiological growth of the  skeleton ,  bone remodeling  and preventing degeneration with old age . A lack of vitamin D , in fact, manifests itself above all with bone and muscle pain , but also problems with the nervous system . To prevent and counteract this nutritional deficiency, it is advisable to expose yourself to the sun (paying attention to the hottest hours and always protecting the skin fromultraviolet rays ), and consume foods which are particularly rich in them such as fish – salmon , herring , sardines , above all – and egg  yolk .

Vitamin C deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin C , or ascorbic acid , manifests itself mainly in tiredness , weakness and irritability. In serious stages, scurvy can also take over , a vitamin deficiency which in this case causes bruising , problems with teeth and gums , dry hair and skin, and anemia . Vitamin C is essential for the formation, growth and repair of bone , skin and connective tissue. Not only that, it is important for the health of teeth and gums and allows the body to absorb iron. To prevent vitamin C deficiency, consume: citrus fruits , tomatoes , potatoes , broccoli and all vegetables in the cabbage family, strawberries and berries , and sweet peppers .

Deficiency of B vitamins

Not one but more vitamins: of all those in group B, we are often deficient in  B12,  which is found in foods of animal origin, namely meat , because it is present in the soil where the grass grows. But no, it’s not a vitamin that only vegetarians or vegans lack : given that animals eat less and less grass and more and more feed, and also given that the soil is increasingly poor in it, meat is increasingly deficient in it , so it is not uncommon for omnivores to supplement with B12 as well. Just do some blood tests to check: a  serious deficiency causes disorders such as anemia and skin problems.

Iron deficiency

Iron is a fundamental mineral for some biological functions, including the formation of hemoglobin . When there is a lack of iron , caused by a low supply through the diet , or by problems in its absorption, the production of hemoglobin is insufficient . This causes, for example, problems with the circulation of oxygen in the blood . Iron deficiency is the major cause of iron deficiency anemia . To fill up on iron, it is recommended to take generous portions of legumes , dried fruit , red meat(always eaten in moderation), heart and offal , horsemeat , clams and molluscs , dried mushrooms .

Potassium deficiency

Potassium deficiency is another common lack that nutrition helps to counteract and prevent. Potassium is one of the body’s electrolytes , a mineral that contributes to the proper functioning of cells , nerves and muscles . When potassium levels are low, symptoms such as muscle weakness , cramps , spasms or even paralysis, heart rhythm disturbances can occur . It is often associated with vomiting , nausea . Among the foods richest in potassium we find: spinach , Brussels sprouts , fennel , artichokes , endives , dried vegetables , bananas .

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is a fundamental mineral for the body . Essential for nervous system and bone health . Magnesium deficiency manifests itself above all with headaches , irritability, tiredness, difficulty falling asleep .  To prevent or treat this deficiency, it is advisable to include foods such as: dried fruit, green leafy vegetables , corn , spinach, artichokes, fruit such as bananas in your diet .

Omega 3 deficiency

Omega 3 , i.e. good fats , help keep the heart healthy and protect the circulatory system. When Omega3s are deficient, they can worsen cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood , but blood pressure can also be affected and rise. Not only:

  • They counteract hypertension and  hypertriglyceridemia (  with beneficial effects on vascular health),
  • Participate in maintaining brain function even in old age,
  • They protect against certain degenerative  eye diseases ,
  • They are supposed to reduce the  symptoms  of rheumatoid arthritis ,

Among the foods richest in good fats are fish such as salome, mackerel , sardines , cod , bonito , wakame seaweed, salmon or sturgeon roe , bottarga , oilseeds .



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