Vitamins and minerals are an integral part of our health and wellbeing. When we don’t get enough vitamins and minerals it can lead to deterioration in our health and clinical disturbances. How do you know if you’re vitamin deficient? Here we will take a look at some common vitamins and possible signs of deficiency.
THIAMIN (VITAMIN B1)
Thiamin helps the body’s cells change carbohydrates into energy, providing energy for the body especially the brain and nervous system. Thiamin also plays a role in muscle contraction and conduction of nerve signals.
Signs of mild deficiency include fatigue, tenderness and cramping in the calf muscle, numbness or pins and needles, and irritability
Thiamin is found in foods such as pork, tuna, brown rice and asparagus. However, it is lost in the cooking and processing of food. Supplements that contain Thiamin include Betamin or combination products such as Ethical Nutrients Super Multi.
PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)
Pyridoxine helps the body make many neurotransmitters and chemicals that convey signals from one nerve cell to another. It is required for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones such as serotonin (which influence mood) and melatonin (which helps regulate the body clock).
Signs of mild deficiency include lumpy breasts, sores in the mouth, PMS, depression and insomnia.
Pyridoxine is found in foods such as chicken, tuna, spinach, red meat, nuts, legumes, avocado and seeds. Supplements that contain Pyrixdoxine include Pyroxin or combination products such as Swisse Ultiboost Mega B+.
Calcium is essential for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth (they contain 99% of the body’s calcium). Calcium is also vital to help the heart, nerves, muscles and other body systems work properly. It also helps prevent osteoporosis.
Signs of mild deficiency include teeth that chip easily, dental cavities, muscle cramps and brittle nails.
Calcium is contained in foods such as diary food, tofu, nuts, seeds, whole grain, broccoli, spinach, Asian greens, tinned sardines and salmon (including the bones). Calcium supplements include Swisse Ultiboost Calcium and Vitamin D Effervescent Tablets, Biogaln Calcium Bone Builder, and Nature’s Own Ultra Calcium.
Magnesium is needed by every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles and kidneys. Most importantly, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production and helps regulate calcium levels as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D and other important nutrients in the body.
Signs of mild deficiency include twitching, spasm or cramping of the muscles and anxiety.
Foods that increase your magnesium include nuts, soy, spinach and whole grains. Magnesium supplements include Blackmores Bio Magnesium, Nature’s Way High Strength Magnesium, and Wagner Magnesium Forte.
Zinc plays an important role in the immune system, reproduction, growth, taste, vision and smell, blood clotting, and proper insulin and thyroid function. Zinc also has antioxidant properties, meaning that it helps protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals may contribute to the ageing process as well as the development of a number of health problems.
Your body doesn’t need a lot of zinc, but signs of mild deficiency of zinc include impaired taste or smell, poor wound healing, white spots on nails, lack of menstrual period, skin problems such as acne, poor growth, weight loss and night blindness.