5 Signs You Could be Vitamin Deficient
At this time of year, it’s common to feel perpetually run down and depleted. With so much going on and the holidays fast approaching, the chances are most of us are trying to cram more than usual into an already busy schedule. But sometimes, things that we might put down to stress and tiredness, are actually caused by being deficient in one or more essential vitamins. Although every expert would agree that getting all the vitamins you need from a healthy balanced diet is the best approach, it’s not always easy to achieve. When that happens it’s important to look out for the symptoms that don’t feel quite right, and to think about ways to act on them and improve your overall health. Here are five common complaints to watch out for and what might be behind them…
Although developing dry eyes can be a symptom of too much screen time, it can also mean you’re lacking in vitamin A. As well as keeping our major organs in good health and our reproductive and immune systems working as they should, adequate levels of vitamin A also help with vision. When we don’t get enough, the tear film layer which covers our eyes gets drier and less lubricated, resulting in more chances for our eyes to become dry and sore. If you are deficient in vitamin A, there are plenty of ways to incorporate more into your diet. Make sure you include it lots of different food sources to keep your diet as varied as possible, but organ meats, dairy, leafy vegetables, salmon, mangos and apricots are all high in vitamin A, as are some fortified cereals.
Muscle weakness, muscle pain and bone pain are all symptoms associated with low levels of Vitamin D, so if you’ve been experiencing it more often recently, it could be a good indication you need to top up your levels. In the UK vitamin D deficiency is common and given that sunlight is almost non-existent between the months of October to April, it’s little wonder that around 75% of adults in the UK are lacking. In its most important role, vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and promote healthy bone growth. It also helps improve brain development and function and ensures your intestine absorbs vital nutrients, plus it helps regulate the immune system. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, what begin as aches and pains can quickly turn into more serious muscular issues so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Oily fish, meat live and egg yolks are the best foods to look out for that can be easily added to your diet.
While many of us suffer from fatigue as a by-product of a hectic schedule, unrelenting fatigue, especially when you’re getting a good amount of regular sleep, could be a hint that something else is missing. While there are lots of potential deficiencies that could be the cause, a common one is vitamin B12, which is critical for energy levels. If you do need to up your intake, make sure your gut health is in good condition as it’s imperative for absorption. Try Workshop Gymnasium’s Gut Cleansing Formula to give your gut health a boost. For the B12 itself, clams and shellfish, offal, nutritional yeast and sardines and trout are all packed full of it.
If you can’t seem to shake stiffness, even days after a workout, you might be low in magnesium. Alongside maintaining proper nerve function and regulating blood sugar levels, magnesium is needed to support the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the body. Suffering from unexplained spasms during exercise could also be another sign that your magnesium levels are low. That’s because magnesium regulates muscle contractions and inhibits the production of excess calcium. Without it they will spasm, causing discomfort and ultimately, reduced performance. Magnesium is also essential for muscle recovery, and not just from a physiological point of view either. Ensuring you have enough magnesium in your diet will mean you sleep better and stress less, two vital components of a speedier recovery. Kale, spinach, greens and pumpkin seeds are all excellent sources.
Dry skin, splitting hair and constantly fighting off coughs and colds are just some signs of low levels of vitamin C but a less familiar one could be bleeding gums. Vitamin C helps keep the connective tissues in your gums healthy and strong, as well as reducing inflammation, so without enough it can quickly lead to sore gums and gum disease. In addition to taking a regular high dose supplement of around 2000mg a day, upping your intake of foods such as peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, papaya and strawberries is a good idea.