“Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups […] Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so the biggest dietary sources of vitamin D are fortified foods and vitamin supplements.”
Essential for: Heart health, upper-respiratory health, fertility, brain function, strengthening bones, proper thyroid function, and a multitude of other autoimmune functions.
Food: Hardly prevalent in diet, and most of us are not outdoors enough to get it from the sun on a daily basis.
Supplement: Look for over 2,000 IU minimum, up to 10,000 IU.
Symptoms associated with B deficiency: brain fog, fatigue, thinning hair, back pain, infertility — just to name a few. Technically there are eight types of B’s, and we need all of them to work together to absorb into the body properly. B12 is found mainly in meat, but, low B12 levels are still common even for individuals that consume a lot of meat.
Essential For: Breaking down and using carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Important for body growth and red blood cell production.
Food: Spinach, beets, beans, almonds, leafy greens.
Supplement: The best way to know you’re getting enough of all B’s is to take a B-Complex, especially one high in B12.
A mild deficiency may not have any symptoms. However, common symptoms are fatigue, psychological depression, impaired cognitive function, and increased food cravings.
Essential For: Participates in a wide variety of metabolic processes including oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and electron transport.
Food: lentils, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, tomatoes, sunflower seeds quinoa — just to name a few.
Supplement: Recommended 19.3–20.5 mg/day in men and 17.0–18.9 mg/day in women
Our brains require healthy fat to function. Not getting enough fat in our diets can genuinely cause symptoms of depression and anxiety. Both omega 3’s & 6’s are necessary, but we get plenty of omega 6’s in our every day meals. Too many omega 6’s can cause inflammation and other imbalances in our bodies. To balance this, it’s beneficial to know which foods are high in omega 3’s, but many choose to take a supplement to be safe.
Essential For: Supports healthy heart & brain function, plus healthy blood sugar and triglycerides.
Food: Chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts
Supplement: fish oil tablets are most common in stores, but if you’re plant-based, there are online shops that carry vegan omega 3s tablets.