Did you know our body shows various signs that it is not receiving the required nutrients to remain healthy? Many times, skin problems, sudden rapid hair loss, dark circles, irritability, headaches, weakness, reduced eyesight or forgetfulness can suddenly occur, which could be signs of lack of vitamins and minerals. It is essential to recognise these symptoms for rethinking as to what we are eating and what we require staying healthy. In most cases, a lot many people blindly follow diets and food patterns, which not be as beneficial for them as they were for their counterparts. This could lead to various nutritional deficiencies and more.
Even though the requirement is minimal, the body may show certain signs and symptoms that we must understand. To help us understand the different symptoms that occur in the body due to nutritional needs or nutrition deficiency, Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur helps us to know what we should eat and why:
What Are The Essential Nutrients That We Need To Eat, And Why?
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are pure sugar or are substances that can be converted into sugar by water decomposition. Indian diets are well supplemented with carbs. Hence it is nearly impossible for one to suffer from this deficiency.
Fats: Fat has been misconstrued as a macronutrient in the recent past. Most people believe that the cause of weight gain is only fat, and hence should be eliminated from the diet. But, some fats are necessary for its health benefits. It helps in the body's digestion system to function correctly and at the same time helps in dissolving soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. At the same time, fat intake also reduces the deficiency of Adipose Tissues, which provide insulation to the body from various wear and tear. It helps getting rid of dry skin and hair issues too.
Protein: Protein or probogen is a complex organic material consisting of molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen elements. Protein is an essential element for bodybuilding and hence makes for a vital diet addition for those who are into rigorous exercises. Protein deficiency leads to sagging of skin, sudden hair loss, and a weak immunity for the body has lesser ability to fight diseases, infections. Also, there could be swelling in legs all the time due to low level of albumin, making the bones weaker. Yes, it is not just calcium but also lack of protein which make the bones fragile.
Watch: How To Make Protein Shake:
Which Macronutrients Are Essential, And Why?
The macronutrients that you need depend on physical factors like gender, age and weight. Hence, these macronutrients are essential for the various factors listed below:
Vitamin A: this vitamin plays a vital role in keeping the skin, bones and other body cells strong. It protects the body from free radicals, making the body healthy for fighting inflammation in the body. What makes this macronutrient essential is its deficiency can lead to night blindness.
Vitamin B: Vitamin B group or complex is essential to give vitality to the body. Due to the deficiency of this vitamin, the body becomes a stronghold of many diseases. Also, we must understand that all components of Vitamin B are essential, and can be found in abundance in whole grains, eggs, dairy products, nuts, etc. The deficiency of Vitamin B can lead to a tingling sensation in feet, legs, hands giddiness, etc.
Vitamin K: One of the lesser-known deficiencies is of Vitamin K. but, if you are one of those who bleed excessively even after getting small cuts of wounds, then you must be Vitamin K deficient. Also, heavy menstrual blood flow can be linked with deficiency. Hence, for the same, eat lots of cabbage, green vegetables for Vitamin K.
Vitamin D: One of the most readily available nutrients is Vitamin D, for the free sunlight that we can take any time of the day. We must not understand, but a lot of diseases could be a reason for vitamin D deficiency. Its deficiency could lead to pain in the body, fatigue and various other health conditions. To fulfil this deficiency, one must eat eggs, salmon, milk, soya, etc. to prevent the chances of Vitamin D deficiency. Lack of vitamin D increases the likelihood of osteoporosis and loss in bone density.
Vitamin C: It helps in the formation of bones, skin and blood vessels. Vitamin C is found naturally in some foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C performs many essential functions in the body, such as the production of collagen, and 1 to 2 per cent of muscle tissue is collagen. It is a significant component of fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and blood vessels. Hence, stock up your pantry with citric fruits. A research conducted in the year 1942 had revealed that it takes a longer time for wound healing in a patient of scurvy. The scurvy disease is caused by vitamin C deficiency.
TIP: Taking more vitamin C fills the wound faster. This is because vitamin C helps in the production of collagen. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to heal tissues and reduce inflammation and damage from oxidation.
Sodium: Even though we say that high sodium could be a reason for various illnesses and health concerns, one must know that its deficiency can also be a reason for sudden muscle cramps in the body. Also, sodium maintains the electrolyte balance in the body. For the same, one must take iodised salt but in required quantities only.
Iron: If you feel fatigued and tired, you must be suffering from Zinc deficiency. Hence, one must know that Iron-rich food helps the body to get the required oxygen. Therefore, make sure that you add spinach and other green vegetables to fulfil the deficiency. Iron deficiency can lead to low haemoglobin.
Zinc: A compromised immunity can be a sign of zinc deficiency in the body. Also, it is because of zinc that enables a person to taste and smell any food that we see in front of us. Also, hair loss and diarrhoea are some common symptoms of zinc. Hence, stock up on lentils, pumpkin, etc.
To sum it all, Dietician Pavithra N Raj explains that one must consume all nutrients, which are required for a healthy living. Keep a check on these below-mentioned symptoms to diagnose nutrient deficiencies:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loose stools
- Bone density loss
- Weakness in muscles
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