Despite being a country that’s largely viewed as overfed, America has a surprising amount of nutrient deficiencies. According to research by the NHANES, more than 94% of Americans are experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency, closely followed by 88% for Vitamin E— and the list goes on.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause a wide range of problems, from daily inconveniences to the development of chronic diseases and severe health issues. As prevention is the best medicine, here are six practical tips for preventing nutrient deficiencies.
Know the Causes and Symptoms
The first step to preventing nutrient deficiencies is understanding the laundry list of risks and symptoms. Some common risks include underlying conditions and gender. Symptoms can range from everything to dry skin to tingling hands. You can find a helpful list of symptoms, conditions, and related deficiencies here.
Before you dive into the list, practice some self-awareness. If you know that you never eat fresh fruit or vegetables, then there’s no need to dive further into symptoms at this time. Instead, start with the low-hanging fruit, which in this case, would be actual fruits.
Rethink Your Plate
Portioning out your food to ensure that you’re getting a wide array of nutrients doesn’t require scales or measuring cups. Instead, start rethinking your plate.
To ensure you’re getting adequate lean protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, break down your plate into fractions. Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter should be lean protein, and one quarter should be a nutrient-dense carbohydrate. Start with the half plate of vegetables to jumpstart your nutrient intake and work from there.
After you get comfortable with portions, set a goal to “eat the rainbow.” Different colored fruit and vegetables offer diverse micronutrients. The more varied your diet, the more well-rounded your nutrient intake will be.
Try IV Therapy
There’s a lot of controversy about taking multivitamins. Many health professionals recommend them, while others say they’re useless. One of the main concerns with multivitamins is their absorption (or lack thereof). The waxy coat that’s used to improve their shelf life can be a barrier that limits how much of the contents are absorbed during digestion. Remember, digestion is a relatively small timeframe for this purpose.
IV therapy is a fantastic option for maximizing nutrient absorption to keep your body functioning and healthy. For example, IV therapy Chicago expert Dr. Thakkar offers vitamin blends that do everything from increasing energy to immunity. IV therapy circumvents the digestive tract for the best possible absorption.
Boost Fiber and Probiotics
For better nutrient absorption at home, focus on tracking and improving your fiber and probiotic intake. Think of it this way: the better your digestive system works, the better your body will be at absorbing vitamins during digestions.
Uncoincidentally, fruit, and vegetables are fiber-rich food that will help you improve your digestion over time. Eating legumes, nuts, and seeds will also make an impact. For probiotics, eating foods like Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha can introduce healthy bacteria into the gut to improve nutrient absorption. Talk to your doctor about taking a probiotic supplement to get you started.
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your nutrient absorption and digestion is to hydrate with plain, pure water. Hydration is vital for ensuring that the various parts of your body are operating as they should, ensuring the nutrients you eat are being delivered to the parts that need them.
The recommended minimum for water intake is 64 ounces (approximately eight glasses) per day for an adult. However, the more specific recommendation is that you drink 0.5-1 ounce for each pound of body weight, adding more for exercise.
With these practical tips, you can boost your nutrient intake and absorption to prevent deficiencies and promote holistic health.