DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR NUTRITIONAL NEEDS INCREASE AS YOU AGE ?
This is the main reason why most nutritionists recommend that their patients over 50 take a high-quality multivitamin as a nutritional "safety net" to fill in any gaps and decrease the chances of various deficiencies.
THE OLDER WE GET, THE MORE SUPPLEMENTATION MATTERS...
So why is it so much more difficult to get sufficient amounts of crucial vitamins and minerals from diet alone as we age?
It mainly has to do with your body's decreased ability to properly digest and absorb key nutrients from food. Stomach acid is needed to break down vital nutrients from food, but unfortunately, we naturally begin to lose stomach acid as we age.
This leaves us less able to metabolize key vitamins and many of them end up being expelled from the body. We actually dedicated an entire blog to healthy aging.
VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES CAN MORE EASILY GO UNNOTICED...
It can be tricky figuring out which feeling in your body relates to which vitamin you may be deficient in. For example, if you're feeling tired all the time, you may need more vitamin d.
Multivitamins are great because they cover a multitude of vitamins, but if you know you're lacking in a certain area it may be beneficial to increase your intake of that individual vitamin alone.
Common deficiencies include:
Essentially, your body may require higher amounts of essential vitamins in order to make up for vitamins that go unabsorbed. This is where supplementation comes in.
When you increase your vitamin intake in the form of supplements, you allow your body to receive the essential nutrients it needs to function optimally.
For example, body parts that may start giving you issues as you get older may benefit greatly from an increased dose of certain vitamins. Dietary supplements may be what you need to give these areas of concern an extra boost.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE VITAMIN DEFICIENT?
Oftentimes, we attribute symptoms of vitamin deficiency to the natural aging process. Certain common symptoms, such as fatigue or muscle weakness, can easily be mistaken as a natural part of the aging process when a nutritional deficiency may actually be the culprit.
A high-quality multivitamin can be a highly effective way to improve many symptoms, but when in doubt, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider for professional medical advice depending on your individual health concerns.
That way you can have your levels tested and know which vitamin you are lacking the most. Among the deficiencies, some of the more common are low vitamin d levels, iron deficiency, and vitamin k deficiency.
By taking a vitamin d supplement or making sure you eat a diet rich with vitamin k are easy ways to boost your areas of concern. Your doctor may be able to give you a blood test to find out where you need to start.
In the meantime, here are some common signs of vitamin deficiency to look out for. Do you have any of the following listed symptoms?
HERE ARE SOME SURPRISING SIGNS OF VITAMIN DEFICIENCY
Perhaps the most common and easily overlooked symptom of vitamin deficiency is fatigue. General lack of energy or motivation can be caused by a number of factors and various nutritional deficiencies that are best diagnosed by a medical professional.
However, when your body is running low on essential vitamins and minerals, you will likely feel symptoms of fatigue almost immediately. If you're feeling tired all the time, try focusing on getting more natural sources of vitamin D in your diet, such as yogurt, milk, cheese, almond milk, soy milk, sardines, and mushrooms.
2. BRITTLE, DRY HAIR & WEAK NAILS
A lack of essential vitamin B7 (Biotin) can lead to troublesome symptoms over time, such as weak nails, hair loss, a graying part, fingernail ridges, and an overall lack of strength and vibrancy in hair, skin, and nails.
Many other essential vitamins, such as folate (folic acid), also play a major role in the quality of your hair, skin, and nails, and are often the first tell-tale signs of nutritional gaps. Having a folate deficiency is more common than you may think, but nonetheless serious to address.
If you're experiencing a loss in the quality of your hair, skin, or nails, it may be time to take a closer look at your vitamin B levels.
3. EASILY BRUISING ON LEGS
If you can't seem to keep up with the number of little bumps that consistently turn into larger-than-life bruises, it may be a sign that nutritional deficiencies are causing weakened capillaries.
Many times, this bruising can be traced back to low levels of iron or vitamin C and adding more foods like strawberries, broccoli, and citrus fruits may help remedy any nutritional shortcomings.
Be sure to consult with your physician if you are experiencing large bruises very frequently, as this symptom may be serious and point to larger health problems in some cases.
4. MOUTH IRRITATION
If you find yourself frequently getting ulcer-like sores around the sides of your mouth or notice your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, there may be a chance that you are deficient in crucial B vitamins, specifically vitamins B12, B1, B2, and B6.
B vitamins are essential when it comes to helping the body convert food into energy, and without proper levels, you are left unable to fully absorb the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Some common sources of B12 generally include poultry, lean red meat, eggs, some non-dairy milk.
Vitamin K may also benefit this symptom as it plays a crucial role in the clotting of blood and the speed at which our skin bounces back from irritation.
5. POOR NIGHT VISION
Although not as common as many other vitamin deficiencies, a lack of vitamin A can lead to vision issues over time. There are a number of crucial vitamins that are required for good eye health, with vitamin A perhaps being at the top of the list.
This is because vitamin A helps your body produce the pigment known as rhodopsin, which is found in your retinas and aids in night vision. It's important to be properly diagnosed with vitamin A deficiency before considering a supplement, as too much vitamin A can be dangerous.
6. CALF CRAMPS
If you are running low on any of the vitamins responsible for muscle wellness, you may experience cramping in your calves. This is often caused by a deficiency in key vitamins, such as magnesium and calcium.
If you're experiencing calf cramps, it may be time to pay your doctor a visit and have your levels of magnesium and calcium checked for any deficiencies.
Some excellent sources of magnesium and calcium include bananas, avocados, fortified non-dairy milk (like almond milk), pumpkin seeds, and certain types of dairy.
7. RED OR WHITE BUMPS ON SKIN
Experiencing chronic small bumps that look like 'goosebumps,' especially on the backs of your arms, can often be a symptom of zinc, vitamin A, or vitamin C deficiency.
These three nutrients are essential for promoting skin health and without them, these bumps can sometimes occur.
Although this condition is generally not itchy or uncomfortable, it can still help signal that there may be some key nutrients lacking in your diet.
Try consuming foods high in zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C, such as sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin seeds, some lean meats, dairy, eggs, fish, and dark leafy greens.
Constipation (three or fewer bowel movements per week) is a condition that has been linked to a number of different causes and can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint. It's also not the most popular area of conversation in health, though it is extremely common.
However, if you experience constipation often, it may be time to have your vitamin levels checked to ensure that a deficiency isn't adding to the issue.
A diet lacking sufficient amounts of fiber or magnesium (both essential for healthy digestion) may be responsible for the uncomfortable symptoms linked to constipation. Increasing the number of fibrous foods and water in your diet can help remedy this issue in many cases.
If you experience frequent issues with your stomach, digestion, and bowel movements, consult your physician to make sure there aren't more serious health issues in the future.
9. DANDRUFF OR SCALY PATCHES
If you experience stubborn dandruff or flaky, itchy skin, there is a chance that you may not be getting enough essential fatty acids in your diet.
The healthy fatty acids, often found in food sources such as fish, act as a lubricant and source of natural hydration in the body. Without it, your body will become overly dry, resulting in issues such as chronic dry skin and dandruff.
This common issue can also be caused by a number of other vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, including zinc, riboflavin (B2), B6, and niacin (B3).
Seafood, walnuts, flaxseeds, legumes, dairy, nuts, and whole grains are just some dietary choices that can help boost your zinc and fatty acid intake and help your body to better hydrate itself.
As we get older, our body's ability to absorb and retain nutrients decreases. Even if you eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals, there may still be room for a deficiency.
Your physician may be able to help you pinpoint where you are lacking with a simple blood test. From there, you can begin working on those areas of concern. For example, increasing your intake of vitamin d for higher vitamin d levels and more energy.
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements may help your overall health, especially in areas where you are experiencing problems. If you notice any of the signs above, you may want to consider looking into a supplement routine that can boost your overall health as you age.
HAVE YOU TRIED ADDING A MULTIVITAMIN TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!