Call Restore Nutrition for a nutritional appraisal today. Start a basic wellness program and prevent the occurrence of disease. Often the beginning of disease is a lack of energy to get up and do the things we used to enjoy doing.
Nutrient deficiency often underlies the cause of chronic and acute disease conditions. Do you ever wonder why you are low in energy and don’t function as well as you used to?
Reasons why you may have a nutrient deficiency include:
Diet: The nutritional value of foods have declined significantly over the past 70 years due to depleted soils low in essential minerals and microorganisms. Storage time and transport conditions of food can also affect the nutritional quality of foods. Many foods we eat on a daily basis are highly refined and full of sugar with very little nutritional value. To get adequate nutrients in our diet we are expected to consume at least 5 servings of vegetables a day and that is not easy for the most disciplined of us.
Stress: Families are busy and under stress. The family unit has changed and many families due to time constraints do not eat as well as they would like to. Many families eat fast or convenience foods on a regular basis as they do not have time to cook and shop. These foods are often energy dense and nutritionally poor. Eating on the run when stressed can also impact your digestion and absorption of nutrients
Genetic: We are born with a genetic profile which is inherited from our parents. This makes it likely that when certain traits or diseases ‘run in the family’ we are more likely to be at risk as well. For example inadequate biosynthesis of certain nutrients may make us more susceptible to a particular disease. Therefore if we are able to correct this nutrient deficiency we may be less likely to follow in the foots steps of our parents. Although we cannot change our genetic code, we can change how our genes are expressed. Research has shown that disease is not solely determined by hereditary factors but that diet, nutritional status, stress and toxicity in our bodies also influence the development of disease.
Age: Dietary inadequacies in the elderly may be due to a variety of reasons such as dental issues, difficulties with shopping and mobility, depression or social isolation. Also as we age intestinal absorption of nutrients decreases and so does the appetite. With increased life expectancies, prevention strategies that address nutrient deficiencies will assist to prevent or manage illness and allow older people to live longer and more independent lives.
Drugs: many pharmaceutical prescription medicines contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Examples of this are Statins that are routinely taken for high cholesterol levels and nitrogen-biphosphanates (N-BP) taken for bone fragility. Statins and N-BP may interfere with the absorption of Co Q 10 which is highly important in the oxygenation and of our cells and our energy levels.
Basic nutrients we may need more of every day to restore optimal wellness:
CO ENZYME Q10 (CO Q 10)
This is an essential nutrient for the production of energy in the body. Low levels of Co Q 10 leads to poor oxygenation of the body systems and may increase a persons risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses . Unexplained fatigue, poor stamina, fibromyalgia / aching muscles and high cholesterol levels are all symptoms of low Co Q 10 in the body. Low levels of this nutrient have also been connected to ADHD and depression.
Dietary sources – The highest levels of this nutrient are found in pork heart, reindeer meat and beef heart which are not normally consumed. Other products with moderate to high levels of coenzyme Q10 include pork, beef liver, beef and pork liver, sardines, mackerel, yellow fin tuna, soybeans, peanut, sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, azuki beans and hazelnuts.. Lower levels are also found in spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sweet pepper, garlic, peas, cauliflower and carrots, chicken and eggs. Frying of foods may reduce the amount of Co Q 10 by 30%. Diets typically only provide 10 mg/day.
Supplementation is recommended in those with chronic illnesses or those who have symptoms of general fatigue and painful muscles. Higher doses are needed initially but then drop down to a maintenance dose after 1-3 months.
Measurements of Co Q 10 with a blood test can help determine if a deficiency in Co Q 10 is the reason for the patients symptoms and the level of supplementation needed.
B COMPLEX VITAMINS
These vitamins are essential for the production of energy, protein and DNA synthesis and in the functioning of many bodily systems in particular the nervous system. B-complex vitamins are essential to mental and emotional well-being and may be low in people who are stressed or suffer with depression and anxiety. Other symptoms include insomnia, irritability, anaemia, fatigue and memory problems. Most B vitamins cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them. B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine so it is no surprise that many people may be deficient in these
Deficiencies of B12 develop over a long period of time as the body is able to store this vitamin. However a deficiency will eventually lead to pernicious anemia. This disorder can cause mood swings, paranoia, irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations, or mania, eventually followed by appetite loss, dizziness, weakness, shortage of breath, heart palpitations, diarrhea, and tingling sensations in the extremities (neuropathy). Older people are more prone to B12 deficiencies.
Dietary Sources – The B-complex vitamins are found in brewer’s yeast, liver, whole-grain cereals, rice, nuts, milk, eggs, meats, fish, fruits, leafy green vegetables and many other foods. B 12 is found mostly in animal products, so it is important for Vegetarians to have their B12 levels checked.
Supplementation of B complex vitamins are recommended for those on diets high in refined foods, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Additionally those on prescription pharmaceuticals, the contraceptive pill and those under stress should talk to their health practitioner about Vitamin B supplementation.
Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen around the body, the production of energy, immune function and in the formation of new cells, amino acids, hormones and neurotransmitters.
Deficiencies in iron can lead to anaemia. They are normally caused by blood loss or the inablity to absorb iron. Symptoms include cramping, fatigue, light headedness, anxiety, panic attacks and pallor.
Iron deficiencies in children have been associated with attention and behavioural problems in general and with ADHD. Children with ADHD have been found to have lower zinc and iron levels that children without ADHD.
Iron excess can also be a problem; this can be caused by a genetic condition called haemochromotosis. Symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, bronzed skin and constipation. People with this condition should ensure that they do not take supplements containing iron.
Dietary sources beef, lamb, chicken, veal are high in iron. Vegetarian sources include almonds, cashews, hazelnut, sesame seeds, tahini, eggs, parsley, coriander, spinach, watercress, silverbeet, basil, tofu, miso and tempeh
Zinc is needed for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, cell growth and repair, immune health, reproduction and fertility, and is a powerful antioxidant.
Deficiencies in zinc are associated with poor wound healing, dermatitis, low appetite, poor sense of taste, white flecks in fingernails, greasy or spotty skin, post natal depression, impaired motor/cognitive function and low immunity.
Dietary sources – oysters, red meat, liver, nuts, chicken, duck, turkey, cheese, yeast spread, eggs, tahini, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic, green peas, parsley, basil, broad beans, spinach, mushrooms.
Vitamin D is needed for normal growth of teeth and bones. Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the body when skin without sunblock is exposed to the sun.
Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to loss of calcium from the bones and be the cause of osteoporosis, rickets or osteomalacia. Symptoms of Low vitamin D levels include poor immunity, cardiovascular complications and seasonal depression (SAD).
Dietary sources – herring, sardine, calamari, cheese, milk, egg yolk
Get on top of your nutrition with a few dietary changes and supplemental help to ensure your body can function properly and efficiently, giving you the energy and vitality you need to feel better.