Could you have a nutritional deficiency? You might think you eat too much to possibly have a nutritional deficiency, but they’re actually fairly common. Find out if your diet is nutritionally deficient and what you can do about it.
Nutritional deficiencies are a real and common problem in North America. It’s a matter of convenience and quantity over quality that’s leading to many of these nutritional deficiencies. In the Western world, there’s an abundance of food, but much of it is heavily processed and, as a result, nutritionally empty. The average North American diet relies heavily on junk foods (muffins, chips, cookies) and “convenience” meals like fast foods and microwave dinners, or other instant foods that are loaded with salt, sugars and unhealthy fats, not to mention chemicals and preservatives.
These foods have essentially had most of the nutrition removed from them. Even non-organically grown “healthy” foods have significantly reduced nutritional profiles because they are grown in depleted soils that are heavily saturated with pesticides, which end up making their way into our bodies. Nutritional deficiencies can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including physical changes in hair, skin and nails, as well as changes in sleep, energy levels and the frequency or severity of headaches.
Nutritional deficiencies can be the underlying cause of any number of conditions, or may be present without any major symptoms at all. Since nutritional deficiencies can be difficult to detect, it’s important to see your natural health care professional not only when you’re sick, but also for periodical follow-ups to ensure you’re in a state of optimal health. Every day, your body is trying to share information with you about how it’s doing and what it needs (or needs to get away from) to stay healthy. Such communication is extremely valuable, and should be recognized and respected. By listening to your body, you may be able to identify a problem before it becomes more serious.
The key to balanced nutrition is not only in how much food we consume, but also the quality of the food that we eat. There are certain “powerhouse” foods that everyone could use more of to improve their nutritional profile. These are foods that have a high antioxidant (ORAC) value, including blueberries, red cabbage, cranberries, spinach, plums, prunes, avocados, rapini, kidney beans and pecans, to name a few. Adding a few of these foods to your regular diet is a great first step towards a more nutritionally balanced lifestyle.