Is it possible for you to have a vitamin deficiency in this day and age? I mean, eating a salad every two months drenched in ranch HAS to provide you with enough nutrients, righ-?
Extreme vitamin deficiencies are rare in developed countries, especially due to the fortification of foods. You are much more likely to encounter severe vitamin deficiencies in underdeveloped countries.
Minor deficiencies, however, are commonplace in today’s society because of poor nutritional choices, among other factors. Unfortunately, hamburgers, fries, a milkshake, and the occasional salad does not make for a healthy diet. It is far more common for people to consume energy-dense foods–high calorie, little nutrition. Fewer people have within their diet nutrient dense foods–more nutrients, fewer calories.
What may not be common knowledge, is that overconsumption of vitamins can also lead to unpleasant symptoms as well. The more vitamins you take does not equate to better health, unfortunately. It is important to understand that there are established upper intake levels of vitamins and that they should not be regularly exceeded. Overconsumption of vitamins is rare and is only a risk for a few of the vitamins.
A great way to make sure you are getting the sufficient amount of vitamins in your diet is by consuming plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Foods that provide a high amount of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (Plant nutrients such as Lutein, Lycopene, beta-carotene), fiber and antioxidants. Not only are they nutrient dense, they can also be easy on the waistline. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Especially vegetables, as they are extremely nutrient dense.
Another great way to make sure you are getting sufficient vitamins within your diet is making sure to take a high potency multivitamin. This is a good way to cover your bases if you have a poor diet.
However, if you have a fantastic diet, then supplementing with a multivitamin may not be necessary. Taking a multivitamin is always a great idea for women who are pregnant, to aid in the development of the fetus and to help avoid certain birth defects such as spina bifida, which is associated with a low folic acid intake. It is also a great idea for those that are elderly because they are at risk for multiple nutrient deficiencies. Getting encapsulated or liquid multivitamins is usually a better idea, because of better absorption.
Vitamin deficiencies are not always a result of poor nutrition, but can also be a result of Gastrointestinal Issues as well as other disorders that can lead to improper absorption or synthesis of vitamins. This is something I will cover in a later post. If you have any questions for me, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!