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4 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

Many people assume nutrient deficiencies are a thing of the past. Surely only 16th Century sailors got scurvy, right? Wrong. Millions of people around the world today are deficient in essential nutrients – even right here in Australia.
So what are some of the most common nutrient deficiencies – and how can you avoid them?

1. Calcium

Calcium is crucial for health bones and a strong musculoskeletal system. But with dairy-free diets and intolerances on the rise, calcium deficiency is becoming more prevalent.
If you can (and wish to) have dairy, opt for three serves of milk or yoghurt every day. If you’re off dairy, you can still get calcium from dark leafy green vegetables like spinach – or ask a health professional about supplements.

2. Vitamin D

Given how sunny our country is year-round, it might surprise you to know that we still experience vitamin D deficiency. Some say it’s down to sun smarts – by avoiding the sun to prevent skin cancer, we also avoid absorbing the vitamin needed for strong immunity and protection from chronic illness and diseases.
Try to get a little dose of vitamin D daily – a few minutes in the sun, or by eating fatty fish, eggs, cheese, or vitamin D-fortified foods including cereals and soy milk (check the label). You could also try a vitamin D supplement, such as a spray.
Just don’t forget to keep slip, slop, slapping!

3. Potassium

Many nutritionists and dieticians agree that so long as you eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and veggies, you won’t need to take a potassium supplement. But it’s still a common deficiency in our part of the world. To combat it, reach for bananas, melons, mangos and avocados. Other great sources include sweet potatoes and leafy greens.

4. Iron

While iron is essential for warding off anaemia (which can cause thin hair, pale skin and fatigue), many people are deficient in it – especially women, thanks to blood loss during menstruation.
Thankfully, there are loads of foods that can up your iron intake. Try spinach, lentils, beef, beans, and any iron-fortified foods like cereals and bread.
If you think you might be iron deficient, get your levels checked as you may need additional supplementation.

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