Three Common Issues that Are Actually Vitamin Deficiencies
A doctor said it, so you know it’s true:
“Nutrition is the main cause of death and disease in the world.” (source).
That quote is from the World Health Organization’s Dr. Francisco Branca, and I couldn’t agree more.
Dr. Branca says that on one hand, many global populations cannot get enough food to eat. On the other hand, most global populations are over-fed but undernourished.
“Millions of people are suffering from different forms of malnutrition. In fact, 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese while 462 million are underweight. Among children, 52 million under-fives are suffering from wasting, where they have a low weight for height.”(source)
Our problem globally tends to lie on the over-fed but undernourished end of the spectrum. But I’m willing to bet that you suffer from the same problem, dear one.
You’re likely here because you just don’t feel good. I totally get you. That was me for a long time, and that is most of my clients, too.
Are you sick because you’re malnourished?
Likely, the answer is yes.
We have unfettered access to any food we want, any time we want it. We know we should choose lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables and whole-food fats. We know we should stay away from sugar and tortilla chips and chocolate and 98% of the menu at Starbucks, but it’s just so easy. And yummy.
And we are tired, and overworked. We are under-slept. We are frazzled and our nerves are shot. We have sixteen more things on our to-do list, and that’s just this afternoon. Of course we don’t have time to make a three course meal! Fast food it is! Tomorrow will be different.
But the next day, the cycle is similar. You plan to eat well, but you’re just so busy. Does your normal day look like this?
6am: Coffee for breakfast.
12 pm: Skip lunch- too busy.
3 pm: Chocolate cravings hit midafternoon- more coffee, little bits of chocolate. No problem, you haven’t eaten today anyway so a few chocolate calories won’t matter.
6 pm: A fast and healthy dinner- you try to cook a healthy dinner most nights. Meat, rice, salad. Whew! That’s done.
9 pm: chocolate. cereal. chocolate. sourdough bread and butter. ice cream. guilt and self-loathing. insomnia.
This typical American woman’s diet is low in protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, fiber, water, and trace minerals. It’s also high in stress hormones that deplete essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, sodium, and the B vitamins.
It’s not your fault- you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. You’ve got limited time and pop-culture-influenced diet information.
And there’s the subliminal part of our vitamin-stealing American lifestyle that shows up in ads and billboards. On every corner, there’s a billboard for Cane’s Chicken. There’s no billboard for sea vegetables or carrots or grassfed beef. You know? It’s a vitamin-stealing conspiracy!
The First Step: Awareness
All of that said, I invite you to take a deep breath, make a cup of herbal tea, walk outside with your tablet or computer to sit in the sun while you finish this article, and just focus on slowing down a bit. To start reversing your malnutrition, you have to be aware of your malnutrition.
There is no disease. There is only malnutrition. Our modern maladies, from chronic fatigue syndrome to eczema to migraines to PMS, are the result of decades-long-depleted bodies trying to limp along on sub-par levels of minerals and vitamins.
This is why it can take so long to see results when you’re trying to restore function to a dysfunctional body. It can be confusing to those of us who live in fast-food world when our bodies don’t respond the way we think they ought to, and within the time period we want them to respond. My clients get confused when they don’t feel boundless energy right away, or when it takes weeks and weeks to finally start losing weight, or when their period gets worse before it gets better.
“I’ve been doing (x/y/z!) for two weeks! When am I going to feel (more energy/skinnier/like Angelina Jolie)?!
But it takes a long freaking time to lay down the foundation of nourishment that our bodies have been deprived of for so long.
And I’m not just talking about food and the vitamins and minerals we get through food. You can be eating a perfect diet, but it you’re constantly stressed and not sleeping enough, or overexercising, or overanalyzing and fetishizing perfection 24/7, you’re (dang it) further depleting your body of minerals. All of your diet and supplement interventions might just be a wash.
And this is why the holistic picture of the American female looks more like a hollow shell than a happy, healthy, vibrant woman.
Well, that and sin. But you know what I mean.
There are three specific imbalances that have their root in malnutrition. Let’s talk about those now.
Allergies aren’t normal. They are common, but they are not normal. If your immune system is strong, you should not be over-reacting to things in your environment. When vitamin and mineral status is low, sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes should be a thing of the past. I’ve seen seasonal allergies disappear in clients as we work on a rebalancing and remineralizing program. It takes some time, but it can be done.
Estrogen levels have to be in balance as well. When the body has too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, B6, or Vitamin E, seasonal allergies tend to be worse.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re likely deficient in the following:
Fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and E
B vitamins like B5 and B
Minerals like calcium and selenium
Increase your consumption of animal protein, seafood, and nuts like Brazil nuts to get more of these essential allergy-busting vitamins.
More often than not, a new client will come to me with blood markers of anemia. She will have low B12 levels and low iron. Her ferritin will likely be low, and she will be exhausted. She may have been on iron pills prescribed by her doctor, but she will have only taken those for a period of time because she probably got constipated or started breaking out.
If you suffer from anemia, you’re likely deficient in the following:
The easiest way to get more iron and copper is to eat pastured red meat and plenty of seafood and sea vegetables. Order oysters on the half shell the next time you go out for sushi. Opt into a cow-sharing program with some friends. The only way humans get Vitamin B12 is through quality animal products, and most women are severely deficient. If you’re plant-based, you’re definitely deficient.
Anemia is not always diagnosed, either. It can show up as crippling fatigue, an inability to feel like you are getting enough oxygen, and weak limbs.
Here’s a video on B12 and what B12 deficiency looks like in the body. It’s a sneak peek from my Simplified 14 Day Reset, a course all about vitamins and minerals. It comes with a 14 day suggested meal plan and shopping list and recipes and a guide on how to implement small changes to feel better, fast.
It’s only $147 right now- you can grab it with this link here to learn all about specific vitamins and minerals that I recommend, along with my favorite brands and also how many grams or mg to take of each vitamin or mineral based on specific imbalances in your body.
If you bruise a lot, you’re malnourished. Your body has used up all of its extra Vitamin C for a variety of possible reasons, and now your collagen production is being affected. When you are deficient in Vitamin C, you can’t produce collagen as effectively. This leads to weak blood vessels and easy bruising (consequently, varicose veins and hemorrhoids can also be a Vitamin C deficiency). If you have swollen joints and you’re also bruising easily, you need more C.
Vitamin C and glucose molecules also compete with each other at the cell receptor site, so if your diet is high in sugar, you won’t be able to use Vitamin C very effectively. Both Vitamin C and glucose can enter cells using a critical protein known as the Glut-1 receptor. The Glut-1 receptor has a preference for glucose, which means it will choose sugar over Vitamin C when given the opportunity. This poses a particular challenge for white blood cells, which need as much as 50 times more Vitamin C within their cell walls than in the surrounding blood plasma to effectively combat the effects of oxidative stress (source).
Vitamin C is also needed to absorb iron in the body, so if your C levels are low, your iron levels will be persistently low as well.
If you bruise a lot, you’re also deficient in the antioxidants Vitamin E and Vitamin A. I recently started testing a lot of my endometriosis clients for Vitamin E deficiency, and so far, every one of them has been Vitamin E deficient. I tested myself and I’m also E-deficient. It’s like you are, too. Especially if you’re bruising easily.
Increase your consumption of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, and animal products to decrease your risk of bruising easily.
Well, there you have it! There are approximately 1,372 more imbalances that we can target with certain vitamins and minerals, but suffice it to say that if you eat a wholesome and protein-rich diet with plenty of fiber and fruit and vegetables, you’ll be on your way to a more minerally-balanced body.
If you suffer from frequent and easy bruising, you’re likely deficient in the following:
Don’t forget to check out the Simplified 14 Day Reset for the full course on vitamins and minerals. Here’s an overview of the modules and the program: