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So, you just got a blood test back and you’re deficient in various vitamins and minerals. Freaking out? Don’t!
Even though people don’t talk about it, most of us have been in your shoes.
The prescription for resolving any nutrient deficiency usually isn’t a stereotypical “prescription” at all. Instead, vitamin/mineral-rich foods and filler-free vitamins should become your new best friends!
What are these miraculous nutrient-dense foods and filler-free vitamins, you ask? Read on to find out…
Resolve A Nutrient Deficiency Through Diet
That’s right! Food is powerful medicine, so increasing your consumption of certain foods may be the only step necessary for resolving your deficiency.
The most common nutrient deficiencies are iron, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, calcium, vitamin A, and magnesium.
Rather than self-diagnosing, it’s always a good to determine your body’s specific needs through a blood test. Also, before overhauling your diet or buying pricey supplements, you should discuss treatment options with your doctor.
If your doctor recommends that you up your intake of certain foods, this list can help:
Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue; weakness; pale skin; chest pain, fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath; headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness; cold hands and feet; inflammation or soreness of the tongue; brittle nails; unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt, or starch; and/or poor appetite.
The following are good sources of iron:
- Beef and chicken liver (Note: If the thought of eating organ meat freaks you out, a desiccated liver supplement may be the way to go. Learn more in my prior post “Why I (Sort Of) Eat Organ Meat For Breakfast.”)
- Clams, mussels, and oysters
- Pastured beef, chicken, turkey, ham, and veal
- Canned sardines (preferably wild-caught)
- Wild-caught halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, and tuna
- Lentils, lima beans, red kidney beans, and chickpeas
- Dried apricots
- Baked potatoes
- Pumpkin, sesame, and squash seeds
Iodine deficiency may lead to hypothyroidism, which can cause swelling in the neck, thinning of the hair, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, fatigue, constipation, weight gain, and depression.
The following are good sources of iodine:
- Seaweed and dried kelp
- Wild-caught cod and tuna
- Yogurt (preferably organic, grass-fed, and full-fat)
- Raw milk and cheese (preferably organic, grass-fed, and full-fat)
- Pastured eggs
- Lima beans
- Green peas
Vitamin D-Rich Foods
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are subtle but may include bone pain and muscle weakness.
The following foods are good sources of vitamin D:
- Wild-caught fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Beef liver (Again, if the thought of eating organ meat freaks you out, you may want to take a desiccated liver supplement. Learn more in my prior post “Why I (Sort Of) Eat Organ Meat For Breakfast.”)
- Cheese (preferably organic, grass-fed, and full-fat)
- Egg yolks (from pastured eggs)
Sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D.
However, in a mindbodygreen podcast episode, Dr. Steven Gundry, M.D., explains that even people who live in the sunniest climates are often deficient in vitamin D. He elaborates on its importance, ultimately saying:
Vitamin D [supplementation]: It’s the first thing I have people do.
Therefore, even if you eat a daily picnic of vitamin D-rich foods while basking in the sunlight, you may still need to take a high-quality supplement.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12
Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include weakness, exhaustion, or lightheadedness; heart palpitations and shortness of breath; pale skin; a smooth tongue; constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas; nerve problems like numbness or tingling; muscle weakness; vision loss; and/or mental problems like depression or memory loss.
If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, you’ll likely need to consume vitamin B-12 in supplement form, seeing as it’s only naturally occurring in animal products.
The following are good sources of vitamin B12:
- Organ meats (Read my prior post “Why I (Sort Of) Eat Organ Meat For Breakfast” if you’d prefer to take an organ meat supplement.)
- Wild-caught sardines, tuna, trout, and salmon
- Milk and dairy products (preferably organic, grass-fed, and full-fat)
- Pastured eggs
Symptoms of calcium deficiency include muscle aches, cramps, and spasms; numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs, and around the mouth; extreme fatigue; dry and itchy skin; mood disorders; painful PMS; and/or dental problems.
The following are good sources of calcium:
- Pastured dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Spinach, kale, okra, and collard greens (preferably organic)
- Soybeans and white beans
- Wild-caught sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
Vitamin A-Rich Foods
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include dry skin, dry eyes, night blindness, trouble conceiving, delayed growth, throat and chest infections, poor wound healing, and/or acne.
The following are good sources of vitamin A:
- Beef liver (Are you noticing a trend?? Organ meats top many of these lists because they’re chock full o’ nutrients! Read my prior post “Why I (Sort Of) Eat Organ Meat For Breakfast” if you’d prefer to take an organ meat supplement.)
- Cod liver oil
- Sweet potato, carrots, black-eyed peas, spinach, broccoli, and sweet red pepper
- Mango and cantaloupe
- Dried apricots
- Wild-caught herring
Last but not least: magnesium! Many of us are magnesium-deficient in the modern world.
Symptoms of long-term magnesium deficiency include poor appetite, nausea, sleepiness, weakness, and/or muscle aches.
The following are good sources of magnesium:
- Dark chocolate (preferably organic and 85%+ cacao)
- Avocados (Learn everything you’ll ever want to know about the health profile of an avocado in my prior post “Avocado Benefits: One Per Day May Keep The Doctor Away!”)
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Wild-caught fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel and halibut
- Leafy greens
Clearly, eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods is the best way to avoid nutrient deficiency in the first place!
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of eating more vegetables? Consider incorporating a green smoothie into your daily routine!
If you’re unable to resolve your nutrient deficiency through diet alone, you may need to turn to high-quality supplements.*
*Remember: Before attempting to “treat” yourself through diet and/or supplementation, it’s important to speak with a doctor!
Fix A Nutrient Deficiency With Filler-Free Supplements
Did you know that all supplements are not created equal? Many vitamin companies throw fillers like sugar, grains, preservatives, and even silica (aka sand) into their products. Gross!
If your body is already operating at a deficit, you don’t want to ingest harmful additives while optimizing your nutrient levels.
That’s why I’m so grateful for Pure Vitamin Club’s products!
After working in the fitness industry for over 30 years, Vinnie became frustrated by the fact that most supplements are 1) filled with crap and 2) just an overall waste of money.
Pure Vitamin Club’s products are free from the artificial colors, sweeteners, and other additives that most vitamins contain.
BONUS: Pure Vitamin Club also makes a sugar-free electrolyte complex, so you can say goodbye to sugary electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Propel once and for all! I take their Ultra Salt tablets during long flights, on super hot days, after strenuous workouts, etc., to avoid dehydration.
Bottom line: Nutrient deficiencies are more common than ever since many of us rely on convenience/processed foods…but fear not! If you’re diagnosed with a nutrient deficiency, an increased focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods and possibly some high-quality supplements can have you feeling 110% in no time!
Have you used foods + supplements to heal from a nutrient deficiency? Do you take vitamins regularly? Share any thoughts/questions below!
⇒ To optimize every aspect of your health, visit My Favorite Things! There, you’ll find links to healthy packaged foods, toxin-free products, and overall wellness boosters.
⇒ Like this post? Then you’ll LOVE these:
- “How/Why To Optimize Your Omega-6:3 Consumption”
- “Without THIS, You’re Not Properly Absorbing The Nutrients In Vegetables”
- “How To Eat Fermented Foods Daily (And Why They’re Sooo Important!)”
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