Experts from around the world agree that eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, along with regular exercise, is a key part of maintaining optimal health, including providing support for your immune system.
A healthy diet provides the bulk of the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to function properly, especially those colorful fruits and vegetables. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people consume between 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Not only do fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, they also have phytonutrients, the natural substances found in plants that give them their intense color and are thought to provide a range of health benefits in humans, including antioxidant protection.
Unfortunately, many people fall short of getting what they need. According to the Global Phytonutrient Report, between 60-87 percent of adults fall short of the WHO recommendation. And U.S. government data indicates that 80-90 percent of the U.S. population does not meet the recommended fruit and vegetable intake each day.
How do I know if I have a vitamin deficiency?
Missing a day of healthy eating now and then won’t hurt you, but if you make a habit of it you could develop a vitamin deficiency. The signs of a vitamin deficiency are different depending on the nutrient, but your body has ways of letting you know it’s missing something.
Adjusting your diet to ensure plenty of diverse foods, including superfoods and fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow can usually put things back in balance and adding supplements can help fill any gaps. Here are some of the most common vitamin deficiencies around the world and ways to address them to help support you and your immune system.
Iron deficiency affects more than 25% of people around the world, according to the WHO, and is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Nearly half of preschool children and almost 30% of menstruating women may be not getting enough of this essential mineral.
Vegetarians and vegans are also at risk because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as that found in animal foods.
Iron is needed for growth and development. It’s used by your body to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that allows oxygen to be carried throughout your body.
Iron-rich foods include red meat, liver, shellfish, canned sardines, beans, seeds (like pumpkin, sesame, squash) and dark leafy greens. Many foods, like cereals, are also fortified with iron.
You can also consider a supplement to help get your daily dose. Nutrilite™ Double X™ Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient Supplement provides 12 essential vitamins and 11 essential minerals, including 28% of your daily iron needs.
You can take Double X™ supplement alone or fill some other nutrient gaps by making the Nutrilite™ Perfect Pack part of your daily routine.
Along with Double X, the Nutrilite Perfect Pack has Nutrilite™ Balanced Health Omega to support brain and eye health†, Nutrilite™ Vitamin D to support strong bones†, and Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables, which delivers phytonutrients equal to more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin A deficiency
Research shows that vitamin A is one of the most prevalent vitamin deficiencies in the world. Globally, it’s estimated that 30% of children under age 5 are deficient. Those at the highest risk of deficiency are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, infants and children.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, teeth, bones and cell membranes. It also supports vision health. To make sure you get enough vitamin A, look to nutrient-dense superfoods including meat, dairy, eggs or fish liver oil, as well as green, yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes and carrots. Not only will those up your vitamin A intake, those colorful foods will add phytonutrients!
For supplements, Nutrilite Double X and Nutrilite Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables can play a key role. Double X offers 300% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A plus 22 different plant concentrates providing phytonutrients from every color of the fruit and vegetable spectrum.
And Nutrilite Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables provides the phytonutrient equivalent of more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Those phytonutrients are key to providing antioxidants, which research shows support your immune system.†
Your body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones and those hormones affect your metabolism and many other functions. It also helps with bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. (That’s why pregnant women need 50% more iodine than other people.)
Unfortunately, research shows that nearly a third of the world’s population is affected by iodine deficiency. Since your body doesn’t make this essential mineral, you’ll need to get it from foods rich in iodine like seaweed, fish, dairy and eggs. Iodine is also added to table salt to help prevent deficiencies.
It’s also readily available in supplements. Nutrilite™ Daily includes 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of iodine as part of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals provided in each tablet. It also includes phytonutrients from 75 mg of whole plant concentrates.
Other common vitamin deficiencies
Additional common vitamin deficiencies include vitamin D, especially if you lack regular exposure to sunlight; calcium, particularly in women and older adults; and B12, which helps support healthy nerves and blood cells in addition to assisting in the production of DNA for all your cells.
Solutions to address vitamin deficiencies
The best way to prevent vitamin deficiency is to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods. To fill any nutrient gaps, consider adding daily supplements.
A multivitamin and multimineral supplement is a good place to start. If you still have questions, consult with your doctor about your diet. You can read more about vitamins and supplements by checking out our other blogs on Amway Connections.
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†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.