We all know the importance of eating our five a day, many of us may even been tracking calories and macros too, but getting all the essential nutrients we need is something we tend to forget. Often we don’t realise we are deficient in a vitamin until it is too late, so brush up on these four nutrients that it’s easy to forget and make sure your diet includes foods that are rich in them.
Men require around 8 mg of iron a day, while women need 14, so it’s much more common for females to be deficient. Iron deficiency tends not to have too many obvious symptoms minus feeling lethargic and shortness of breath, so make sure you’re getting enough by eating foods rich in iron. Leafy greens, brown rice, nuts, seeds, pulses and beans are all great sources, as well as eggs, meat and fish if you’re eating an animal-based diet.
Normally most people get all the vitamin D they need from the sun, but in the UK, between the months of October to February, it’s usually too dark and cold to get enough natural light. Vitamin D only occurs naturally in a few foods, so, during these times of the year make sure you try and sneak oily fish, egg yolks or liver into your diet if you can. If you’re on plant-based diet you can try breakfast cereals and sandwich spreads that are fortified with vitamin D instead.
Following certain on-trend diets can often leave you susceptible to B12 deficiency, especially if you are avoiding meat, dairy and products containing yeast products. If you’re feeling tired and weak and you don’t know why, a B12 deficiency could be the reason. Try to find foods with added B12 to keep your levels up, Marmite is a great source that should fit in with most diets.
While it’s rare to be magnesium deficient in the western world, low levels can leave you feeling anxious, tired and weak. If your energy levels are down and you can’t pinpoint why maybe try upping the amount of magnesium you have in your diet. Beans, nuts, leafy greens and oily fish are all greats ways to boost your magnesium levels and could have you feeling revitalised in no time.
If, after reassessing your nutrient intake, you’re still unsure as to why you’re not feeling 100%, it’s probably time to take a trip to your GP who can check for vitamin deficiencies with a blood test.