nutritional deficiences

SYMPTOMS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

•    Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis)

•    White tongue

•    White marks on finger nails

•    Stretch marks

•    Mouth ulcers

•    Sleep disturbances

•    Hair loss

•    Skin dryness and rashes (acne, eczema, psoriasis)

•    Decreased libido

•    Poor healing of wounds

•    Diarrhea

•    Loss of appetite, weight loss, or difficulty gaining weight

•    Brain fog and irritability

•    Depression and lethargy

•    Reduced fertility

•    Absent periods

•    Stunted growth

Wheat, alcohol, spinach, high calcium foods, high sugar intake, low protein, all hamper zinc absorption.

I realized I am probably zinc deficient so i made this post to help other people who might need to increase zinc in their diets, or supplement. People who are at a higher risk for zinc deficiency are vegans/vegetarians, people with gastrointestinal diseases (crohns, IBS), pregnant and lactating women, infants, adolescents going through puberty, and those with sickle cell disease.

Rickets and Osteomalacia are two forms of the same disease that result from inadequate calcification of the extracellular bone matrix, usually caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Rickets is a disease of children in which the growing bones became ‘soft’ or rubbery and are easily deformed. Because new bone formed at the epiphyseal plates fails to ossify, bowed legs and deformities of the skull, rib cage and pelvis are common. Osteomalacia is the adult counterpart of rickets, sometimes called adult rickets. New bone formed during remodeling fails to calcify and the person experiences varying degrees of pain and tenderness bones, especially the hip and legs. Bone fractures also result from minor trauma. Prevention and treatment for rickets and osteomalacia consist of the administration of adequate doses of vitamin D. 

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@ people who are iron deficient

Turmeric is awesome for iron intake, one tablespoon has at least 15% of your daily iron. I easily passed my daily needed levels by adding 7 tablespoons into my tofu scramble (you don’t need that much but just showing how I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day!)

Tofu is also really good, half a block of tofu will give you 25% of your daily iron and calcium.

A large flour tortilla has at least 15% of your daily iron (apparently it can be more than that )

So, if you were to make a serving of tofu scramble and roll it into a burrito, you can easily meet your daily iron intake and not worry about it for the rest of that day.

If you make a big serving of tofu scramble you can also save leftovers for another day for a really quick and nutritious meal.

Bone and skeleton distorted by osteomalacia

Literally translated, osteomalacia means “soft bones”, and in modern times very rarely leads to such extreme deformities as these.

There are many diseases and situations that lead to osteomalacia, but ultimately only one cause - defective bone mineralization leading to decreased or ceased deposition of new calcium or phosphorus in the bones. The condition itself is usually treated by administering high doses of vitamin D, while attempting to treat the underlying cause.

In children, osteomalacia is often called rickets. The adult form of the condition is often much milder than in children, but can still lead to bone weakness and bowing. In all ages, the most common cause is vitamin D deficiency, due to malabsorption by the intestines (as in Coeliac disease) , lack of sunlight, or very poor diet.

Deformities, Including Diseases of the Joints and Bones. A. H. Tubby, 1912.

You do not crave certain foods because your “body needs it,” as if a sense of nutritional deficiency is akin to a sense of touch or time. You don’t get a hankerin’ for a cheeseburger because your body is trying to tell you that you need to boost your iron or vitamin D or potassium. 

This is a pervasive myth. 

When you’re actually deficient in any particular nutrient, your body will tell you in a much more extreme way. Instead of daydreaming about your grandma’s biscuits and gravy, you actually get violently, debilitatingly ill whenever you are lacking a vital vitamin or mineral. 

Outside of a literal state of starvation or extreme bodily stress, food cravings are purely psychological. 

Sometimes the psychological effects can be caused by addictive substances in certain foods that cause chemical reactions in the brain, such as the opiates in dairy and the caffeine and other chemicals in chocolate. 

But for the most part, cravings are brought on by complex environmental cues and triggers. They tend to have a lot more to do with nostalgia than nutrition. They are conjured more by an errant scent on the wind than by deficiency. They are more connected to the media you consume than the vitamins you do not. 

Nobody wants to admit that hearing that three second McDonald’s jingle from the receptionist’s radio in the background noise of their dentist’s office is what actually made them determined to pull into the drive-thru on the way home, but it’s certainly far more likely than any pseudo-scientific old wives tale passed around by people who have probably never even met a nutritionist in their life, let alone know anything about nutritional medicine themselves. People want to believe they have more free will than that. They don’t. 

However, through awareness of these things, we can start making more conscious choices about the food we consume.

So the next time someone tells you that humans must eat animal products simply because we crave them, please remember this. 

If they ask for gluten-free, they could have Celiac’s disease.
If they ask for sugar-free, they could be diabetic.
If they ask for vegan foods, they could have egg or dairy allergies.
What may be an inconvenience for you may be survival for them.

With that said, soy is also a common allergy and its own nutritional profile is insufficient for most of the foods it’s used to substitute.
Soy is not the be-all, end-all for a vegan lifestyle, and it will not compensate for a diet lacking in most commonly available sources of B-vitamins, fats, iron, and proteins. You will be at risk of blood deficiency and other nutritional deficiencies this way, so do your research on rich fat and protein sources, especially omega-3’s.
Avocado, chia seeds, coconut, flax, hemp, mushrooms, peas and antioxidant-rich foods are a good place to start enriching your diet.

If your concern is animal cruelty or environmentalism, this is why it’s important to look for labels like “cage-free,” “fair trade,” “free-range,” “grass-fed,” “organic,” and “sustainably sourced.“
Support local farmers whose businesses are too small to afford the certifications, help them pay for the care of their animals and families.
Support bees, beekeepers work hard to maintain healthy hives and protect them from predators and colony collapse. Honey is more environmentally friendly than agave nectar for this reason and because agave farming takes food resources from two endangered species (the jaguarundi and the Mexican long-nosed bat).

With fish, especially, read the labels. Cod, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, marlin, monkfish, orange roughy, scallop, seabass, shark, skate, snapper, shrimp, swordfish, tilefish and tuna are overfished. Farm-raised salmon are fed corn and chicken feces, from chickens that were also fed corn (chickens are insectivores). Most seafood is threatened and pending endangerment. Look for "sustainably sourced” fish if you want to responsibly eat fish.

I am not a vegan myself, but I do care about healthy living and about the health of animals. I may eat animals, but prey animals evolved to depend on predation for regulating sustainable populations. Killing animals for food is natural, but it doesn’t have to be preluded with abuse and disrespect, and I avoid overhunted meats if I can help it.

I also understand that the cost of organic ceritification makes eating healthy expensive, so this is just to share some food awareness as I understand it.

The unassuming Tree Swallow is a remarkable example of symbiosis. While their tiny beaks render them incapable of eating anything but the smallest of caterpillars, this nutritional deficiency is completely alleviated by the photosynthetic colony of blue-green algae which give these birds their characteristic iridescence. In return for vital nutrients, the cyanobacteria are allowed a rich and varied travel life as the host swallow migrates all across North America.