Are You Lacking Nutrients in Your Diet?

Feeling cold and tired at all times? Whole wheat bread contains nutrients that you may be lacking!

Signs and symptoms of a poor diet:

Malnutrition refers to a deficiency of macro and micro nutrients as well as an excess or imbalance of these.[1]The World Health Organization(WHO) explains that undernutrition and obesity can coexist in the same community and even in the same person. For example, an overweight child may also be deficient in vitamins and minerals.[2]

According to the UK National Health Service(NHS) the main symptoms and signs of poor nutrition in adults and adolescents include:[3]

  1. Unintended weight loss
  2. Lack of appetite
  3. Constant tiredness
  4. Feeling weak despite having a good rest
  5. Getting sick very often (recurrent infections)
  6. Taking longer to recover from injuries, wounds or common illnesses
  7. Having difficulties to concentrate
  8. Being cold most of the time (feeling as “if your inner thermostat has been broken”)
  9. Dull hair, dry skin, and brittle nails
  10. Feeling depressed or just in a low mood for no particular reason

More severe cases show:

  1. Poor vision (especially at night)
  2. Mouth sores
  3. Swelling of the abdomen
  4. Anemia
  5. Irregular menstruation

If you have experienced any of these you may need to modify your diet and eat a variety of healthy foods in the right proportions, plus drink plenty of fresh water.

Malnutrition in children:

You can notice when children aren´t getting enough nutrients because:

  1. They are not growing at he expected rate.
  2. They are underweight.
  3. They are irritable, anxious or showing unexpected changes in behavior.
  4. They get tired sooner than other children or seem to have pretty low levels of energy.

Childhood malnutrition results in more frequent infections, lower rates of educational achievements, and higher risks of mortality.[1]Early malnutrition has also been associated with greater possibilities of developing behavioral and cognitive deficits.[2]

Improve your diet:

Don´t know where to start? Follow this simple five-step strategy:

  1. Eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruits, preferably fresh and in season. Think of the rainbow and try to eat as many colors as you can during one day. This will ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients such as antioxidants to support good health.
  2. Take in whole grains in every meal. They provide plant based proteins, a bounty of dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your day. Carbohydrates from cereal grains such as wheat, corn, and oats are easily converted into energy for your brain and all your bodily functions. They are also rich in arginine, an amino acid needed to build muscles.

There are many types of nutrient-dense breads that you can use to create wholesome sandwiches and other dishes. Some may be high in fiber, rich in protein or fortified with vitamins such as folic acid. For instance, swapping common staple products such as white bread for whole wheat bread can have an impact in your daily fiber intake.

  1. Include one cup of beans or other legumes of your liking every day in your meal plans. Navy beans, chickpeas, lentils, green peas, soya beans, and other pulses are rich sources of protein and contain high doses of soluble fiber, iron, and potassium.
  2. Choose small good quality sources of animal protein such as free-range eggs and poultry, organic dairy products, grass-fed beef, and sustainable fish.
  3. Prefer unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, olives, and cold-pressed vegetable oils.

A diet deficient in essential nutrients may have long term effects on diverse vital functions of the body at any life stage! In serious cases you may also wish to seek professional advice and consult with your doctor or primary health provider.

[1]http://www.who.int/features/qa/malnutrition/en/

[2]http://www.who.int/nutrition/double-burden-malnutrition/infographics/en/

[3]http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Malnutrition/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

[4]http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179316.php

[5]http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/abstract/1988/02000/the_influence_of_early_malnutrition_on_subsequent.1.aspx