When it comes to nutrient deficiencies, we often think of times when food was scarce and proper nutrition was not a topic commonly discussed. Surprisingly, it is still possible to lack essential nutrients that your body needs to function, especially in children who tend to be picky eaters.
Nutrient deficiencies can alter your body’s functions, such as metabolism, digestion, and nerve signaling. It can also lead to other diseases including osteoporosis or anemia, so it is important to teach your children to eat the right foods to be able to take care of their bodies.
It is important to know what the symptoms are and how to increase those nutrients that you are missing. Here are some of the most common nutrient deficiencies:
This nutrient is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as we
have all heard as kids. But it is also important for controlling muscle and
nerve functions. Signs of severely low calcium levels include fatigue,
cramps, and poor appetite. To increase your calcium intake, make sure
you are getting good sources of calcium like milk, yogurt, orange juice,
or cheese at least three servings a day.
= Vitamin D:
This is another key nutrient for bone health. Over the course of time a
lack of Vitamin D could lead to softening of the bones. You can increase
levels of Vitamin D by eating fatty fish and spending time in the sun.
This nutrient helps the kidneys, heart, and other organs work properly.
Excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or antibiotics could cause you to
become low in potassium. Bananas, whole grains, and milk are good
natural potassium sources.
Iron helps the body make red blood cells. When iron levels drop too
low, your body can no longer effectively carry oxygen. This causes
anemia, which leads to fatigue. For higher iron levels, eat iron-fortified
cereals, beef, lentils, and spinach.
= Vitamin B12:
This vitamin aids in the production of DNA and also helps create
neurotransmitters in the brain. A lack of B12 can cause problems with
balance, anemia, fatigue, weakness, or even memory loss. Vitamin B12
can be found in animal sources. You can boost your B12 levels by eating
more chicken, fish, milk, and yogurt.
If you suspect your child has a nutrient deficiency, don't hesitate to call Dr. Rezk at Rainbow Pediatrics at (850) 257-5224 to schedule your appointment.