But let’s not forget about Micronutrients. These are nutrients that we need to ingest in relatively small quantities to function at our best and they are vital to our health. You are probably familiar with some or all of them: vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), essential fatty acids (omega 3s and omega 6s) and phytonutrients (chemicals found in plants). Each micronutrient has a wide variety of functions in the body so if you don’t consume enough to meet your needs then symptoms can start to show up. We call these Deficiency Symptoms. The following chart shows some of the major functions of some key micronutrients and an outline of their deficiency symptoms.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to get low on nutrients. Here are some of the ways it can happen.
Medications can block the absorption, synthesis, metabolism or storage of nutrients. For example, statin drugs deplete our stores of CoQ10. Your doctor is supposed to tell you that when prescribing a statin, but I find many of my clients are in the dark on that one.
The recommended daily amounts, RDAs, are the best information we have on how much of each nutrient is needed to avoid deficiency symptoms. Our individual genes or lifestyle can determine an even higher level of need. National surveys show that many people in the US do not meet even that benchmark for many nutrients. Contributing factors can be:
- a lack of (micro) nutrient dense foods in the diet,
- a high intake of highly processed foods,
- the declining quality of the food supply due to farming practices,
- longer storage time for food between farm and table,
- a restricted diet, such as veganism.
Stress and caffeine
For some Americans this is a way of life! Being amped up and stressed takes a toll on your body and you burn through more nutrients. That can leave you depleted.
Sugar and white flour foods
Eating a lot of sugar and white flour foods that raise your blood sugar fast can deplete the body of key nutrients like magnesium and chromium, amongst others.
The process of metabolizing alcohol requires the liver to use nutrients. These nutrients are diverted from other roles in the body and can leave you depleted.
You may be eating enough micronutrients but not absorbing them! There are a number of different situations where this could occur but common ones that I encounter with clients are leaky gut or low stomach acid.
If you have symptoms, you may have micronutrient deficiencies!
One of the most helpful tools I use in my practice to gather information about my clients and help them get to optimal health is a Micronutrient Test. It is one key for me to knowing how to support and restore health in clients. The results show me which deficiencies in nutrients could be playing a part in symptoms. Testing cuts down on a lot of the educated guess work that would otherwise be needed.
If you’re curious about getting your nutrient status checked then read more about our Micronutrient Blood Test or get in touch with your questions.