6 Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies and Foods to Fight Them

Himalayan Natives

7 min Read

January 20, 2023 | health-nutrition

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6 Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies and Foods to Fight Them

The reality is, deficiency of minerals in India is linked to a number of health problems, including stunted growth, weakened immune systems, and an increased risk for developing chronic diseases.

It is undeniable that what you consume plays a significant role in your health and development.

Eating the right kinds of food and nutritional requirements can have a positive effect on your physical growth and mental well-being throughout your life.

Sir Thomas Edison once quoted: “The doctors of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

Healthy Lifestyle

Causes of Nutritional deficiencies are when the body does not get enough of the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain good health.

What are the most common nutritional deficiencies?

This might be surprising but according to a report published by the National Institute of Nutrition, an estimated 30% of India’s population suffers from anaemia due to problems with nutrient deficiencies.

You might also be wondering how these deficiencies affect males and females respectively. There are both similarities and differences in Nutritional deficiencies in males and females which we will discuss further in the blog.

It's time to look at six such shockingly common nutritional deficiencies in India and around the world:

  1. Iron Deficiency: It is in fact a major health issue in India, with over 50% of pregnant women and 40% of non-pregnant women suffering from it.

Caused by inadequate dietary intake, poor absorption of iron, and increased demands for iron due to rapid growth and development. Iron deficiency is linked to anaemia, which is a significant contributor to maternal mortality in India.

It can lead to an increased risk of infection, poor cognitive development, and decreased work productivity.

  1. Iodine Deficiency: Iodine deficiency is another worrying public health issue in India. It is estimated that around 200 million people in India suffer from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).

As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2019-20, only 55 per cent of the population consumed an adequate amount of iodine in their diet. It can lead to a range of health problems, including goitre, mental retardation and cretinism.

The coverage of iodized salt remains low, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, due to the lack of awareness about the importance of iodine, many people are not consuming iodized salt or other iodine-rich foods.

  1. Vitamin A Deficiency: It is estimated that about one-third of Indian children under the age of 5 are deficient in Vitamin A, resulting in a high prevalence of night blindness and other vision problems.

The main causes of Vitamin A deficiency are an inadequate intake of Vitamin A-rich foods including fruits and leafy green vegetables, and inadequate access to fortified foods such as fortified dairy products.

Now, worry not if this scares you or if you yourself or someone you know is suffering from any of these deficiencies.

It is relatively easier to identify nutrient deficiency symptoms and fight those which will be discussed further in this blog.

  1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency: This is a major public health concern in India. It is estimated that 60-90% of people in India are deficient in this essential nutrient.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the development of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and neurological functions. Deficiency of this nutrient can lead to symptoms such as anaemia, fatigue, poor memory, depression, and nerve damage.

  1. Vitamin D Deficiency: People at risk of this include the elderly, those living in urban areas, and those with darker skin tones.

The main causes of Vitamin D deficiency in India are due to inadequate dietary intake and lack of exposure to sunlight. This is because traditional diets in India are low in Vitamin D, and the clothing worn by many people covers much of the skin, preventing adequate sun exposure.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a range of health problems, including weak bones, increased risk of falls, and increased risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

  1. Calcium Deficiency: India has one of the highest rates of calcium deficiency in the world, with one in three adults suffering from it. This is largely due to an inadequate dietary intake of calcium and an increased intake of phosphorus from an over-consumption of processed foods.

Additionally, the lack of physical activity and the tendency to remain sedentary for longer periods also contribute to an increased risk for calcium deficiency

What are some Natural Food Products to Overcome Nutritional Deficiencies?

Yes, nutritional deficiencies can be fought with natural foods. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can help prevent and treat the most common nutritional deficiencies. 

Natural food sources of key vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and vitamin D, are especially important for maintaining health. 

Natural foods products such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, desi ghee, natural sweeteners and more can help ensure that you are getting enough essential nutrients. Additionally, adding a daily multivitamin can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet.

1. Edible Seeds: These Healthy Seeds are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help fight nutritional deficiencies. They are a great source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, dietary fibres, and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E.

Edible Seeds

Eating seeds on a regular basis can help improve overall nutrition and ensure that you get the necessary amounts of essential nutrients. They are also easy to add to meals and snacks, making them an easy way to boost nutrition.

2. Dry Fruits & Nuts: Eating dry fruits and nuts is a great way to boost your nutrient intake if you are suffering from nutritional deficiency. Dry fruits and nuts are nutrient-dense foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

Dry Fruits & Nuts

Eating a handful of nuts and a few pieces of dried fruit each day can help you meet your daily nutritional needs. They are high in dietary fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve digestive health.

3. Desi Ghee: It is a great source of nutrition and can be beneficial for those suffering from nutritional deficiencies. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids.

Desi Ghee

Nowadays, there are better and healthier versions of Ghee available in the market that are made traditionally from the nutritious A2 milk of Desi Cows with the Bilona Handchurned method. You can get your hands on Bilona Ghee and A2 Ghee from one such trusted Natural Foods Products brand Himalayan Natives.

4. Jaggery Powder: This natural sweetener can help fight nutritional deficiency by providing a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of iron which helps in the formation of haemoglobin and is also high in other minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus.

Jaggery Powder

It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Jaggery powder is also high in fibre, which helps to regulate digestive health and promote regularity. In addition, jaggery powder can help to boost energy levels, as it is a natural source of carbohydrates.

If you are enjoying reading this blog and find it helpful, we are sure you would love to give this a read too: What to Eat as Best Pre and Post Workout Foods.

From where can you get these SuperFoods Online?

If you are on the hunt for some natural food products, you are already halfway there to a healthy lifestyle. But choosing the right product from a trusted brand from a vast pool of choices might be challenging. Let us help you with that as well.

Himalayan Natives is one such natural food brand that is not only certified and approved by the Food Regulatory authorities of India but also tested and loved by over 10 Lakh Indian Households. Our food products are unprocessed, unadulterated and 100% Natural.

Farmed, harvested and produced in the most natural way in our mineral-rich Organic Farms. Sourced and packed ethically to provide our customers with the most natural and premium quality food products.

Finally, to conclude, remember an unbalanced diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which vary in severity and affect different age and ethnic groups. If left unchecked, these deficiencies can lead to serious health problems and an increased risk of certain diseases.

To ensure that you get all the essential nutrients, it is recommended to consume a healthy and balanced diet. Furthermore, nutrient deficiencies can hinder the body's growth. Fortunately, these deficiencies can be prevented and managed with proper nutrition.

We at Himalayan Natives create and promote awareness around Natural Foods and their incredible health benefits one can avail. Hop on to our Facebook page and witness the goodness of nature yourself.

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