Just Vitamins Asks… Registered Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert “What are the vitamins we're not getting enough of?”
With supermarket shelves increasingly
lined with processed foods, many are consuming more refined sugary rich meals
than ever before. With a huge shift in eating habits, it’s no surprise to see
surges in obesity and chronic diseases. As you age, you need more of certain vitamins and minerals than
when you were younger.
Eating more natural whole foods will
serve your health much better but still, we often still are in need of boosting
vital vitamins and minerals. The three most common vitamins we are deficient in
are Calcium, Vitamin D and Iron.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in
the body. It is an invaluable nutrient helps form haemoglobin in red blood cells. Haemoglobin is a protein that
binds with oxygen in the blood to transport it around the body.
Calcium helps maintain healthy bones and
teeth, assists in nerve transmission, and controls blood clotting. Our bodies
need plenty of calcium to function well as it is something we cannot naturally
produce, we can only source it through the food we consume. Insufficient levels
of Calcium can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and other serious bone
Many consume Calcium through dairy
produce but we require significantly more Calcium than that within our morning
porridge. The recommended daily
allowance (RDA) of Calcium in the UK is 700mg a day for adults and pregnant
women. Calcium rich foods include Almonds, Broccoli
and Butternut Squash.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin we can
both consume by eating a variety of whole foods as well as and make ourselves.
We can process sunlight in the form of a hormone, however with the weather not
always reliable, we must consume more Vitamin D rich foods to compensate.
Vitamin D regulates cell growth and as
result significantly decreases cardiovascular disease risk. It has
anti-inflammatory benefits, which help maintain muscle mass and reduce the risk
of bone fractures. It has also been attributed to lowering high blood pressure.
Vitamin D rich foods include oily Fish, Eggs and Cheese.
Those especially at
risk of not getting enough vitamin D include pregnant women, children aged
under five years old and people aged 65 or over. The Department of the Health
recommend people aged 65+ years and those not often exposed to sunshine should
take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D.
Those not at risk may take a vitamin D supplement daily, but this should not be
more that 25 micrograms (1000 units) daily.
Iron is an essential protein, which is involved
in everything from carrying oxygen through the body to building muscles. A lack
of Iron can cause fatigue (anemia), memory loss, muscle loss, and difficulties
regulating body temperature.
Insufficient Iron levels are often seen
in Vegans and Vegetarians as Iron from animal produce is absorbed far more
efficiently than from plant-based produce. The foods consumed at the same time
also play a key role in absorption levels.
The recommended daily
allowance (RDA) of iron in the UK is 8.7mg a day for adult men and 14.8mg a day
for adult women. Iron rich foods include Spinach, Seafood
View our video interview “What are the vitamins we're not getting enough of?” with Rhiannon Lambert here.
Visit www.rhitrition.com to find out more about Rhiannon Lambert.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.