Correcting Nutritional Deficiencies

Here are some great tips for what to eat and not to eat to feel peppier, sharper, more energized, and simply better all over! Do you ever wonder why after a full night’s sleep you still feel tired? Ever felt jittery without even having any caffeine? The answer may be in what you are eating! Very small nutritional deficiencies may make you feel ‘not right’. Eating too much of the wrong things will also have the same effect. If this is you then try these foods to fight some common complaints.

I Need More Energy

Do you feel like every day is a chore? You may not be getting enough iron! A lot of women also forget that you lose minerals when you menstruate too. If you tend to have heavy periods, you’re probably losing more iron than the average women and need to up your iron intake. You may be feeling groggy and fuzzy even if you don’t have a full deficiency of iron.

The solution to this would be to eat more red meats, fish, and poultry which are the best animal based sources of iron. If you don’t eat meat then the best sources are soybeans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Iron isn’t as easily absorbed by your body in those forms but adding vitamin C will help aid digestion.

I Feel Jittery

You know that caffeine can put you on edge but here’s another source of that jittery feeling: too many carbs! They are all stripped of any nutrients and fiber that normally keeps your blood sugar stable. This may cause the antsy feeling and inability to focus. A big dose of refined carbs causes your blood sugar level to soar and an excessive amount of insulin to be secreted by the pancreas. Then the extra insulin will make your blood sugar plummet, leaving you feeling tired.

The solution to this would be to prevent dramatic spikes and drops in blood sugar. Your meals and snacks should be based around lean protein, healthy fats, and unrefined carbs. This means basing your choices around foods like brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, whole oats, fruits, veggies, legumes, and lean meats.

I Feel Confused

Maybe you forgot an appointment again. Did you lose your keys in the house again for the second time in two days? A lack of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 could be to blame. These are both brain-boosting nutrients. Omega-3 are loaded with DHA â€" a type of fatty acid that helps promote you neutrons in your brain to fire more effectively. Omega-3 is an essential nutrient present in foods that we need to ingest for normal physiological functioning. Essential means these nutrients are indispensable for healthy living. Since the body does not have the capacity to make fatty acids itself, these nutrients need to be consumed in the foods we eat.

A lack of B12 has been linked to confusion, numbness, and tiredness. B12 is a nutrient that some people have a difficult time absorbing which causes the deficiency in people.

The solution to this is to eat foods high in omega-3 like fish (mackerel, trout, herring, tuna, and salmon), flax seed, seaweed, walnuts, krill oil and scallops. For more B12 try a fortified cereal, liver, cooked clams, yogurt, cheese, whole eggs, and ham.

I Feel Bloated

Some foods that are healthy still produce a lot of gas and could be leaving you with a bloated feeling. Vegetables high in gas include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Also carbonated drinks can also increase bloating. Not only are they bubbly but because of their artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are hard for your body to break down. Another culprit of bloating is too much salt. High levels of sodium will cause your body to retain water leaving you also feeling bloated. Being constipated also causes you to be bloated.

A solution to this is to cut back on the causes of bloating by limiting the sources. Stay away from artificial sweeteners all together. Drink water instead of carbonated drinks. Limit salty foods. Try adding a probiotic with doctor’s recommendations to your diet as well. This will help with constipation. You need to keep the food flowing through your body for it to work at its best! Water is the best way to help keep things flowing!

I Have Cramps After Workouts

It is very normal to feel a little achy after a tough workout, but cramps could mean you are low on electrolytes like potassium or magnesium. Potassium works with sodium to keep muscle contractions in check. If you are sweating it out you may have to deal with some pain in your calves or feet. Dehydration can also be a source of cramping. Replacing water lost during exercise is vital to having a great workout so your body can perform at its very best.

The solution to cramping would be to eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium. Bananas are a very famous source of potassium but a medium baked potato actually has twice the potassium! Prunes and orange juice also have potassium and lots of it. As for magnesium, try almonds and most other nuts, greens like spinach, and bran flakes and other unrefined grains. Consuming calcium also helps. This can be found from low-fat milk, tofu, and dark, leafy greens.

A lot of these deficiencies can be corrected with supplements (as recommended by a doctor) but it is the best to start with whole foods first. A change to your diet is generally what is needed to correct these common problems.

Finding that right balance for your body is definitely a task. It requires fine tuning your nutrition and really focusing on how your body reacts to certain foods. It is surprising how much a small deficiency in nutrition can throw your whole body and mind off balance. Try these tips to help keep your body in great shape for your workouts and for your life!

Author Bio:

Flavia Del Monte is a Registered Nurse, Certified Physical Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, fitness model. Flavia created Full Body Licious specifically for women that what to get fit and healthy in a safe and productive way. You can read more about her training programs, nutrition advice and women's fitness ideas on her exercises for women blog, Flavilicious Fitness.

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