In addition to nutrient intake, it is important to pay attention to nutritional deficiencies, as different stages of life require different calories and energy to initiate various life processes depending on physical characteristics. Caloric requirements therefore vary depending on physical activity level, age, height, weight, comorbidities, pregnancy, and lactation status.
The most common micronutrient deficiencies are vitamins A, B, C, D, calcium, folate, iodine, and iron. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sweedar Trinidade, HOD Meal Services, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim, revealed micronutrient deficiencies and steps to overcome them.
- iron: According to the WHO, anemia remains at the top of the list, and young girls and pregnant women are the most vulnerable group in the population and are at increased risk of maternal death and low birth weight during pregnancy.
Solved: WHO recommends iron and folic acid supplementation to improve serum iron status in women of reproductive age.
i) Heme source: Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish are highly bioavailable and very good sources of heme iron.
ii) Non-heme sources: Kidney beans, pumpkin, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, garden watercress seeds, sunflower seeds, and black dates are good sources of non-heme iron, but their bioavailability is low.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in immune function and healthy vision. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and weakened immunity, and deficiency can make you more susceptible to infections.
Solved: Vitamin A supplementation is very effective in preventing deficiency diseases and moral decline in women and children. It is important to note that excessive intake of vitamin A causes vitamin A toxicity.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene are good sources of vitamin A, such as carrots, spinach, broccoli, red and yellow peppers, pumpkin, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions like a steroid hormone in the body and plays a major role in nutrient-gene interactions. Many genes can be turned on or off. Vitamin D3 is responsible for the absorption of calcium, which is necessary for maintaining good bone density, and is also helpful in preventing rickets and osteoporosis, reducing the risk of bone fractures, and building a strong immune system.
Meal source: Fish and fish oil supplements, cheese, and fortified milk.
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin involved in brain and nerve function. Deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, atrophic gastritis with thinning of the abdominal lining, pernicious anemia with decreased absorption of vitamin B12, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, or parasitic infestation. There is a possibility. Affects the small intestine. In addition to these fad diets, going vegan can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Meal source: Shellfish, egg yolks, dairy products, and seaweed are good sources of vitamin B12.
Iodine is involved in the production of thyroid hormones, which are involved in regulating metabolic changes, growth, and repair.
Meal source: Fish, eggs, dairy products, and seaweed are rich sources of iodine. The WHO also recommends the use of fortified food-grade salt in the daily diet as an effective means to overcome this deficiency.
It’s very important to note that not only lack of certain nutrients is the cause, but fad diets can also lead to nutritional deficiencies.