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Very often, as women, we are often guilty neglecting our ‘micronutritional’ requirements dues to excuses like “we are too busy to eat right”, “need to take of our family first” or “need to adhere to latest dieting trend”.
As such, many women still do not consume enough of certain micronutrients. Be mindful of the following 5 common areas of nutritional deficiency:
Due to menstrual cycles, many women are iron deficient. This can lead to chronic feelings of fatigue and poor training performance (when on a fitness regime or course).
Eating iron-rich foods such as liver and red meats, preparing foods using cast-iron cookware, and taking an iron supplement help to correct this deficiency.
If you are currently taking a greens supplement that contains iron, it is suggested to take 2 servings a day the week of your cycle.
80% of people suffering from osteoporosis are female. Low levels of calcium often do not become apparent until later in life, when the slow loss of bone mass causes a decrease in quality of life due to a brittle and injury-prone skeletal system.
One of the benefits of strength training is the increase in bone density, but the full effect of this can’t be realized without adequate calcium absorption.
This nutrient plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium. It also plays an important role in the maintenance of the nervous and immune systems.
Certain types of cancers, such as breast, ovarian, colon and bladder, have been associated with Vitamin D3 deficiencies.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies are especially common in those climates where sunlight is scarce. Vitamin D3 is created in your skin mainly during exposure to sunlight.
Fair-skinned people are much more efficient at producing D3 from sunlight than are those with dark skin. Vitamin D3 is of such importance that it actually caused people in northern climates to evolve to have lighter skin!
As a general rule, it is healthy to expose at least a quarter of your unprotected skin to direct sunlight for 5 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week.
Those with lighter skin need less exposure, while those with darker skin need more.
David Servan-Schreiber MD, PHD, in his book ‘Anticancer: A New Way Of Life’, points out that, between 1976 and 2000, Americans lowered fat consumption by 11 percent and calorie intake by 4%, yet obesity went up 31% in this same period.
In addition to inactivity and processed carbs, a likely cause is the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, which is severely out of balance in Western diets – what should be a 1:1 Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio is anywhere from 1:15 to 1:30 in most.
This imbalance is due to the large consumption of vegetable oils and products from livestock that are fed grains, corn, and soy instead of grass.
The food that makes our livestock fat is also making us fat, because of the omega imbalances they cause. These fatty acids cannot be produced in the body and must come from food sources.
The solution is to eat plenty of fish and products derived from livestock that is grass fed (1:1 ratio) and to avoid as much as possible the “heart healthy” vegetable oil contained in almost all processed foods.
Flaxseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and fish oil are great sources of dietary fat, and they also help to correct this imbalance.
The body needs to maintain slightly alkaline blood for optimal health. When our diets cause us to become slightly acidic instead, the body uses calcium and other minerals to neutralize the acids, and these minerals can come from both our diets and our bones.
Most people’s pH levels on Western diets are acidic, mainly because they eat too much meat and dairy and too few vegetables.
This can be corrected by getting most of your carbs from a variety of vegetables and fruits and by taking a greens supplement, such as Green Vibrance, that is alkalinising due to the vegetation from which it is made.