Feeling tired and achy? It might be a simple lack of vitamins causing your pain.
If a person was time traveling and walked into a local supermarket in any North American town, they might be hard-pressed to believe that someone living nearby is lacking in vitamins.
It isn’t simply economics that causes it- it’s also a lack of interest. It’s a lot cheaper to be a vegetarian than to eat meat for dinner, 7 days a week. Try it. Don’t get me started. It isn’t mostly because fruits and vegetables are too expensive that some of us are lacking in vitamin C.
Of course, I’m not innocent by any means. I, too, can’t get enough of cheddar and sour cream seasoning delectably combined on a thin piece of roasted potato, and I often don’t reach for cucumbers and oranges for an afternoon snack.
Why? Because basically, I’m lazy. Like you, I might have lost a taste for fresh fruits and veggies. I’ve also let the habit of buying them, and the knowledge of preparing nutrient filled dishes fall by the wayside, as I reach for a salty bag of snacks, instead.
But there are ramifications to our actions. Here are 4 vitamins that what we need more of, if we want to live the good life and not have our teeth fall out:
1) Vitamin C
I actually can’t believe this is on the list. Apart from those people who are sadly homeless or living out their old age alone without much help, the rest of us who don’t get enough vitamin C don’t have many excuses.
The truth is, someone in the United States of America is suffering from scurvy right now. It’s that illness that killed off dozens of sailors searching for the Northwest Passage, way back in the 1600’s, when all they needed was an orange, or two or three.
Stats say that about 25% of Americans currently suffer from a lack of vitamin C. Not all have scurvy, but if you do, you’ll know that it can result in muscle and joint pain, feelings of fatigue, red dots on your skin, bleeding and swelling gums, and your teeth falling out.
How can you prevent it? Eat or drink items that contain vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli, red peppers and citrus juice.
2) Vitamin E
Amazingly, about 60% of Americans don’t actually get enough vitamin E. What’s it good for? Vitamin E prevents blood clots, supports your immune system and keeps your blood vessels healthy.
Not getting enough means that you can cause nerve damage. You can lose feeling in your arms and legs and have vision problems as well as difficulty controlling your muscles.
Stay in the clear by eating foods like sunflower seeds, avocados, nuts and grains.
3) Vitamin D
If you live with warmer weather most of the year, you’re probably getting enough of this one, through the sun.
If you live with four full seasons though and have to wait until mid-May for things to warm up, chances are high that you’re not actually getting enough vitamin D.
The sun isn’t strong enough in the north during the winter months to give us any notable amounts. Scarily enough, this is leaving kids at a risk of developing rickets, a debilitating childhood bone disease and it’s increasing illnesses in adults.
What can you do? Move south, and spend at least 15 minutes a day in the sun before covering up.
Or, eat fatty fish like salmon and drink fortified milk and juice, while taking a vitamin D supplement.
This one is an important vitamin, as it can help to reduce inflammation and disease, keep your bones healthy, regulate your mood and boost your immune system.
4) Vitamin A
Last but not least, North Americans are seriously lacking in vitamin A. One third of us don’t get enough and experts say that if our foods weren’t fortified, that number would be as high as 75%.
Vitamin A is essential for bone growth, healthy vision, a solid immune system, and proper functioning of your organs.
You can get more by eating eggs, fish, leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables. No excuses- get enough and your heart and lungs will see the benefits.
So, what’s the moral? Eat your alphabet in full and you’ll live long enough to sing about it with the grand kids. Or, something like that.
(photo credits: www.pixabay.com)