We know that modern life depletes us our nutrient stores relatively quickly and we also know, nutrients are essential for optimal health. But this alone doesn't give us the full picture.
We know many of us are commonly deficient in key nutrients, but most of us don't know what these nutrients are, what can happen if we are deficient in them and most importantly, how to increase your nutrient levels if you are low.
Let's take a closer look at the five of the most common nutrient deficiencies we see at the BePure Clinic, the signs and symptoms of these deficiencies and tips to maximise your nutrition to ensure you're living with optimal levels of nutrients for a healthy, happy body, mind and life.
First up is Iodine. 91% of New Zealanders tested were Iodine deficient. The biggest groups at risk of Iodine deficiency are pregnant mothers and people with autoimmunity issues or concerns.
Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones which help control metabolism, growth and development; including in your brain and control of your ability to lose weight.
Iodine deficiency is the number one cause of preventable intellectual disability in children, and recent studies have shown evidence of Iodine deficiency re-emerging in New Zealand.
Testing: It is advised you seek testing for Iodine through your health practitioner. We highly recommend taking the gold standard test for Iodine, which includes a whole body sufficiency test, we offer these at the BePure Clinic, but some initial bloods screenings are involved.
A good source of Iodine is seaweed, especially kelp. Putting seaweed on your vegetable garden, which transfers to growing vegetables high in Iodine. We have two forms of Iodine in BePure One, potassium Iodine and also Iodine from kelp.
Selenium is key mineral for making selenoproteins. One of the most important selenoproteins is glutathione, an antioxidant which supports detoxification and some studies have shown it may even be protective against cancers – especially prostate cancer.
Our dietary intakes of selenium are lower than many other countries because of nutrient deficiencies in our soil. It is estimated we get only 10-20% of the selenium we require to hit our recommended daily intake of 60mcg per day (RDI).
Testing: Selenium can easily be tested in the blood, however be aware that lab ranges in New Zealand are too low as they are based on a population that are deficient. At BePure we like people to be above 1.6 or 1.7nmol.
Good sources of Selenium: Brazil nuts, beef and fish. BePure One contains 150mcg of selenomethionine to support optimal Selenium levels.
Zinc is a vital nutrient for healthy immune function, energy and metabolic regulation, as it is needed to make insulin. It is also used as a cofactor for the production of many hormones.
Several studies suggest that in New Zealand adolescent girls have low zinc intakes which fail to meet their needs for growth. Intakes of premenopausal women may have fallen over time, and for older women, low zinc intakes are a big challenge.
Testing: Testing your zinc levels is something you can do at home with a functional test. This is recommended over testing with a blood test as zinc levels in the blood are tightly controlled by homeostasis. Our BePure Zinc Taste Test is an easy way to test anyone's zinc levels easily.
Good sources of zinc include seafood (especially oysters) and red meat. In BePure One we have 15mg of chelated zinc to help maintain optimal zinc status.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a vital role in our ability to absorb calcium and it is important for healthy bones and muscles. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression, infertility, joint pain and insomnia.
84% of New Zealanders were found to be vitamin D deficient.
84% of New Zealanders were found to be vitamin D deficient. What we absorb in Summer has to support our vitamin D levels throughout winter. Because of this, we often need to supplement our vitamin D in winter. BePure One contains Vitamin D to help address this common deficiency.
Testing: You can test for vitamin D deficiency via a blood test. Speak to your healthcare provider. At the BePure Clinic we aim for over 80nmol/l of vitamin D, or maintain levels around 150nmol/l if the client has autoimmunity concerns.
Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, beef, fish, organ meat and dairy. In BePure One we have 800IU of Vitamin D3 and an additional 800IU of Vitamin D3 in BePure Three.
5. Vitamin B12
40% of New Zealanders over the age of 65 have some degree of B12 deficiency. B12 is essential for making your DNA and red blood cells. It also appears to play a crucial role in immunity with low levels of B12 being heavily linked to autoimmune conditions.
40% of New Zealanders over the age of 65 have some degree of B12 deficiency.
Your body cannot make B12 on its own and must be absorbed from animal products or supplementation. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you will need to regularly check your serum B12 levels.
Testing: You can test for B12 deficiency via a blood test. Speak to your healthcare provider. At BePure we like your B12 to be in the higher end of the range to ensure optimal levels for function.
Good sources of B12 include red meat and seafood. BePure One contains 50mcg of Methylcobalamin (B12) to provide you with adequate B12 daily intake.
As you can see there are some simple changes you can make today to improve your nutrient status and consequently support the wellbeing of your whole being.
You can improve – or hinder – the absorption of these nutrients by eating certain foods together. How you eat your meals is sometimes just as important as what you are eating for your meals.
In our blog post How to Get the Most Nutrients out of Your Food, we have some handy tips for optimising your uptake of essential nutrients.
If you have any questions please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.