When you know what’s on your plate and how it helps your body function, you can more easily make informed dietary decisions. A vitamin-rich meal fills you up and gives your body the tools it needs to keep you alert and mobile. However, if you notice yourself feeling sluggish and weak, or if you experience brain fog, look at that plate again. You could be missing a few key vitamins and minerals—but don’t despair. Here’s what you can do to combat vitamin deficiencies.
Brighten up Your Plate
Next time you’re in the produce section at the supermarket, take a moment to look at all the colors around you. Raw fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits and leafy greens, are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Dark greens give you plenty of iron and zinc, while fresh fruits offer an alphabet’s worth of vitamins. Red, orange, and yellow fruits are a valuable source of beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body can convert into vitamin A. Challenge yourself to eat as many colors of the rainbow as possible every week.
Spend Time Outdoors
The sun is a crucial source of vitamin D, and many people don’t get enough of it. Slather yourself with sunscreen and get at least a few minutes of natural sunlight every day. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common, often marked by sluggishness and bone weakness. If left unchecked, it can lead to osteoporosis. If you suspect that you are deficient in vitamin D, get at least a few minutes of midday sunlight every day. Take up outdoor hobbies like gardening or roller skating to motivate you!
Destigmatize Fat and Oil
“Fat” isn’t a bad word! In fact, fatty fish are rich in those omega-3s you’ve heard about. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to heart health. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble and invaluable in preventing fatigue, hair loss, and blurred vision. Steer clear of refined oils like canola, and opt for naturally occurring sources like coconut oil, avocados, and the aforementioned fatty fish. Your body needs fat to function. Combat brain fog and fatigue by eating healthy fats and oils.
As you wander through the aisles at the supermarket, keep an eye out for bright fruits and crunchy greens. Get out of the house and move your body as you absorb light from the midday sun. And remember: eat everything in moderation! What can you do to combat vitamin deficiencies? In short, shop smart and put together a plate that makes you smile.
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