Feeling Lethargic? You May Be Deficient In These Vitamins And Minerals
Updated: Mar 26, 2021
Got your 8 hrs of sleep and still feeling tired & groggy? It could be a vitamin and mineral deficiency -- particuarly B vitamins, iron and magnesium.
B vitamins - release energy from food. They're VITAL for metabolism of carbs and fats so it's important to make sure our B vitamin levels are sufficient by eating foods rich in them like eggs, an assortment of vegetables, whole grains like oats & brown rice and lean meats such as organic chicken or turkey. I also suggest supplementing as B vitamins are water soluble and are easily extreted from the body. It's important to note that B vitamins like working together or in synergy to perform their absoulte best so instead of taking any one B vitamin seperately, I suggest a good quality B Complex. My favorite B complex supplement is by a Canadian company called AOR. Don't be alarmed if your pee starts turning a neon yellow after taking these! This is thanks to the presence of vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin and what's happening is that the body is just excreting what it doesn't need. If the color bothers you, simply drink more water to dilute it.
Magnesium - when we think of magnesium, we often associate it with calm and relaxation but this mineral is actually a crucial player in energy production. Let's get sciency for a minute. Our cells use a molecule called ATP to fuel most of the processes that take place aka ATP is our bodies main energy source. That ATP can only act if it’s accompanied by magnesium. Magnesium the second most abundant mineral in our cells! Sadly, most people are deficient in this essential mineral because of our poor food choices grown in mineral depleted soils. Plus, day-to-day dirty habits like drinking too much coffee and stressing out too much can deplete levels of magnesium. So how do we maintain adequate levels? Include a variety of quality whole foods in your diet like nuts, beans, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. A general rule of thumb is that if a food is rich in dietary fiber, it's also a good source of magnesium. You can also consider supplementing if additional symptoms arise that require magnesium therapy like sleeping difficulties, restlessness, muscle spasms, heart palpitations and migraine headaches. I generally like to recommend magnesium citrate (it also acts as a mild laxative) or magnesium bisglycinate. Follow doseage on the bottle.
Iron - is ESSENTIAL for energy! It is mainly found in your red blood cells. Your body uses iron to hold on to oxygen in your blood and transport it to tissues. At the cellular level, iron is used then to make energy and to fuel enzymes. Therefore, if you have low iron, you are essentially depriving all of your body’s cells of oxygen. No wonder you feel so terrible! Iron deficiency is a very common issue, particularly in women. Menstrual periods = regular blood loss = regular iron loss. Heavier periods account for even more iron loss. Sadly, iron deficiencies only show up in blood tests if the issue is severe meaning that you could be iron deficient and still end up with a normal blood test. So how do you know if you're iron deficient? FATIGUE! If you're constantly tired even after a solid 8 hrs, experiencing brain fog and feeling generally down in the dumps, you're most likely iron deficient. Another prominant symptom is hair loss. So how do we boost our iron levels? Plant-based diets, particularly ones that restrict animal meat altogether are the most prone for iron deficiency as meat, particuarly red meat, is highest in absorbable (heme) iron. But, certain plants do contain some (non-heme) iron like spinach, broccoli, prunes, raisins and black strap molasses to name a few and though the iron contained in them is not as well absorbed, it still manages to do the trick with a little help from such factors as vitamin C. By pairing vitamin C rich foods with iron-rich plant-based foods, you will boost absorption rate of the iron. Next time you're eating a spinach salad, toss in some orange wedges and drizzle on some lemon juice! Supplementation of iron is also a good idea if symptoms are obvious and severe. I generally recommend an herbal supplement to start like Floradix Formula but other trusted sources include Ferrasorb by Thorne and Hemagenics by Metagenics. Follow doseage on the bottle.