Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which aren’t naturally produced in the body, but are essential for healthy development and disease prevention. Consumed in the right amounts, these nutrients are absorbed from our diet; however, if we aren’t getting the required amounts in our food or are having trouble absorbing them, nutritional deficiency can occur. Deficiencies can lead to serious health issues, including stunted growth, fatigue, skin problems, fragile bones, digestive issues and cognitive disorders such as dementia. The most common nutrient deficiencies include:
Iron is an essential mineral which binds with haemoglobin in red blood cells and transports oxygen to the cells. Being iron-deficient can cause the blood disorder anaemia, with symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, extremely rapid heartbeat and headaches (especially during exercise), leg cramps and pale skin. Iron deficiency is the most widespread deficiency in the world:
30% of the total global population suffers from anaemia, largely due to iron deficiency. About 30% of women are iron-deficient while menstruating, due to monthly blood loss. About
42% of pregnant women suffer from iron deficiency.
About 47% of preschool-aged children are iron-deficient and require an especially iron-rich diet.
Vegans and vegetarians are at greater risk of iron deficiency than meat-eaters.
2 VITAMIN D