Mineral imbalances are an epidemic today. We aren't able to make our own minerals so all minerals must be obtained through adequate consumption in the diet. However, consumption alone is not enough. We must produce enough stomach acid to pull minerals from the food we eat, and we also need good fats in our diet in order to utilize them. If the pH of the stomach is not acidic enough, the pancreas will not release digestive enzymes and the minerals will pass right through the digestive tract without being absorbed.
Any undigested food showing up in the stool is a sign that minerals are likely not being absorbed. With todays multi-tasking, high stress society and low fat diets, it's very common for people to be under too much stress while eating to secrete enough stomach acid or not eating enough healthy fats at meals to properly digest and utilize minerals from their food.
In addition to this, other factors that deplete minerals are:
- Soil depletion
- Pharmaceutical Drugs
- Birth Control Pills
- Coffee, Alcohol, Soda, Sugar
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
On top of that, most minerals are only moderately absorbed even when digestion is optimal so it's important we pay attention to this aspect of our health and nutrition. Since mineral deficiencies continually show up on the hair scans I use in my practice, I want to shed some light on some common signs and symptoms that indicate certain mineral deficiencies. People are often facing them without knowing it.
Common signs and symptoms of mineral deficiencies:
1. Cuts heal slowly and/or scar easily - signs of zinc deficiency. Zinc is critical in wound healing, eye/skin/hair health, and immunity. Zinc also helps build stomach acid in order to absorb other minerals from food
2. Muscle cramps, restless legs, headaches - signs of magnesium deficiency. For every gram of sugar consumed, 54 grams of magnesium is used to process it. The body also loses magnesium when dealing with any kind of stress. Most people are eating a lot of sugar and are under a lot of stress so this is the most common deficiency I see.
3. Yeast and Fungal Infections - signs of low iron and zinc with excessive copper
4. Abnormal cravings for substances other than food such as paper, dirt, clay, rubber, or ice - signs of iron deficiency
5. Fatigue, dizziness, headaches, difficulty breathing, feeling cold - signs of iron deficiency
6. High blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias - signs of potassium deficiency. Potassium plays a major role in the muscle contractions of the heart and is an important regulator of blood pressure
7. Hypothyroidism (fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, intolerance to cold, decreased heart rate, dry and scaly skin, constipation, puffy eyes, decreased sex drive, poor concentration and forgetfulness - signs of selenium and iodine deficiency
There are certain mineral rich foods I highly recommend in order to minimize the chance of mineral deficiencies and those are: Bone broth, Sprouts, Fresh Cold-Pressed Vegetable Juice, Fermented Foods, Shellfish, Fish, Liver, Local Vegetables and Fruits (especially leafy greens)
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you experienced any of these signs or symptoms of a mineral deficiency? What have you tried incorporating into your diet to help? Share and let me know!