Nutrient deficiencies didn’t just plague pirates and medievalers; in fact, you probably have a deficiency and don’t even know it—especially if you’re a resident of a northern U.S. city hunkering down for yet another blizzard.
Nearly 50 percent of Buffalonians (yes, people from Buffalo) have insufficient levels of vitamin D, and 25 percent are considered deficient, a recent study from the University at Buffalo has found.
Our bodies create vitamin D, unlike other vitamins, when ultraviolet sunlight is absorbed into our skin; and since there aren’t too many of us sunbathing on snowdrifts, it’s difficult to maintain proper levels. Deficiency can lead to lower bone density, a weakened immune system, higher susceptibility to some cancers and even increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. What’s worse is you won’t see these health effects for years to come, and it can take up to months to get your levels back to normal.
The only way to protect yourself—other than shipping off to the southern hemisphere—is to eat foods rich in the vitamin source. Jim White, RD, ACSM HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesman, owner and president of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios offers his diet tips for warding off the 7 most common nutrient deficiencies.
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