6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Contibute to Weight Gain


Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to weight gain in several ways. For starters, they disrupt metabolic processes and slow healing. They can also drain your energy levels and affect your mood, making exercise and proper self-care more difficult. If you've noticed a few extra pounds hanging around that you simply can't seem to shed, it might be a sign of a more serious problem. Take a few minutes to learn more about a few deficiencies that are commonly associated with obesity and weight gain.

1. B Vitamins

Vitamin B12 is the most widely known and talked about member of this group known as the B Complex. It is a key component of some metabolic processes as well as neurological functions. Vitamin B6 and thiamine (B1) are also involved with metabolism. Vitamin B1, in particular, helps your body break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates so they can be absorbed and used as needed.
B vitamins are found in red meats, enriched grains and cereals, and dairy products. If you get most of your B vitamins from meat, you may not get enough vitamin B1. Consider adding a thiamine supplement to ensure that your levels remain in a healthy range.

2. Iodine

Your thyroid is responsible for a wide range of metabolic processes. Among those are producing the hormone thyroxine and converting it into triiodothyronine. These hormones are responsible for communicating workloads to your body's cells. When your thyroid doesn't produce enough of them, weight gain can result.
You may be wondering what that has to do with iodine. Your thyroid needs iodine to function properly. If you do not get enough, you may experience hypothyroidism. Most people can consume enough iodine from a balanced diet. Seafood, dairy products, and grains are good dietary sources of the mineral. However, some groups, especially those with food allergies, may need to supplement it.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is commonly associated with calcium since it helps your body absorb the mineral. However, studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with obesity, particularly in older women.
The easiest way to get enough of this essential vitamin is to spend about 20 minutes each day out in the sun. Between concerns over skin cancer and unpredictable weather, that is often easier said than done. Fatty fish, fortified dairy products, organ meats, and egg yolks are all good dietary sources of vitamin D.

4. Magnesium

There is a direct inverse relationship between magnesium and insulin resistance. Low levels of the mineral are correlated with increased resistance. In addition to contributing to weight gain, a deficiency of magnesium may also cause muscle twitching and fatigue.
It is relatively easy to get enough magnesium if you eat a balanced diet, even if you have some restrictions. Be sure to include foods that are high in magnesium like leafy greens and nuts.

5. Iron

Iron is a key component in several processes within your body. It is required to produce the hemoglobin that carries oxygen throughout your body, so a lack of iron can easily manifest as fatigue and weakness. It also plays a roll in digestive processes. Both of these are key to ensuring your body is able to process nutrients and function at its best.
You can get enough iron from foods if you are careful, but you should be aware that not all of it will be absorbed by your body. It is rare for someone to have too much iron, so go ahead and load up. Red meat, liver, and shellfish are generally high in iron, as are many green leafy vegetables.
If you have noticed a pattern of weight gain and you haven't changed your diet or exercise habits, you may have a nutritional deficiency. Talk to your healthcare provider about having your levels tested so you can get to the bottom of what is going on, and back into your smaller jeans.

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