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Are you Sabotaging your Diet? Anti-vitamins – What you need to know

With the news this week of a 17-year-old teenager going deaf and blind due to nutritional deficiencies there has been a lot of discussions about diet and nutrients. Since primary school this boy has consumed only chips, crisps, white bread and occasionally ham and sausages. He is deficient in many vitamins and minerals, initially his symptoms were extreme tiredness – when his sight became affected his symptoms progressed extremely rapidly to irreversible damage to his optic nerve, which links the eyes to the brain. This report highlights how we need to taking care of our diet and watching our families’ diet too, if there is a problem with a fussy eater seek help sooner rather than later.

Anti-vitamins & Anti-minerals

We all know eating a varied diet - grains, protein, rich in plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables is best for our  health but did you know other things we are consuming or doing in life can negate some of those precious nutrients?  You could be sabotaging your diet, for example, if an excess of coffee is consumed on a daily basis absorption of Magnesium, Iron, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Folic acid, Biotin, Choline & Inositol (B complex) is impaired.

Here is a basic list of anti-vitamins and anti-minerals that are worth keeping to a minimum to ensure effective nutrient absorbtion:

Vitamin A            caffeine, alcohol, cortisone, Vit D deficiency, sugar, tobacco, laxatives, infections, cold weather

Vitamin B1          Alcohol, rea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, stress, diuretics, fever, surgery

Vitamin B2          Alcohol, tea, coffee, tobacco, sugar

Vitamin B3          Antibiotics, alcohol, coffee, sugar

Vitamin B5          Alcohol, coffee, tobacco, X-rays

Vitamin B6          Alcohol, coffee, laxatives, tobacco

Vitamin B12        Alcohol, coffee, laxatives, tobacco

Folic Acid             Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, fever, aspirin

Vitamin C             Many medicines (Zinc is required to help absorption)

Vitamin D            Laxatives, mineral oils, pollution

Vitamin E             Pollution, oral contraceptives, laxatives

Calcium                Lack of exercise, stress, sugar, Vit D deficiency

Magnesium        Alcohol, diuretics, coffee, tea, stress, high cholesterol, oral contraceptives

Selenium             Mercury, sulphates, cadmium

Iron                        Chronic diarrhoea, coffee, tea, copper deficiency

Zinc                        Alcohol, diuretics, oral contraceptives, lack of Vit. A/D

In Times of Stress

Stress also has a huge effect on our ability to absorb nutrients. At these times we may not be taking care of ourselves as well as we might usually do but our bodies need more B complex vitamins (B group) than usual due to our fight or flight stress systems. Absorption of Calcium and Magnesium is also affected. A deficiency in these nutrients may lead to skin, digestion or circulation problems, tiredness, depression and/or anxiety, muscle aches or cramps, menstrual issues, bone or teeth problems. In stressful times to support health keep in mind the above chart, be kind to yourself and seek help where needed. An appointment with a nutritionist or discussing your options with a nutritionist at a natural health store may help you support your health through difficult times. Here at Seale Natural Health we have many therapies that can help you cope mentally, emotionally and physically. We also hold a regular meditation group on alternative Wednesday evenings.

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