Shopping Cart


Your shopping bag is empty

Go to the shop
3 Ways To Prevent Micronutrient Deficiency

3 Ways To Prevent Micronutrient Deficiency

The human body is a complicated machine that requires many systems to work together for optimal health. For example, a person’s sleep quality and quantity can make or break overall health because the body relies on sleep to rejuvenate itself from the previous day. The same can be said for the importance of food. Food is the fuel that keeps us alive, but something people may not consider during their daily meals is the nutrients they’re consuming and what those nutrients are doing on a cellular level. There are many nutrients vital to the overall functioning of the human body, and if they’re lacking in any area, something called micronutrient deficiency can seriously harm your overall health. But what is micronutrient deficiency? And are there ways to prevent micronutrient deficiency? Let’s investigate.

What is micronutrient deficiency?

To put it simply, micronutrient deficiency is a lack of vital nutrients. According to the World Health Organization, micronutrient deficiency is a global health problem affecting over two billion people.

Essential vitamins and nutrients are required by the body to perform functions that go on behind the scenes on a cellular level. Those functions are hindered when a person doesn’t get enough of these adequate vitamins or minerals. It starts a domino effect within the body because when one aspect of health is negatively affected by micronutrient deficiency, many others will follow.

Some of the most common deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium

Without adequate levels of these nutrients, people can experience adverse health effects ranging from mild to severe. Micronutrient deficiency is a form of malnutrition.  

Micronutrient deficiency and its signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of micronutrient deficiency will differ depending on what vitamin or mineral is missing from the diet. For example, anemia occurs when people are low in iron. Some symptoms of anemia can include:

  • Brittle nails
  • Lightheadedness upon standing
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mouth ulcers


Image by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash: What are the best sources for micronutrients?


Other signs and symptoms associated with micronutrient deficiency and the nutrients they’re connected with include:

  • Severe hair loss, fatigue, cold hands and feet (iron)
  • Burning sensation on the tongue or the feet, numbness, fatigue, swollen tongue (B12)
  • Slow-healing wounds (vitamin C)
  • Pain in the bones, fatigue, mood changes (vitamin D)
  • Irregular heartbeat, numb and tingling fingers (calcium)
  • Loss of night vision (vitamin A)
  • Muscle weakness, constipation, irregular heart rhythm (potassium)
  • Fatigue, diarrhea, smooth tongue (folate)
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue (magnesium)

This list is not exhaustive – there are many other nutrients the body needs and can become deficient in. Those mentioned above are simply the most common that occur.

Who is the most at risk for nutritional deficiency?

Anyone with a poor diet can develop micronutrient deficiencies, especially if they rarely eat vitamin or mineral-rich foods. However, some people are more at risk than others when it comes to not getting everything they need for the body to function correctly.

For example, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding are sharing their vitamin and mineral supply. Because of this, it’s easy to get too little of what they need if they don’t add supplements or increase their intake. Unborn children risk not getting what they need in the womb if their parent lacks nutrients.

Young children are also easily deficient in micronutrients because they also have a greater need for specific nutrients. Children are more at risk of complications from a lack of nutrients because of how easily a deficiency can cause severe health issues. 

How can you prevent micronutrient deficiency?

Preventing a micronutrient deficiency can be done in three key ways. 

1. Diet overhaul

Many people stick to what they know when it comes to food. They want to eat foods they like and cook meals they already know how to make. That is especially true for busy people. However, if your diet is actually driving you toward malnutrition, changing things up is vital in preventing micronutrient deficiency.

If you want to ensure that you and your family are getting enough vital nutrients, overhaul your diet to ensure it includes the following:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables with every meal
  • Legumes and beans
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Lean protein sources such as chicken or fish
  • Red meat on occasion
  • Healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil

You want to mix things up and create as diverse a weekly menu as possible to ensure you get enough of each nutrient.


Image by Freestocks on Unsplash: Taking supplements during pregnancy is one of the best ways to prevent micronutrient deficiency.


2. Supplementation

Supplements are a great way to get the concentrated form of vitamins and minerals into your body. Depending on personal preference, these can come in pill, liquid, or powder forms. Each supplement will contain a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients to ensure you’re getting what you need each day.

The critical thing to look for in supplementation is bioavailability – i.e. how well the body absorbs the nutrients from the pill, liquid, or powder you choose for your supplement. You want to find quality supplements that contain the least added ingredients and are high on the bioavailability spectrum. Put simply: if the body isn’t absorbing the nutrients from the supplement, there’s no point in taking them.

3. Food fortification

The fortification process adds micronutrients to foods that don’t contain them naturally, increasing the nutrients people consume daily. Several foods are fortified with an array of different vitamins and minerals, such as breakfast cereals, wheat flour, and rice. Food fortification is done by governments so that the foods people eat the most still contain key micronutrients.

If you want to increase your intake of certain micronutrients, you can look through your local grocery products and check if they have been fortified. Alternatively, you can check the cereal and rice aisles to find the perfect new product to add to your diet for more nutrient intake. Cereals are excellent choices for children because they contain many nutrients and are still appetizing to any fussy eaters.

If you can change your diet, add more fortified foods, and supplement in areas you know you’re lacking, you can avoid malnutrition via micronutrient deficiency.


Featured image by Viktoria Slowikowska by Pexels

Leave A Comments