Combating Vitamin Deficiency During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In Canada, over 800,000 people contracted COVID-19. This novel virus arose in 2019 and has no intention of stopping soon.

However, there are ways in which you may boost your immune system to help fight the virus should you contract it. A vitamin deficiency causes your body to work in a less-than-ideal manner and you can get sick quickly or worse.

So what can you do to combat vitamin deficiency and improve your chances of getting better faster and keeping your body in the best shape possible? Read on to find out more!

What is Vitamin Deficiency?

A vitamin deficiency means that you don’t have enough of a certain vitamin for your body to work the way it should. Vitamins help build up strong bones, aid in injury recovery, rebuild cells, and help your immune system stay healthy.

Some signs of a vitamin deficiency are:

  • Mouth sours
  • Nails or hair that breaks easily, or hair loss
  • Vision problems
  • Bleeding gums
  • Skin problems such as dry skin or red and white bumps

Most of your vitamins should come from a healthy diet of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. However, not everyone can eat healthy 100% of the time, so vitamin supplements are a great substitution.

Most Common Vitamin Deficiencies

There are essential vitamins you need to keep your body as healthy as can be. Here are some common vitamin deficiencies.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a very common deficiency. Vitamin D plays a role in keeping your immune system stable, mood, controlling blood sugar, and more.

One of the reasons why a deficiency is so common is because Vitamin D is mostly generated by the sun, and many people do not spend enough time outside, or they take a supplement but it’s not enough to overcome a deficiency.

  1. Iron

While not technically a vitamin, iron is a mineral, yet its deficiency can hurt the body. Iron is essential because it helps carry oxygen to the blood cells via hemoglobin.

An iron deficiency leads to anemia, which means your red blood cells are not supplied with enough oxygen. On the flip side, too much iron can be dangerous as well, so do not supplement with iron unless your doctor gives you the OK.

  1. Vitamin B12

Your body needs vitamin b12, however, it cannot produce it on its own. Vegans and vegetarians especially are susceptible to vitamin b12 deficiency because you can obtain some of it from animal products.

Without vitamin b12 you may be subject to anemia, breathing problems, brain function, and fatigue.

  1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is another essential vitamin, though its deficiency is not as common as the one mentioned above. Vitamin A aids in immune function, skin and tissue health, oral and vision health, and ensure your cells membranes are healthy.

A lack of Vitamin A can cause blindness in severe cases, or lead to eye damage. Similar to iron, too much vitamin A can be dangerous.

  1. Vitamin C

You might be more familiar with vitamin C than any other vitamin on this list. Vitamin C is often touted as the vitamin that boosts and improves the immune system. It also works as an antioxidant to combat free-radical damage in your body.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the ways to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet. The reason so many people are experiencing a vitamin C deficiency is because of the lack of a whole-foods diet. The name for a vitamin C deficiency is called scurvy.

Buying Vitamins

While roaming the grocery stores, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of all the vitamins lingering on the shelf. Getting your vitamins should not be so difficult!

How do you choose the criteria by which to buy vitamins or how to safely buy vitamins online may cross your mind, especially if you’re in quarantine. Either way, you must remember some specific key points when buying vitamins.

First, decide if you really need the vitamin. Overdosing on some vitamins may not cause harm, but others can, or might interfere with certain medications. Check with your doctor to see what the right dose is for you and if you’ll benefit from a supplement.

Look for safety labels and nutrition information. Labels with NSF International or US Pharmacopeia ensure that what’s actually on the label is in the vitamins themselves and that they’ve gone through testing. Many vitamins on the market are full of fillers and little nutrition.

Do your research! There are a handful of reputable companies, but others are not. If you find a product you’re interested in, visit the website to learn more about the company, its testing process, ingredients, longevity, and types of vitamins they carry.

Beware of any supplements that make grand promises to cure any illness, disease, or ailments. Most supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and you’ll see a warning on the label that states this. If the company is making bold promises, that’s a red flag!

What type of vitamin do you want to take? There are many vitamin pills or capsules and even multi-vitamin gummies for those who have trouble swallowing pills. Be sure to read the supplement label to see what other ingredients are included and how much of each vitamin you’re getting.

Are You Ready to Remedy Vitamin Deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency leads to many health problems, but with supplements and tweaking your diet, many deficiencies can be fixed. Start doing your research to see which vitamin you may need to help your body stay in the best shape to help fight COVID-19.

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