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85% of Americans Suffer from Malnutrition Without Even Knowing It. Are You One of Them?

85% of Americans Suffer from Malnutrition Without Even Knowing It. Are You One of Them?

Malnutrition doesn’t just happen to those in deprived circumstances.

The term “malnutrition” tends to conjure up images of people who live in less economically developed countries and suffer from food shortages. We rarely consider the possibility that those living in affluent countries could also be malnourished, but due to our modern dietary patterns, it is important to be alert to the signs and symptoms of nutritional deprivation.

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But, how can a rich person become malnourished?

Just because a person ingests a sufficient number of calories on a regular basis does not mean that they are meeting all of their nutritional requirements. It is possible to maintain a normal or even high body mass yet fail to eat the kinds of food the body needs, which can result in malnutrition.

The Consequences of Malnutrition

A malnourished individual will not be able to live up to their full physical and mental potential. This is particularly important in the case of young children, who will not make the appropriate mental, physical and educational gains that they need to succeed in life if they do not receive a balanced diet. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, 85% of Americans do not consume adequate quantities of common vitamins and other nutrients needed to support all-round health. Malnourished individuals are more likely to suffer physical and mental illness. This has a knock-on effect for the economy, with work-based productivity impacted as a result.

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Which nutrients do American people miss out on?

Fiber, vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 are among the most important nutrients missing from the typical American diet. Weakness, tiredness, and a susceptibility to increased infections are among the key signs to watch for. If you experience these symptoms on a regular basis, it is time to review your diet and take a trip to your physician for a checkup.

Fiber

A deficiency in fiber can lead to constipation and digestive sluggishness, which in turn can increase risk of hemorrhoids and colon cancer. Improve your fiber intake by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Try some delicious smoothie recipes to make increasing your fruit intake simple.

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Vitamins

Vitamins D, E, and A are required for healthy brain, skeletal, and immune functioning and are commonly underrepresented in the typical American diet. Along with regular exposure to sunlight, eating fortified cereal and dairy products a couple of times per day is the best way to ensure that you get enough Vitamin D. Vitamin E is important in supporting the immune system, skin, and eyes. Almonds, avocado, and spinach are great sources of this nutrient. Finally, Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision. It is found in many vegetables including carrots and butternut squash. Learn how to cook some tasty vegetable-based dishes to boost your intake.

Minerals

Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium are key in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Nuts, seeds, dairy, and lean meats are great sources of magnesium and calcium whereas potassium is found in bananas, avocado, spinach, and coconut water.

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Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in managing blood pressure and safeguarding heart health. Key sources include cod liver oil, soybean oil, and flaxseed oil. Sardines and salmon are other great sources. Check out some salmon-based recipes here.

How can you track your nutrition?

Fortunately, there are easy ways to check your nutritional intake. For example, using an app such as Myfitness Pal can help you gain an overview of your daily consumption of key nutrients and help you make changes as required. It may seem daunting at first, but making a few adjustments to your daily diet and trying a few new recipes can help you become much healthier.

Featured photo credit: meta-chart via meta-chart.com

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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