We compile a list of the most common habits people have, and how these affect their nutrient absorption in different ways.
- Drinking Coffee – Drinking coffee lowers your calcium and magnesium levels. Many people can be dependent on drinking coffee, and that is understandable, seeing its wide range of benefits from keeping us awake, and raising our body’s levels of antioxidants. However, caffeine also comes with a price. As a diuretic, coffee causes increased urination, which also causes calcium loss in urine.
For every cup of coffee, you consume, you lose an estimated 10 milligrams of calcium.
While coffee does not directly affect magnesium levels already present in your body, it does, however, affect your body’s absorption of magnesium. Some signs of a magnesium deficiency include agitation, anxiety, rapid breathing, muscle tremors or spasms, and irregular heart rhythm.
- Eating a Vegetarian / Vegan Diet – A vegetarian or vegan diet depletes your body’s nutrients, specifically iron, calcium, Vitamin D, and B12. That is because the best sources of these nutrients and minerals are animal foods, like meat. Embarking on a vegetarian or vegan diet is not simple, because it entails a lot of research about what substitutes you can eat in place of meat. For example, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and seeds such as almonds and sesame seeds, are great sources of calcium, although more expensive. Pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and legumes are good sources of iron, while fortified soy products and fortified dairy products can be an alternative source of B12. Finally, adequate sun exposure can address any deficiency in Vitamin D. The only problem with this is knowing where to regularly source vegetarian or vegan items for your nutritional needs, as they are relatively more expensive and not always available in your local market.
- Taking Too Much Sugar – Taking too much sugar depletes a whole range of your body’s nutrients. Sugar is actually one of the top things you should eliminate or minimize the intake in your diet. Aside from increasing your risk to developing diabetes, sugar also depletes your body’s zinc, potassium, chromium, and B-vitamins. Aside from sodas and juice drinks, other things that you didn’t know are loaded with sugar include ketchup, barbecue sauce, sports drinks, flavored coffees, spaghetti sauce (both Filipino and Italian flavored), and even low-fat yogurt. You must really check the label food items before purchasing.
- Wearing Sunscreen and Avoiding the Sun – In a 2013 report by the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine, it was revealed that 58% or 3 out of 5 Filipinos are Vitamin D deficient. Nothing can be more ironic than a country blessed with rich sunlight to have its people Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is produced naturally through adequate sun exposure, but because of lifestyle and work conditions, most Filipinos lack this essential nutrient“Apart from staying indoors for most parts of the day, habitually wearing long-sleeved clothing and slacks or pants, using too much sunscreen, and eating barely enough of Vitamin D-rich foods, environmental factors are also at play,” says Dr. Marilou Renales of the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine. Filipinos’ naturally tan complexion prevents sufficient production of Vitamin D in the skin, which is why dietary changes or supplementation could be needed.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol Takes Out a Slew of Your Body’s Nutrients – While it cannot be avoided to consume alcohol at social gatherings, drinking too much on a regular basis can adversely affect your body’s nutrient levels. Your body loses Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and tyrosine, among others.Now that’s a whole lot nutrients taken out by alcohol.It is very important to replenish these nutrients and minerals, especially after a night of hard partying. Drink plenty of water, have enough exercise, and consult your nutritionist for the right balance of food and supplements needed to stay healthy.
- Eating Too Much Grain and Nuts – Eating too much grain and nuts can impede your body’s absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium because grains contain phytic acid. Some examples of these food are rice, corn, almonds, beans, walnuts, wheat bran, rice bran, quinoa seeds, and peanuts. You can reduce the phytic acid content of some of these foods, such as cereals and legumes, by soaking them in water overnight.You may notice that some of these foods are considered healthful. However, it is still recommended to consult a nutritionist to find out the best nutrition plan for you.
- Eating Too Much Meat – When you eat too much protein, your body produces sulfates, which then draws calcium away from the bones, decalcifying them over time. This lowering of bone density is more likely to occur as a result of eating too much animal protein than plant protein. The Harvard Medical School conducted a study on 116,686 women for ten years, and found that those who consumed red meat at least five times a week were more likely to have bone fracture than those who ate red meat only once a week.For a more guided nutritional plan, get yourself tested for nutrient levels in your body.
BioBalance examines the inner workings of the cells in your body, down to the mitochondria to know how your body absorbs nutrients.
Consult your nutritionist at BioBalance for a specifically designed nutritional plan and supplementation unique to your body’s needs.