Health Risk: Vitamin Deficiency

meeshme.comWith so many things to get done in a day, taking care of our skin and bodies takes a back seat to grocery shopping, picking up kids, making dinner, or juggling the many tasks of our demanding jobs.  Yet if you don’t take care of your physical health, you won’t be able to do many of the things you either need or love to do.

Eating healthy is important for many reasons, but it isn’t always as convenient or delicious as fast or processed foods.  If you’re not eating from essential food groups, you are probably lacking in vital vitamin categories.  If you can’t get in all the nutrients you need in a day, taking vitamins is important.  I have never taken vitamins, except for when I’m feeling a cold coming on, but recently I learned the danger of vitamin deficiency.

Over the past year I was much more tired, I had no energy.  It became harder to lose weight, which I associated with getting older.  I experienced numbness and vibration in my limbs.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.  Finally, I had blood work done when a doctor noticed a nodule on my thyroid.  Thankfully there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, but she did discover a vitamin B and vitamin D deficiency.  While a normal person should have around 1,100 pg/ml of vitamin B, I had 115.

meeshme.comVitamin B deficiency can cause a series of health problems.  Long periods of vitamin B deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage.  People with 200 to 400 pg/ml can experience neuropsychiatric and hematologic abnormalities.  Neuropsychiatric abnormalities include depression, bi-polar disorder, Schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  Hematologic abnormalities include anemia and vibration (numbness).  Want to incorporate more vitamin B12 in your diet? This webpage lists the top ten foods for vitamin B12.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss, weak/dry hair, brittle nails, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.  There are a variety of reasons why you may be deficient of vitamin D.  People with dark skin are at increased risk, because the pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun.  To increase your intake of Vitamin D naturally you would need to spend more time under the sun or visit a tanning bed.  Odd since these actions can increase skin cancer and skin aging, but safe exposure is key.  Wear sunscreen!

A simple blood test can determine if your body is deficient of vitamins, but you can also diagnose yourself.  Listen to your body.  If you are feeling tired or experiencing some of the symptoms above increase vitamin B12.  Vitamin B12 isn’t always easily processed by our stomachs, so the best way to get Vitamin B12 is through drops or strips that dissolve under your tongue.  GNC offers these products at around $13.  Vitamin D can be taken in pill form or in yummy chews, which GNC and other health stores offer.

Start taking care of yourself, and live a longer, healthier, better life.

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Dear John Stamos

Meeshme.com

Sorry Mr. Stamos

Dear John,

Sometimes I’m down for Greek yogurt, but sometimes I want cake.  Yes, you’re incredibly handsome. Yes, I have had a crush on you since your days on Full House. And no, I still can’t believe Rebecca left you, even if it was for Jerry O’Connell.  However, sometimes a girl just needs a piece of cake.

That being said my current obsession is Greek yogurt.  Growing up in a 1/2 Persian household we called it “Persian Yogurt” or “must“.  We put it on rice, mix it with cucumbers, eat it in our soup.  It’s kind of a garnish of sorts or appetizer.  We do not however mix it with fruit.  When I first tried this “Greek yogurt” with fruit I was like, “What the…?”  I was used to having it with savory items, so it was a bit shocking to my taste buds.  Then as I got used to the flavors, I grew to enjoy it.

Currently I’m eating the Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt.  Sorry Mr. Stamos again, I know you advertise Oikos, but at least they’re both Dannon products.  I admit I haven’t gotten to trying Oikos yet, but the Light & Fit version has me hooked.  What Dannon has done is create a yogurt that has under 100 calories and seven grams of protein.  You would think at 80 calories the portion size would be tiny, but that’s the beauty of Greek yogurt.  It has less fat and fewer calories than your typical diet yogurt.  I don’t know about you, but after a cup of Yoplait I’m like, “Did I just eat something?” I end up using my spoon to try to scrape up anything that may possibly be left in there.

That’s not the case with the Light and Fit Greek Yogurt.  After a workout at the gym I’m pretty hungry.  I workout in the evenings typically, because I work full time.  The best way to gain weight is to eat late at night, but it’s hard to get to sleep when you’re feeling maximum hunger.  Plus, you’re supposed to have protein after you workout.  The solution: I have a Dannon Greek Yogurt and a protein bar.  Combined they’re around 25 grams of protein.  I’m full, I haven’t had too many calories, and I’ve taken care of my after-work0ut protein need.

While Greek yogurt is a great healthy treat, it will never replace “real” deserts.  If you substitute during the week, you can treat yourself to something sweet during the weekend.  Life is about moderation.  If you want to stay on a healthy diet for the long run, you can’t deprive yourself.  Enjoying the delicious things in life isn’t naughty.  The French eat pastries, the Italians eat gelato, the point is to have a little here and there and not over-indulge.  Have some Greek yogurt when you’re trying to shed the pounds, and treat yourself to some stellar sweets on “Heck Yeah” days.  I call them Heck Yeah days, because the term “cheat day” makes it sound like you’re doing something bad.  It can ruin your mood/self esteem, and also because on these days I say “Heck Yeah” to what I want.

Check back with MeeshMe soon to learn some more great weight loss tips.