15 Sep 3 more risks
Malnutrition generally comes from not eating enough food and therefore not getting enough proper nutrients for your body to function properly. Some people do not eat enough due to various factors such as a lack of money or an eating disorder (check out body image and eating disorders to learn more).
Some obvious signs of nutritional deficiencies include:
- white spots on nails: this may indicate zinc deficiency,
- pale skin/very white eyes may indicate iron deficiency
- craving crunchy foods may also indicate an iron deficiency,
- bleeding gums is associated with a vitamin c deficiency,
- night blindness is a vitamin A deficiency,
- goiter (swelling) in throat comes from a lack of Iodine
- white bumps on the back the arms: essential fatty acid deficiency
However, if you read the obesity post, malnutrition can also happen to people who overeat. Say what? How is that possible? Being overweight and malnourished is one result of eating over-processed foods that have very low nutritional value and/or eating fast food. Eating fast food is common because it’s quick and cheap, but it’s nutritional value is not always the best. This is why eating fresh, minimally processed foods as described in Nutrition I is so important, if you can!
But you do sometimes have choices and one thing you may want to avoid is deep fried food. Deep frying something in over-used oil causes major free-radical.
FREE-RADICALS ARE BAD DUDES! THEY DAMAGE OUR CELLS. THEY ARE TOXIC TO US AND CAUSE FATIGUE AND STRESS ON OUR SYSTEM.
When consumed these free radicals cause damage to the arteries, as well as promote cancers, respiratory distress, and allergies. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, carotenoids, and zinc, which are abundant (meaning there are a lot of them) in fruits and vegetables, help protect us against free radical damage. But if these nutrients are not present in the diet, as a result of overly processed and unhealthy foods, then free radicals will damage the cells our bodies need!
Let’s face it though, fried foods taste great!! And who doesn’t love a french fry? But try to be conscious of how often you eat them and WHERE you are eating them. Home cooked food in oil that is only used once, isn’t as toxic as fast food that has been fried in oil that has been reused throughout the day, week or even month.
The first warning sign that you have added too many toxins to your system will be low energy. Anytime you feel tired and lack energy, think about what you have been eating…. chances are, you are NOT eating enough healthy food. A good combination of protein rich food, healthy fats, high fiber carbs, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your energy soaring!
Free radical damage is related to one last risk we want to mention:
Your immune system fights daily to keep you healthy. Healthy diets HELP your immune system to function properly and efficiently. That means fewer colds in the winter and less time recuperating from them. Without proper nutrition your immune system can become stressed, you become run down, and more susceptible (meaning more likely) to become sick.
Your immune system’s number one ammunition against disease is your diet. (Number two and number three are what you do and the environment in which you live.) So what happens if your ammunition supply is low? In the short run, not too much except you may be tired, break out in pimples, feel irritable and not look your best. In the long run, you put yourself at risk for serious complications. Your cells fight a daily battle against foreign invaders. If not well-equipped they may begin to lose those battles to things like cancer or cardiovascular disease. Build up your army and strengthen your immune system!! (Read more about your immune system here.)
Much like a tank in the army, your body needs optimum fuel to perform at its best. Filling your tank with fuel from fried foods or processed foods which are high in sugar, trans fat and chemicals is like filling that army tank with gunk (is that word? Are gummy bears actually a food?).
What do you do to keep your immune system running smoothly?