The Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies Leading to Fatigue and How to Easily Fix Them

Author: Elena Coridon-Jeremie

The Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies Leading to Fatigue and How to Easily Fix Them

Not feeling yourself lately? Having a hard time concentrating at work? Are the weights at the gym heavier than usual? Exhausted beyond normal after your usual jog? Feeling exhausted lately for no apparent reason?

You may be victim of the most common nutrients deficiencies. Good news, it is easy to fix! Make sure to eat a balanced diet and to take supplements to prevent deficiencies. Let's look at the most common nutrient deficiencies. 


Iron is an essential mineral which binds with hemoglobin in red blood cells and transports oxygen to the cells. Being iron-deficient can cause the blood disorder anemia, with symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, extremely rapid heartbeat and headaches (especially during exercise), leg cramps and pale skin. Iron deficiency is the number one widespread nutrient deficiency in the world: 30% of the total global population suffers from anemia, largely due to iron deficiency. 

Iron can be found in leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli, shellfish like mussels and oysters, red meat such as beef, and beans and seeds. Vitamin C also helps your body to absorb iron better, so include citrus fruits and veggies like bell peppers, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in your diet. 


Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin when your skin’s exposed to sunlight. It helps the body maintain proper levels of calcium for bone and teeth health. A deficiency can lead to fragile and porous bones, stunted growth and osteoporosis. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people over 65, babies and those who are rarely exposed to the sun are the most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. 

Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (Salmon and trout) and egg yolk.


Vitamin B12

Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include nausea, fatigue, dizziness, a swollen, red, painful tongue, yellowed skin and unintended weight loss. More serious effects include pernicious anemia, depression, cognitive difficulties, weak muscles and dementia.

Vegetarians and Vegans are most susceptible to a vitamin B12 deficiency if they do not account for it in their diet, as the easy and readily available source of vitamin B12 is found in shellfish, milk, eggs, meat and organ meat, such as liver.


Vitamin E

This powerful antioxidant prevents free radical damage, protects the heart, reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease, and prevents cancer. In one landmark study, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) levels were associated with a significant reduction in overall mortality, as well as a 21–42 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer, stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory disease. Even so, as many as 93 percent of American men and 96 percent of American women don’t consume the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E. Cigarette smokers require additional vitamin E,  in vitro investigations have consistently demonstrated that cigarette smoke depletes plasma of vitamin E. 

Vitamin E has been proven to help boost libido. Vitamin E increases the sex drive by increasing testosterone levels which therefore increases stamina and a also helps raise desire.

Vitamin E can be found in wheat germ and wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard, and avocado. 



Omega-3 is critical for heart and brain health, and to protect against inflammation. Low Omega-3 levels manifest in dry, flaky skin; fatigue; reduced immune function; and mood disorders. Long-term deficiencies can lead to inflammation, depression, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other serious diseases. 

Omega-4 can be found in sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna are the best sources of EPA and DHA, the types of omega-3 fats used by the body. Vegetarian foods such as walnuts, flax, and chia seeds contain a type of omega-3 fats called ALA, which the body converts into usable forms. Unfortunately, the conversion rate is very low, so if you don’t eat fish, it’s wise to consider a supplement. Who is in the mood for sushi?


Vitamin K

Vitamin K is critical in building strong bones, protecting the heart, and ensuring proper brain function. Vitamin K is produced in the intestines, and the amount of vitamin K the body can absorb from the diet is directly related to gut health and probiotics—so if you suffer from chronic digestive difficulties or bowel problems, you may be prone to vitamin K deficiency. Cholesterol-lowering medication and extended periods of antibiotics also compromise the gut and make it difficult for the body to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin K. Low levels of vitamin K can manifest as bleeding and bruising easily, tooth decay, and weakened bones. Long-term deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as a shorter life span. In one recent study, people with the highest intake of vitamin K were 36 percent less likely to die from any cause, compared to those with the lowest intake.

Vitamin K (K1 and K2) can be found in spinach, cabbage, leafy greens, eggs, fish, grass-fed animal products, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and cheeses.



Iodine is an essential mineral for the production of thyroid hormones, which are involved in brain development, bone health, growth, metabolism and normal thyroid function. Almost one-third of the global population is affected by iodine deficiency, making it one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies. Those at greatest risk include vegetarians and vegans, pregnant women and people who don’t consume iodized salt.

Iodine deficiency is responsible for hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid  which can lead to heart disease, obesity, joint pain and infertility. Developmental abnormalities and intellectual disabilities. An enlarged thyroid, or goiter, as the thyroid grows in an effort to keep up with the body’s demand for thyroid hormone production. Nodules can develop inside the goiter, which can result in symptoms including trouble breathing and swallowing, as well as choking. Health issues related to pregnancy. Mothers who are severely iodine-deficient may be at risk of suffering stillbirth, miscarriage, congenital abnormalities in their babies and premature delivery. Children of mothers who are severely iodine-deficient during pregnancy may develop problems with hearing and speech, stunted or abnormal growth and intellectual impairment.

Iodine can be found in Iodized table salt, saltwater fish and shellfish, dairy products such as milk and yogurt, eggs, seaweed and soy products.



Calcium is best known for strengthening teeth and bones, but it also promotes healthy heart, nerve and muscle functioning. Excess calcium is stored in the bones, so in the event of a deficiency, you may suffer bone loss as your body draws much-needed calcium from them. People who are calcium-deficient are at greater risk of potentially life-threatening convulsions, bone loss and abnormal heart rhythms.

Calcium can be found in greens like broccoli and kale, dairy products, tofu, soy beans and nuts.

Note: overdoing it with Calcium will generate health problems you should keep your daily intake from 1,000 mg to a maximum of 2,000 mg to stay in the safe range. 



Critical for bone and tooth health, this mineral is also involved in detoxifying heavy metals and other toxins from the body, and it plays a part in hundreds of enzymatic reactions. But because it’s depleted by antibiotics, cortisone, painkillers, stress, and excess sugar consumption, some 48 percent or more of Americans may be lacking this critical nutrient. Low levels are marked by irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, cravings for chocolate, and fatigue. Long-term deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds, leafy greens, dark chocolate, sea vegetables, beans, and whole grains are the best food sources.

Most foods today are lacking in magnesium and other minerals as a result of soil depletion, supplements are a must.

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