Signs of a Mineral Deficiency

January 22, 2018

Do you get frequent colds? Are you tired all the time? These symptoms could be symptoms of a mineral deficiency. Listen in to hear about the minerals our bodies need.

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We have a great show planned today called Body Signs of Common Mineral Deficiencies. Now I think a lot of our longtime listeners already know that charlie horses or muscle cramps of any kind really are often signs of a magnesium deficiency. But there are other signs and symptoms of having a deficiency of minerals like magnesium. We're going to share with you today, for example sleep. If you're not sleeping well it might be a magnesium deficiency. I'm Cassie Wenes a registered and licensed dietitian. I'm also a full time mom except when I am out presenting our nutrition message about the benefits of eating real food either here on the radio or to both small and large groups. You know sometimes my groups are as small as 10 or 11 people.  Other times the groups that I speak to might be 200 plus. But really presenting to any size group is a lot of fun for me especially when I'm presenting our life changing real food message. Now today I'm not alone in the studio. I have nutritionist Marci Vaske with me as my cohost to talk about the importance of minerals for your health.

MARCIE: Well hello and thanks Cassie. It's fun to be on the show again with you today talking about minerals and the body signs of mineral deficiency. I think it's so exciting you know because I love teaching people how to just listen to their own body to figure out what is going on. You know we do this with in counseling but we also do this when we teach some of these classes that we teach. You know sometimes the presentations that we give they start as early as 7 a.m. but we've also started classes as late as 10:30 or 11. Now that would not be fun for me.

CASSIE:  I am sleeping by then.

MARCIE: I am much more you know the early group but what we're teaching our groups is how the benefits of real food.. You know and a lot of times we even do these lunch and learns right over the midday and during the lunchtime hour. But like I said I'm an early bird by nature so I really do enjoy teaching those early morning classes.

CASSIE: And I'm glad we have you on board because I wouldn't be the early bird person but glad that you're out there teaching. I do a lot of the lunch and learns which works great for me because I'm back home before the kids' school bus gets home so it's really great. And yeah Marcie and I both love getting out and teaching this real food message. But you know I think back to my days in college, sadly I did not learn the real food message back in dietetics school. Back in those days dieticians were try to eat everything low fat and because I was all about living what I was preaching, I was eating low fat. I lived on cold breakfast cereal. On any given day if you opened up my fridge you would see fat free Yoplait yogurt lined up in there. And I thought I was doing the right thing.  I ate a lot of bagels and heaven forbid I should put cream cheese or peanut butter on my bagel, that would be fat.

MARCIE:  That would be ridiculous.

CASSIE: So I would put jelly on my bagel. I drink a lot of diet pop. Really back then nutrition education was all about low fat, low calorie weight loss. It wasn't really about health. But when I came to Nutritional Weight and Wellness 10 plus years ago, that's when I learned the benefits of eating real protein, eating real vegetable carbohydrates and eating real healthy fats. And I quickly found that I feel so much better when I eat real food. I feel stronger. I sleep better I have more energy. And probably, part of why I feel better is that real food contains a lot of vitamins and a lot of minerals.

MARCIE: Now that's a novel thought right to eat some food. So I have to ask her listeners have you ever thought about what minerals actually do in your body? You know we mentioned this earlier but if you have muscle cramps or those Charlie horses you may be experiencing a deficiency in magnesium. And a lack of magnesium could also feel like chocolate cravings. Or what about the eye twitching. Right? Or sleep problems.

CASSIE: Yes. Those are all good examples of potential signs of a magnesium deficiency. Another really important mineral is zinc. And right now during the cold and flu season zinc is so important for our immune system to build up a healthy immune system. Now I want each of you to take a second right now and ask yourself how many times have I gotten influenza or a bad cold so far this year. Maybe some of you not at all, but if you've gotten a bad virus or a bad bug more than once or twice this year you may be deficient in zinc. 

MARCIE: That's right. And that stuff is going around. So another key mineral to talk about is iron. Now what would you feel like if you were low in iron? You might experience some fatigue. Or what about restless leg syndrome? A lot of times we don't realize that that can correlate to some low iron. But adding foods rich in iron like spinach, beef, or sardines could really decrease that fatigue and your restless legs syndrome might simply just go away. So later in the show we are going to discuss other body signs of low iron.

CASSIE: Yes that's an important one. And another common mineral that a lot of people become deficient in is potassium. So you're probably thinking OK what symptoms might I have if I'm low in potassium? Well I've heard oftentimes people go into the doctor and say that their legs are so tired. Oftentimes they'll describe it as I have a hard time just walking up the stairs in my house because my legs feel so weak and tired by the time I get to the top. That sometimes is a potassium deficiency. And if time allows in this short hour we're going to take a deeper look at all of these minerals. We'll talk more about the magnesium. A lot more about the zinc since it has to do with our immune system. As Marcie said we'll talk more about iron, potassium and I'm hopeful that we get to calcium as well.

MARCIE: Yeah there's a lot to get through but I think what we should start with first is maybe just go through a short checklist of body signs to actually see if you have some of these mineral deficiencies. So I want everybody, if you're not in your car driving around, get a paper and a pen and maybe just number one through 12 we're going to go through a few of these.  

CASSIE: Perfect, perfect. And then you can just put a check mark it fits a yes and we can tally those up at the end. So we have 12 easy yes or no questions for you. Here's question number one. Do you crave chocolate? Now I don't mean you like chocolate. I think most of us ladies especially like chocolate but if you crave it like you have to have it. Then you'd mark a yes. If that sounds like you, the mineral that you might be deficient in is magnesium.

MARCIE:  That's right. And number two maybe it's not just chocolate but maybe you crave a sweet dessert just a little something sweet afterward. If you do that something sweet craving after a meal might be a deficiency in zinc.

CASSIE:  Amazing. So get your zinc up and you can get rid of the sweets. Here's question number three. This is an interesting one. Do you chew ice? Now when I say that I just get the shivers because that would be awful to me to sit and chew ice. I think it would hurt. But I do know people that like to chew those ice cubes when they're done with their beverage. So if that's a yes for you, that you do chew ice. Guess what mineral you might be low in? It's iron.

MARCIE: Now that might be a new fact for a lot of people. OK. Number four if you have leg cramps yes or no what mineral deficiency might you have. Now everybody might know this already because we've talked about it but that would be a deficiency in magnesium.

CASSIE: I remember when I was pregnant I think it was with my first child and I woke up in the middle the night with one of those awful Charley horses that make you scream. And I knew because I was working at Nutritional Weight and Wellness so maybe it was my pregnancy with Marissa because I was working here. So I started a magnesium supplement the next day and they went away. You know I think that baby was requiring more minerals than I was then I was getting. So yeah magnesium for muscle cramps. Question number five do you have trouble sleeping. If that's a yes. The mineral that you might be low in is magnesium again.

MARCIE: That's right. You can see a little theme here about magnesium it's pretty important.

CASSIE:  I like to call it the miracle mineral. 

MARCIE: Ok guys it's question number six. Do you have low thyroid function yes or no? Now this mineral deficiency could be zinc.

CASSIE: Interesting. Here's one. Do you cry easily or do you have weak legs or maybe both? If you answered yes to both of those questions the mineral that you might be deficient in is potassium.

MARCIE: That's right. And number eight, this is something I have people come and say I salt everything.  So if you are a salter of everything you are likely or could be deficient in potassium.

CASSIE:  Right. Question number nine. Do you get sick often? Do you seem to catch every virus or bad germ that's being passed around the office? If that's a yes. The mineral that you might be deficient in is zinc.

MARCIE:  That's right. Or if you have acne. Are you really struggling with some of that acne that just will not go away? Then your deficiency could again be zinc.

CASSIE:  And how about this one you've lost your sense of taste or smell. I think of my mom who took the zinc test at our office, simple little test, and she was really low and she always thinks when she's cooking nothing has flavor so she's salting or she's putting Tabasco in and there you go, zinc deficiency.

MARCIE: That's  right. And the last one. Number 12 your nails are brittle. Yes or no. Well, this is going to be a new deficiency that we haven't talked about yet but you might be low in calcium.

CASSIE:  Yes. So we'll be talking more about calcium. So tally up your numbers. We'll talk more about those when we get back from this commercial break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we go to break I want to let you know that if you or your child or your spouse has attention deficit issues, that eating real food can really make a difference. And we have a seminar addressing just how nutrition can help with ADHD symptoms. So if you're interested put this on your calendar for Saturday March 17. We will be presenting the seminar called The Food Connection to ADHD It's going to be held at our Maple Grove Minnesota office from 9:30 in the morning to 1:00 in the afternoon. And if you want more information or if you want to sign up you can call 651-699-3438 or you can visit our website at We'll be right back.

MARCIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. The weekend of January 26, 27, 28. We are offering our Weekend Weight and Wellness Seminar. And throughout this weekend you will learn about real nutrition from six different nutritionists. I'm actually going to teach the number three class which is all about gut health. You'll also learn so many things like the healthiest mayonnaise you should buy, why insulin resistance leads to inflammation, how to eat to support positive moods and a good memory and just a whole lot more. It really is just jam packed full of great and amazing information.  And you'll be able to get also your nutrition questions answered. These classes do qualify for continuing education credits for nurses and social workers. And then plus we do provide a great organic lunch and organic snacks each day. So we're teaching you actually even by example how to balance your own blood sugar so if you want to know more orders sign up call us at 651-699-3438 or go to

CASSIE: All right. So when we went to break we had just finished up with that 12 question quiz. So if any of you made little tally marks on your yes count those up and see for yourself, did you have a yes to one or more of the questions about mineral deficiencies that we asked you on the other side of break? If you did then you are likely depleted in one or more minerals. Now I want to talk about why, because that's where my mind always goes is OK as time low but you might be thinking, "well I eat pretty well why would I be low in magnesium or why would I be low in iron?" So let's look a little bit at the whys. Certainly the answer is multifaceted but I would like to talk first about sugar. And I know what you're thinking. We always talk about sugar on the Dishing Up Nutrition, but really think about sugar and think about a typical breakfast for yourself on a weekend morning.  Is it pancakes. Is it a muffin. Maybe you're sitting right sitting down right now to a coffee and a big blueberry muffin. Ask yourself "Am I wiping out my magnesium and my zinc with this coffee and this big breakfast muffin?"

MARCIE: Yeah that's a great question to be asking. You know because it is a fact that we eat foods that are high in sugar like those processed carbs. We really do deplete that magnesium, the zinc, the potassium and calcium that we're talking about. You know, so bottom line sugar is depleting these minerals for us.

CASSIE: Right. So sugar depletes minerals but it's not just that that could be the problem, drinking too much coffee or alcohol could be your problem. Coffee and alcohol act as a diuretic. Now if anybody is not familiar with that word a diuretic simply means that it makes you pee a lot. So if you're drinking a lot of coffee you're a lot of alcohol you're going to the bathroom more than you would otherwise and you're peeing out those minerals basically. Now one or two small cups of coffee a day so I'm talking 6 to 12 ounces total. That seems to be just fine for most people but if you're drinking five or six or eight cups a day I guarantee you you're depleting your minerals.

MARCIE: Yeah for sure. You know and here's another reason that we should think about too why you may be depleting your minerals. And oftentimes we don't think about this, but if you sweat a lot. So if you are a heavy exercise or just really sweat a lot in general or you work outside, what happens is that you can play your minerals by sweating them out.  We've also seen you know many clients with ongoing diarrhea is another issue of minerals being depleted and a variety of other body signs with those depletions.

CASSIE:  Good point. So yeah if you sweat a lot. Or if you have chronic diarrhea you know hearing you talk about sweating a reminded me of one of our fellow teachers Mary Hauge I remember her telling me when she first found Nutritional Weight and Wellness, and she was a client is when she kind of figured this out she started eating the Nutritional Weight and Wellness way but she still craved something sweet after a meal.  And I don't know if she took a class and learned this or saw one of the dietitians and learned this but she made the connection finally that she sweats a lot when she exercises and she exercises every week so she was losing zinc. She supplement it started supplementing with zinc and that sweet craving for after a meal went away. Yeah.

MARCIE:  Oh yeah. Yeah if you're a heavy sweater but a fun way to just you know be in tune with your own body like she was just really paying attention and then all of a sudden the answer does comes to you. 

CASSIE:  Right, your body talks to you if you listen. So here's another one I talked earlier about coffee and alcohol depleting minerals. But pop as well is another one of those beverages. Actually the research has shown that pop leeches calcium from your bones. Now that's scary when you think of all the teenagers out there drinking several cans of pop a day. That's right. I bet if we got those teenagers tested if we got them a bone scan I bet a lot of them already have thinning bones or if they don't have thinning bones now they will later in life if they don't make some changes. And think about your own past history. Were you a pop drinker as a teenager? If you were, do you know what your bone density is? Or maybe you've already been diagnosed with osteoporosis. There might be a connection there with all of that pop drinking in the past and that osteoporosis diagnosis.  And also I just wanted to throw in there as we talk about bones and bone health. Be aware that if you're taking anti acids or acid blockers on a regular basis those are blocking the absorption of calcium. So when I talk about acid blockers it's things like Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium. The last time I looked and I could be off by now but the last time I looked that group of acid blocking drugs was the number the top selling drug in this country so I know a lot of you listening are on acid blockers or anti acids. Just be aware it it stops that absorption or decreases that absorption of calcium and that can lead to osteoporosis.

MARCIE:  Yes that is a good point Cassie to bring that up. You know I think we should highlight zinc just a little bit more because it is flu season so zinc is going to be really important as we talk through today. You know the viruses that are on us today. You know why should we increase our zinc levels. Well what happens is that zinc helps to increase our immune boosting properties so that helps us again fight those viruses the bacteria and even cancer.

CASSIE: Now that's a powerful bit of knowledge right there can even help fight cancer. And really when I hear the news stories today about the influenza breakout it doesn't surprise me because we know the statistics don't we, that 73 percent of American adults are low in zinc.  And Marcie just said it, zinc is so important for boosting your immune system. But 73 percent of us are low or deficient. It gets worse 83 percent. 83 percent of kids in this country are deficient in zinc.

MARCIE:  Yeah you know that's just crazy. You know and what what makes a lot of sense, that makes a lot of sense. You know so that means basically three out of four people are deficient in zinc. So if you have a low level of zinc you are more susceptible to getting one of those colds that are floating around or viruses and that's a fact. You know at Nutritional Weight and Wellness we like to back our statements with research and this little bit of research is important. It has shown how zinc is beneficial for the immune system. A team of researchers from Ohio State University found that when there is not enough zinc available in your cells at the time of infection you will experience excessive inflammation and then more symptoms. Which explains why when you take zinc at the first sign of a cold it does appear to help and we're Nutritional Weight and Wellness we can believe it's really important to take zinc supplement daily to protect your immune system. So we're thinking about 50 milligrams a day is plenty for an adult.

CASSIE:  Right. I think 30 to 50 somewhere in that range is going to be helpful. You know and we don't just believe this as Marcie said we put this into practice at our house, we take a zinc supplement and my son came down with influenza here, oh a week and a half or two weeks ago you know we're all going to get sick sometimes. But he'd been taking zinc and he had the flu for three and a half days. Now I've ran into adults here lately that have had influenza for two weeks. So I am confident that him taking that zinc supplement was at least part of why he had a short duration. And I'm going to talk more about the science behind what Marcie was just talking about with zinc when we come back from break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, before we go to break I want to let you know that we have some really interesting and educational shows coming up in the next few weeks. Next Saturday January 27, Kate and Cara will be on Dishing Up Nutrition talking about sinus problems and sinus pain. So if you or a friend or a family member have sinus problems, tune into the show next Saturday or listen to this podcast. And then the following Saturday February 3, Kate and I will be on talking about perimenopausal weight gain. And then on Saturday February 10, Joanne and I will share how to hydrate dry skin naturally and steps to have strong healthy nails. And if you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to discuss here on the radio or if you have suggestions on ways that we can improve or if you simply want to give us a great story about how Dishing Up Nutrition has helped you to become a better healthier person.  You can drop us an e-mail at or you can write a review on iTunes. 

MARCIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. You know we are pleased to offer two new online classes. The first one the Magic of Minerals which was done by my cohost Cassie and then also another one called Eating to Reduce Pain and Inflammation which was taped by Lea Wetzell. I watched both classes and they really did a great great job. So you won't want to miss them. Go to and click on nutrition classes and then click online and they'll be right there for you. Fun stuff to view online and in your own time I think people really enjoy that a lot. 

CASSIE: Such a nice service both for our out of town out of state out of country people, but just for busy people. Oh yeah can't make it to a specific location.

MARCIE:  That's right. But still want the information.  You know we had a caller that called in and she had a question about coffee and alcohol that we were talking about as diuretics and wondering if it's just all caffeine products in general that are diuretics. And yes they are, so if you are drinking you know Red Bulls for example or those high five things, if you're drinking a lot of caffeine you are depleting minerals.

CASSIE: And even if you're drinking tea caffeinated tea all day long you know a few cups is OK but yes. So caffeine is going to make you pee more and then you're going to lose minerals if you're doing too much. So we have a couple of callers on line I think we should take. Let's take Ann on line one. Ann welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition you had a question for us this morning.

CALLER:  Yes. I have chronic diarrhea and I also have all those that answered yes just about everything you asked. And I'm wondering if there is a good pill Vitamin Multivitamin that would take that would help a lot of that.

CASSIE: Marcie what do we have that is a compliment of all the minerals?

MARCIE: You know one that I think of right away is one of our multivitamins called Alpha Base which is a really nice well rounded product. We also have Reacted Multimin which might be another good option for you if you are struggling with some gut health.

CASSIE: So there's two. One is called Alpha Base one is Reacted Multimin standing for minerals. But you know also we would highly recommend Ann that you consider a nutrition consultation because you know for now to get those minerals in with a supplement is a great idea in the short term but your body is trying to tell you something with that chronic diarrhea. And I think one of our dieticians or nutritionists could really be helpful.

CALLER:   OK. And do you have that at your North Oaks office that's the one I'm closest to?

MARCIE: Yes they do carry those products.

CALLER: OK, well maybe I'll stop by one of these days and check that out.

CASSIE: All right sounds great thank you for listening. All right on line two we have Jane. Jane welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition what was your question for us this morning?

CALLER: Hi, thank you. I just turned you one a few minutes ago, so maybe you discussed this but you talked about mineral that you may be missing with certain cravings. The one thing that I crave, and I'm a normal weight but it is crispy salty things. Like I don't crave bread or even crackers but it is cheez-its, tortilla chips. I can't buy them because I won't leave them alone. What might I supplement my diet with?

CASSIE:  Great question.

MARCIE:  Well I think first you need to look at just balancing out your blood sugar because that's what we talk a lot about. It's not you know just being you know just taking supplements to take cravings away that's not going to be the answer. It's going to be more, are you eating enough good protein, carb and fat throughout your day.

CASSIE:  Do you eat breakfast every morning Jane?

CALLER:  I usually have a protein bar or I'll have a couple of hard boiled eggs while sitting at my desk at work.

CASSIE:  OK. OK. And then you try to eat every three or four hours.

CALLER:  I do. I take walnuts with me, so I will have a handful of walnuts or almonds or other nut. Or I'll have a piece of fruit. I don't drink fruit juice but I will have a piece of whole fruit of some sort, usually an orange or an apple.  I'm trying to beef up the protein like adding tofu because I will eat meat but not a lot of it. I'm not a big meat eater, but  I'm trying to get my protein another way with eggs, tofu and rice and beans.

CASSIE: Yeah. Yeah. OK. Well yeah it sounds like you're you're trying to pay attention. We would discourage you from the tofu because that is a really processed form of soy and soy can just wreak havoc in a lot of different areas of your health. But I love the eggs idea you know rice and beans together might work for you dairy if you can tolerate dairy. But what it sounds like to me and you can chime in Marcie is that first step really is getting into play what we call the magic number three having a protein, a carb and a healthy fat. Those three things every three hours because that will really help to satiate you.. All together they should all be together in order to balance your blood sugar protein, carb, healthy fat. Each time you sit down to eat whether it's a meal or a snack. Try that first you can throw all the best supplements out your body but if you're not if you don't have that basis they're not going to do their work. So try that and then if you give that three, four, or five days and you still have these cravings for salty foods then it might be zinc. We talked about earlier. So then you might want to try a zinc supplement.

CALLER: Could you give me a couple of examples of the kind of snack you're talking about? You know I think solo like a cup of yogurt or a cup of,  but you know it's hard for me to think of all three of those combined.

CASSIE: Sure. One of the snacks that I love to do that's really easy is to take some nitrate-free deli meat. So maybe Applegate organic or some Hormel nitrate-free deli meat and then spread some full fat cream cheese on that. So you can do three or four of those and roll them up. So there you have your protein and your healthy fat. And then if you just grab a clementine and have that as your carbohydrate you have protein, carb, healthy fat. Another one that comes to my mind, Marcie I'm not trying to hog the microphone, but I just made deviled eggs yesterday. So that comes to my mind if you had three or four deviled egg halves because you already have them you know made up and in your fridge if you do that when you have some downtime the mayonnaise in there is your healthy fat. The eggs are your protein and then you could grab some carrot sticks for your healthy carbohydrate.

CALLER: That's awesome. It is hard for me to think of fruit and vegetables as carbs but I guess they are. So thank you very much.

CASSIE:  Yes. Yes. Great question. Good luck with that Jane. All right, so we, I'm glad she asked for ideas because we get so like don't you feel like duh, right because we preach this and eat this and it's our life. But sometimes people just need those simple ideas to get started. They

MARCIE:  They don't know exactly what we mean by that all the time protein, carb, fat.

CASSIE: Right. OK so we were talking we were talking about zinc. Zinc is kind of the superstar here today because we're in cold and flu season. And Marcie you were mentioning it if I remember right before we went to that last break you were talking about that research out of Ohio State University that that shows that zinc is so important for boosting your immune system. For those of you out there though like the science behind the research I just wanted to briefly explain how getting enough zinc wards off the inflammation and the symptoms of these nasty viruses. What these scientists at Ohio State University found is that there is a special protein that sort of lures zinc into specific cells and these specific cells are considered our first responders against infection. And once inside the cell the zinc then interacts with a process that is critical to fighting off the infection. And you know beyond that it gets pretty it gets into a lot of biochemistry so I'll just kind of stop there. But I just wanted to share a little bit of the science behind that research. And I also want to make everyone aware that zinc deficiency affects 40 percent of the elderly in the United States. Forty percent of the elderly still think about you know if you have a grandma or a parent in a nursing home when that influenza virus goes around that is scary stuff.  Maybe just maybe a zinc supplement would help that population and zinc is beneficial because if you do get a cold or or get that nasty influenza virus the zinc shuts down the inflammatory response so you might very well get sick. As my son did but it's going to be shorter duration and you're going to have fewer symptoms.

MARCIE:  Which sounds like a win-win, right? You know and there's other symptoms of low zinc. And we kind of talked about this earlier but one of them is that your sense of taste is altered. You know so what does that feel like.  Well it may mean you crave sweeter or saltier foods. So if you crave a sweet a treat kind of after you have a meal you may be zinc deficient.

CASSIE:  It might be that simple that you just need to eat some foods high in zinc or take a zinc supplement.  I see we have a caller on the line. I think he's going to ask us more about real food that you can eat to bolster your zinc levels so we will take that caller when we come back from this last break. If you're just joining us you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. One more announcement here before we go to break. On Saturday February 17 Joann, Kris and Dar, Dar is the owner of Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Those three ladies will be presenting the Menopause Survival Seminar at our Maple Grove, Minnesota location. I really encourage you to sign up soon as you're at all interested because this seminar fills up fast and if you have a friend that you know would be interested, bring them to it's always helpful to have a friend along hearing the same information and that can be your support person when you leave.  We'll be back.

MARCIE:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We have a couple more online classes that I would like to mention quick here. We have a great gluten free class called Going Gluten Free the Healthy Way and that's taught again by Cassie, a mother of two who are actually gluten and dairy intolerant and we also have our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series online which includes 12 individual classes and 2 1 hour appointments for you with one of our certified nutritionist or dietitians. So again sign up or to get more information just go to

CASSIE: We have hit a popular topic.

MARCIE: Oh well everybody likes to know about minerals and vitamins.

CASSIE:  I am so glad because I just didn't know if we'd have callers today but we've gotten a lot of callers, a lot of questions. If we don't get a chance to get to your call we apologize because we still have a lot of bullet points here that we wanted to get through surrounding today's topic but I do want to mention quickly somebody called in didn't want to go on the air wondering a healthy mayonnaise that they could go out and buy.

MARCIE: That's right. In a lot of times we will recommend a brand called Hain or any mayo that has safflower oil in its ingredient list.

CASSIE: Stay away from the soybean oil, stay away from the canola look for a safflower oil which is what the Hain brand has and you can get bad at most stores pretty much anywhere.  And then one lady was traveling I think to Brazil but traveling and wanted to know a healthy supplement she could take along and I thought Marcie, you had a great suggestion.

MARCIE: Well I think just keep it simple.  And you want to keep your gut healthy with some good probiotics so Bifido Balance would be a great option. You know I would take one or two, three times a day. And that should keep off some bad bugs.

CASSIE:  Because if you keep your gut healthy, it really goes a long way in keeping your whole body healthy. And I know we have a caller on the line and I can tell from the notes he's wondering about foods to help boost your your zinc levels. And we're going to talk about that. Yeah we're going to go again so let's talk more about zinc. You know we've talked about that if you're craving salt that might be a zinc deficiency. So there's a real biochemical reason you're low in zinc and you crave salt. I mean our bodies speak to us like we said before if only we will listen.

MARCIE:  I know right. Sometimes it's hard to do. But another sign of low zinc will be if you struggle with acne. Studies have shown that zinc can be as effective for acne as an antibiotic. And of course we all know it's a lot safer than taking that antibiotic. And I'm sure you've seen teenagers drinking soda with acne breakouts all over their faces right. Yes. You know and so we want to remember again that that soda depletes minerals causing these teens to be deficient in zinc and therefore having acne.

CASSIE: Exactly. And the list goes on. If you're deficient and zinc. Another potential body sign is that you might have fertility problems. Or here's one, do you hate to drive at night because you have poor night vision? That very well could be zinc. Or I want you to hold up your hands in front of your face right now, unless you're driving, but if you're at home hold up your hands, nails facing you. Do you have white spots in the beds of your fingernails? That's a zinc deficiency. And here's another one, hearing loss. Now sometimes like with my dad back home, I grew up on a farm, he drove a lot of tractors without a cab when he was a boy and he's losing his hearing so it's not that hearing loss is always caused by low zinc but sometimes. So these are all signs of low levels of zinc and men out there listening an enlarged prostate may also indicate low levels of zinc. So I think it's pretty obvious zinc is a really important mineral.

MARCIE:  That's right. So not only you know taking zinc supplement can help but what foods can you be eating. You know can cause a lot of people just want to increase their zinc by eating some better food. You need at least 11 to 13 milligrams of zinc a day. So and of course more if you have some of those lifestyle habits that deplete the minerals like the heavy exercise or drinking too much soda or too much caffeine. So what about or even taking those diuretic medications.

CASSIE: Right. And what would some of those be Marcie, for people that might not know.

MARCIE:  Well one would be that spironolactoneis one.

CASSIE: Yep and then hydrochlorothiazide which is often the first drug a doctor will prescribe for high blood pressure. That's a diuretic medication as well.

MARCIE:  So just kind of pay attention to your lifestyle and then of course what medications you're on. But foods that are high in zinc are things like beef, chicken, or seafood like oysters, crab. Don't forget sardines, I mean who doesn't want to eat a can of that a day, and pumpkin seeds. You know another great way to get some good zinc in.

CASSIE:  Those are all great sources of zinc so hopefully we answered that caller's question because food first. That is our philosophy, try the food first and if that doesn't get rid of your symptoms then it's time to try a supplement. Remember as I stated earlier in the hour, 73 percent of the American the adult American population is deficient in zinc. And here we are in the midst of cold and flu season. So again we highly recommend adding a zinc supplement this time of year. Certainly it's important to focus on those foods Marcie just mentioned but it's just good insurance during cold and flu season to also take a zinc supplement. I recommend that you take it at bedtime. Minerals tend to be better absorbed in the evening hours and vitamins are more effective in the morning. And if you're an adult struggling with acne we would recommend that you take somewhere between 30 and 50 milligrams of a zinc supplement each day. Try that for about six months.  Of course also reduce your sugar consumption and stop drinking pop. If that's one of your habits. And I know we had a caller that didn't want to go on air that was wondering, I think she was 50-something years old and she was wondering how much zinc to take and I would say the same for her.  I think 30 to 50 milligrams of a zinc supplement daily is a great choice.

MARCIE:  That's right. And we know it's really important to understand that all of your cells need zinc at some level but it's one tissue in particular needs 10 to 15 times more zinc than any other tissue and that's the prostate. So biochemically zinc acts as a tumor suppressor and therefore is sufficient zinc will make it less likely for abnormal cells to multiply and become cells that create a tumor.

CASSIE:  That's a powerful mineral. Wow. So zinc makes it less likely for abnormal cells to multiply and become cells that create a tumor. Valuable information for a lot of listeners I'm sure. And we talked earlier about how zinc supports your sense of taste. You know oftentimes as people age well even younger people for that matter but we often see it in the older population that they lose their appetites. And most nursing homes know this but that's often low zinc. And so the nursing homes will use zinc to help their patients regain that desire to eat basically. But like I said this can happen with younger people as well sometimes teenagers who have lost their appetite can be low in zinc and it's just such a simple solution to restore that appetite. Just get them on a zinc supplement.

MARCIE:  Yeah you're right. You know and I think it's about time to talk about another mineral really quickly and that's the iron. That iron deficiency and about even though only 4 percent of the people in the U.S. are iron deficient and mostly they are made up of women. You might be experiencing a lot of fatigue or as we said real early on in the show that restless legs syndrome. So if you get into bed and your legs just keep moving. It's just frustrating sometimes it does aches and hurts. And it's really disruptive for people's sleep.  So low iron could be a reason for some of it.

CASSIE:  It could very well be a simple solution get your iron up. Other signs of low iron would be cracks in the corner of your mouth. Chronic ice chewing, a lack of focus and then like Marcie mentioned, feeling weak and tired. So if you're experiencing any of these symptoms please have a blood test done by your doctor to check both your hemoglobin and your ferritin levels. Don't let them just run the hemoglobin because sometimes that comes back normal but then you're ferritin which is a reflection of your body's storage form of iron could be low. Now the ideal fair to novel is right around 70 that's kind of your sweet spot. I think if we can get somewhere between 40 and 80 you're going to be feeling good. But again low ferritin and you might be extremely fatigued,, have low moods lack of concentration.

MARCIE:  That's right. You know and we do. You might be wondering again who has these low iron levels and I mentioned just a bit ago it's women who have a heavy menstrual bleeding could be one. Or people with digestive problems especially those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Or pregnancy can often be the cause of some low iron level as well. So insufficient protein in your diet may be another reason.

CASSIE:Yes. And again our goal at Nutritional Weight and wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple but very powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a healthy day. Thank you.


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