Nine out of ten Indians suffer from macronutrient deficiencies, much of this population is made up of children and pregnant women. 1 This can cause severe pregnancy complications and it can also impede child growth. 2 Let that sink in, that’s 90% of a very large population. So, chances are you’re suffering too.
WHAT IS CAUSING NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES?
But, why is this happening? Well, the causes vary across the nation and different socio-economic societies. Diet is a key factor. The sheer level of poverty in the country means that about 50% of the population doesn’t have access to hygienic food or water, so worry about a varied diet hasn’t even crossed half of the population’s mind. 3 But the other 50% of the population is suffering because of poor diet, religious (and other) dietary restrictions, and imbalanced meal times, lifestyle choices that prevent the absorption of nutrients from food, stress, disease, and more. Sometimes, two or more factors could be affecting your body at one time. So, if you feel like you’ve got the diet part right, tread with caution. There could be other factors that are obstructing the absorption of nutrients. 4
As an Indian, no matter what form of medicinal science you choose to treat yourself with, one fact is clear: a balanced diet and lifestyle is necessary for any substantial change in health. A nutrient imbalance or deficiency can throw you off a healthy lifestyle, cause disease, and affect your mood. In other words, this is bad news for all of us. An imbalance of important vitamins, for example, can cause everything from fatigue to diabetes and immobility. Studies have found that micronutrient deficiencies are also heavily linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular health issues. Trying to lose weight and just can’t seem to catch a break? This could also be linked to nutrient deficiencies! 5
MOST COMMON NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies, prevalent among our population, are Vitamin B12, folic acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin D, magnesium, iron, and other antioxidants & minerals. Vitamin B12 isn’t naturally occurring in the human body. As we eat and excrete, it isn’t stored for long in our bodies either. The most common sources of Vitamin B12 are meat, seafood, dairy, and certain plant-based milk, as well. A loss of this vitamin can cause pale skin, tiredness, depression, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heart palpitations, and nerve problems. 6
A folic acid (Vitamin B9) deficiency can result in similar problems, and in the long-term, it can affect your immunity and DNA structure. This vitamin is in charge of your red blood cell production, DNA repair, and DNA formulation. Our body absorbs folate through citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Like, most other Vitamins, our body doesn’t naturally store or produce B9. 7
Vitamin D is produced when sunlight comes in contact with our skin, but that’s not near enough. It’s also absorbed through dairy products, eggs, grains, and meats. This helps our body produce calcium, so a deficiency can lead to a host of bone and bone tissue problems. Vitamin D can also affect your metabolism, digestion of glucose (that can lead to diabetes), and more. The symptoms include mild to substantial pain in the joints and bones. 8
MINERALS & ANTIOXIDANTS
Vital minerals like magnesium play a big role in the daily functions of your body. A lack of these can give you anxiety, insomnia, weak heart health, and extreme levels of blood sugar. Mineral deficiencies, like magnesium, can mean symptoms like migraines, moodiness, and bad digestion. Nuts, seeds, grains, and soy contain most of your daily magnesium intake. Other common mineral deficiencies include iron, which can also act out on your skin, cause anemia, low hemoglobin, bad immunity, and inflammation. In the long-term, not having enough iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium (minerals) can wreak havoc on your system. 9
All antioxidants (vitamins) and minerals are essential to your overall health, appearance, and daily functions. And you may feel like fixing your diet to include a variety of food may solve the problem, but that’s not enough. Exercise, alcoholism, and other lifestyle choices may be affecting your absorption severely. Sometimes, other diseases and medications that you’re consuming can also deplete your body of important nutrients. There on, it works like a vicious cycle. You can’t sleep, so your body doesn’t absorb nutrients, and therefore, you can’t sleep some more! Really sucks, right? 10
BRIDGING THE GAP
That’s exactly why supplements are becoming a highly renowned and routine way of bridging this nutritional crisis, across India and the world. Lucky for us, India has always placed nature at its core beliefs, through ancient medicinal practices.11 Sciences and nature, today, are being combined to bring us the best of both worlds. Our products, at Setu, are made with a fusion of these practices, making our supplements easy on the body, supplemental to your crazy lifestyle, and easily absorbable.
To increase absorption of nutrients, you can take Setu YourGut that has 9 strains of probiotic (more than you’ll get from just yogurt) to improve digestion and gut health. Poor liver health can also affect how your body retains and digests nutrients; Setu Liver Lift is a two-in-one. It works to fix your liver, while also providing you with key minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins like B12. Setu Lutein & Zeaxanthin supplement is a super effective antioxidant & vitamin formula that not only allows you to digest nutrients better from your veggies but fills in nutrient gaps by providing you the much-needed carotenoid antioxidants. While supplements in no way replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, they’re a much-needed aid to our crazy, disease-prone lifestyle and bodies. 12