Do you know that it is possible to have regular meals but missing out certain nutrients, might not cause a problem? People are frequently exposed to these deficiencies that inevitably face health risks? Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies are a common occurrence.
This is refers to as hidden hunger. Unlike any other epidemics, talking of deficiencies in vitamin and mineral is largely not common.
According to the UNICEF report, sub-Saharan Africa is abode of the most nutritionally insecure people in the world were Conflict, HIV /Aids, poverty, and lack of access to health services contribute to the high levels of vitamin and mineral deficiency.
In Rwanda, 45 per cent of children under five are chronically malnourished or stunted. Estimated annual number of children born mentally impaired due to iodine deficiency is 105,000, whereas the rate of goitre due to iodine deficiency is 10 per cent.
The estimated number of annual deaths of children is 23,000 due to vitamin A deficiency; according to the UNICEF report.
It has been identified that micronutrient (lack of vitamins and minerals) inflicts anaemia (lack of enough blood), cretinism (deformed and mentally undeveloped person) and blindness in millions of people.
Mineral and vitamin deficiency also do impair intellectual development, compromise immune systems, and provoke birth defects.
The solutions to the imperative need to curb the deficiency have been suggested. These include: Diet improvement: Observing good eating habits and ensuring a consumption of balanced meals at all times will go a long way in improving our diets.
Fortification: Adding essential vitamins and minerals to foods that are regularly consumed by many people. Check around for fortified food products when you go shopping.
Supplements: Vitamin and mineral supplements are widely available and if there is a need for extra vitamins and minerals then it should not be a difficult task to get your hands on them.
Disease Control: Because well-nourished individuals are better equipped to fight disease, controlling some diseases like malaria, and diarrhoea can help the body absorb and retain essential vitamin and minerals that get depleted in case of an illnesses.
Education: Getting nutrition information about some foods that increase the intake and absorption of minerals is important. Green vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products provide vitamin A.
These foods also provide minerals like iron, which is a key mineral requirement for women.