Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

12 Signs You May Be Deficient in Zinc

Zinc is a crucial mineral that is found in every cell in the body. It's involved with growth, cell division, the immune system, bones and teeth, skin, the brain, the nervous system not to mention hormones – and yet over a third of people appear to be deficient in the Western world!

12 signs you may be deficient in zinc

  1. White spots or lines on your fingernails
  2. Pale skin
  3. Stretch marks
  4. Acne
  5. Dry hair
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Poor immune system
  8. Diarrhoea
  9. Low sex drive
  10. Weight loss
  11. Loss of taste and sense of smell
  12. Insomnia

So if you’re suffering from sleep issues, frequent infections, eczema, psoriasis, frequent diarrhoea, hair loss, low sex drive or infertility – perhaps it’s worth checking your zinc levels? Those deficient in zinc may also find their sense of taste and smell affected, which isn't great when you want to explore lots of new foods on your Paleo diet!

How to get more zinc in your diet

There are lots of great natural, Paleo food sources of zinc. Oysters are one of the best sources, but red meat and seafood (especially crab) will also keep your zinc levels topped up. Of course, supplementing is always an option, but always try to get sufficient levels from natural food sources first. Also, don’t forget about vitamin D, as being deficient in vitamin D makes zinc less effective. It’s all about balance, as so many vitamins and minerals work together.

Several things can inhibit your bodies ability to absorb zinc, particularly phytates found in grains and legumes – yet another reason to stick to a Paleo diet and avoid processed neolithic foods!
Paleo Primal Zinc Supplement
Have you had your zinc levels checked? How did they fair? Do you eat lots of natural food sources of zinc, or do you supplement?

Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

Almost free health products paleo-min

Almost free health products…

I just found out about a new feature on iherb called “Trial Pricing” today that I thought I should share with you. On their trial page they offer a handful of things (there are 57 at the time of writing this) at a hugely discounted rate, limited to one per customer. Some of the trial products are only available if you haven't ordered it before (I guess they're hoping you'll love the product and go back and order more!)

The cheapest thing I found was a $0.12 (yep, 12 cents!) packet of Omega 3 supplements! They seem to have lots of vitamins, supplements, minerals, lip balms, tea infusers – and all sorts. The trial products change regularly, so it’s definitely work checking it out regularly.  Of course, it isn't all Paleo, but I do manage to find most of my paleo staples online at iherb.

My discount code still applies to these products, so make sure you enter the code duv741 when you check out to get a $5 (if you spend under $40) or $10 discount (on purchases over $40). Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Shipping is free within America on orders over $20 and shipping to other countries is very cheap indeed (I regularly have things sent from iherb to both Australia and the UK and have found it far cheaper than buying locally)

Other specials currently available:

Other specials you might be interested in (but they do appear to be limited – so don't blame me if they're sold out!):

Iherb are offering you the chance to try Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for just $1 (but only to people who haven’t ordered it before)

Try Vitamin D3 capsules for $0.50 (for 110 capsules!)

Healthy Origins Extra Virgin Coconut Oil reduced to $23.95 (47% discount) huge 54 oz (1,530 g) container

$1.95 (85% discount) on a travel coffee mug

Pink Himalayan sea salt for $2.64

Iherb Paleo diet health products discount promo code
The specials change every day, so if you find any particularly good/ paleo bargains, please share in the comments below so we can all benefit!

Do you Get Enough Cobalt Vitamin B12 paleo diet primal deficiency supplements-min

Do you Get Enough Cobalt?

Cobalt forms part of the structure of vitamin B12, which makes it an essential dietary mineral. In its inorganic form, cobalt is also an active nutrient for bacteria, algae and fungi, which means that it can help to maintain the balance of the natural bacteria within your body, as well as all of the other bodily functions that it is involved with.

The human body can only absorb cobalt in the form of vitamin B12.

What Does Cobalt Do?

Cobalt is one of the constituent elements of vitamin B12, which makes it essential for us to consume. It is an enzyme catalyst, important for the nervous system and healthy blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also involved with the production of DNA in the body, ensuring that new cells form correctly. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia, which makes sufferers tired and weak, and some mental problems, such as mania and depression.

Some cobalt is stored in the blood supply within the body, where it helps iron absorption and the building of red blood cells. One of the signs of cobalt deficiency is high concentrations of iron in the serum. People suffering from anemia can help their condition by increasing their cobalt intake.

Food Sources of Cobalt

Cobalt is available from both plant and animal sources. Some of the best plant food sources are green leafy vegetables and apricots. Organ meats are a better source of cobalt than muscle, so hearts, kidneys and livers are good foods to boost your cobalt intake. Other cuts of meat do contain cobalt, but in lower quantities.

As cobalt is present in vitamin B12, you can also boost your natural resources with foods that are high in this vitamin. Some of these include:

  • Clams, Oysters and Mussels
  • Liver
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Crabs and Lobster
  • Lamb
  • Do you Get Enough Cobalt Vitamin B12 paleo diet primal deficiency supplements-min

Another, possibly surprising, source of vitamin B12 is the human digestive system. When the bacteria in the human gut has a supply of cobalt and certain other nutrients it can produce vitamin B12. In some cases, this could be sufficient to fulfill the dietary requirements.

Problems with Cobalt Intake

It is difficult to overdose on vitamin B12 – as a water-soluble chemical; any excess will generally pass out of the body. However, it is occasionally possible to ingest too much and this can lead to numbness or tingling in the arms or face. Other symptoms include insomnia, anxiety or rashes. High levels of vitamin B12 can exaggerate certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or mitral valve prolapse.

Cobalt is an essential nutrient that is vital for the health of your body and is a major part of vitamin B12 that is all essential to your health. Make sure you eat enough of the foods that contain these to keep your body in its prime. Eat plenty of red meat and seafood to top up your cobalt levels and you will certainly feet better for it.

How are your mineral levels? Have you ever had them checked?

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet nuts soaking-min

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet

There are many benefits to adhering to the Paleo diet as a means of getting rid of body fat and helping to reduce the likelihood of a number of illnesses. One of the benefits of the Paleo diet is that it can help to reduce phytic acid intake. It obliterates foods which are full of phytic acid in favour of those which contain low levels such as fruits and vegetables.

Phytic acid is highly obstructive as it has the ability to stop essential minerals from being absorbed. These minerals include magnesium, iron and calcium, which are important as part of any healthy diet. Phytic acid binds itself to these minerals and as our bodies can’t break them down, it can result in a number of health issues. There are many people who consume high levels of cereal, as they believe that this is beneficial to the health but in fact these are one of the main culprits of phytic acid. As a result, they can actually prove to be quite damaging to the health. As our ancestors substituted cereals for other healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits, it was a much healthier way of living which is why the Paleo diet is the best one to follow.

The health issues which can result from a diet which is high in phytic acid include PMS, stomach cramps and skin problems, which can be very detrimental for our quality of life. There are many people who also suffer from anaemia, which is caused by iron deficiency and it is believed that this could be caused through a high phytic acid diet. The Paleo diet promotes an eating plan which minimises the intake of foods which contain phytic acid, in order to promote a healthier lifestyle.

The right diet is the most important way of maintaining good health and more often than not, most of us will reach for the painkillers when we feel unwell, rather than getting to the root cause of the problem.   There are certain foods which are extremely high in phytic acid and these are best to completely stay clear of when following the Paleo diet. The most common of these are grains and legumes. These foods can be replaced with fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds, which are full of minerals and antioxidants.

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet nuts soaking-min

Nuts and seeds are quite high offenders when it comes to levels of phytic acid but you can minimise these by soaking them in purified water. Nuts are full of health benefits, but should only be eaten in moderation; otherwise they will be counter productive.  As far back as our ancestors, people were soaking their nuts and seeds and as the reason behind the Paleo diet is to go back to our roots, it is a ritual we should bear in mind when trying to reduce our intake of phytic acid. The best way to achieve this is to soak the nuts in purified water, cover them and add sea salt. You should then give them a rinse and drain them, before putting them in the oven at the lowest possible temperature. It may seem like a bit of a lengthy process, but the benefits to help are worth taking these steps.

In order to really get the balance between the right nutrients and lowering levels of phytic acid, it is worth educating ourselves on the content of our foods so we are more aware of whether or not they will be detrimental to our health. There are plenty of nutritious foods to eat as part of the Paleo diet, which will result in noticeable changes to your health and fitness levels. Good combinations of the right foods, together with an exercise plan will not only improve your appearance, but will also help you to enjoy a longer and more fulfilling lifestyle.

If you find any of the foods on the Paleo diet are bland, you can always season them with apple cider vinegar as this is a tasty substitute to high calorie mayonnaise and it offers lots of health benefits. It can take a while to get used to following the diet, but it can be really beneficial to the body and appearance. It will soon become a way of life and reducing phytic acid levels is just one of the many benefits of following this simple but effective diet.

Apple Cider Vinegar the health benefits paleo diet ACV ideas-min

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a tasty garnish which is a beneficial addition to your food on the Paleo diet. As part of your Paleo diet, you may like to try and incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in some when you can, as it is known to offer a wide range of health benefits. Instead of turning to anti-ageing lotions and potions, Apple Cider Vinegar is a good alternative as it is known to slow down the signs of ageing. The reasons for this are that it is high in minerals and potassium which are good for the complexion. Apple cider vinegar is also known to reduce and clear up problems with acne, whether taken orally or applied directly to the skin when diluted with some water.

If you are suffering from a nasty cough which is often the case during the winter, Apple Cider Vinegar is known to reduce the effects and clear it up. It is also beneficial for clearing up the sinuses, so if your immune system needs a bit of a boost, apple cider vinegar will really help. There are a number of other benefits to making apple cider vinegar a part of your daily diet, including the fact that it promotes digestion as it promotes healthy bacteria throughout the body. It can also help with menstrual cramps and act as a way of encouraging weight loss. These are the reasons why Apple Cider Vinegar is such a huge part of the Paleo diet.

Apple Cider Vinegar can also be taken to combat constipation, as it is known to improve the movement of the bowels. It is well worth introducing Apple Cider Vinegar at the start of your journey with the Paleo diet, so you can reap the benefits of it from the offset.

Apple Cider Vinegar the health benefits paleo diet ACV ideas-min

How To Add Apple Cider Vinegar To Your Diet

There are many ways in which you can incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar as part of the Paleo diet. As your diet will include eating a lot of salads and vegetables, it can act as a garnish to improve the taste of your foods and make them more enjoyable. It is a much healthier alternative to using mayonnaise as your garnish, as this won’t offer all the healthy benefits as Apple Cider Vinegar.

Another way to consume Apple Cider Vinegar is to add a drop of it to a glass of water to it in the morning. You will soon notice the benefits of it on your skin and how you feel. You only need to use a little of it on a daily basis, so even if you don’t particularly like the flavour of it, it shouldn't over-ride the taste of your foods.

If you want to achieve the best health benefits from your Paleo diet, stock up on loads of meat, fresh fish, vegetables and fruits the next time you do your weekly shopping. In addition, make sure Apple Cider Vinegar is on your list to make your foods tastier and include some seeds for eating as one of your snacks. If you can’t resist chocolate, make sure you choose dark chocolate as this is rich in anti-oxidants. There is no reason why you should be craving unhealthier foods on the Paleo diet and with the addition of garnishes such as the Apple Cider Vinegar; you will be much less likely to fall off the wagon.

Do you regular use Apple Cider Vinegar? I’d love to hear how you use it, please share in the comments below!

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet?

If you've told anyone you follow a Paleo diet, one of the typical responses you’ve probably got back, is bound to be “but how can you get enough Calcium?”

As part of any healthy lifestyle it is essential to have a decent amount of calcium in the diet, as it is involved in so many crucial functions. Calcium is known to strengthen the bones and teeth and can help to reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones and can be very detrimental in the quality of life for sufferers. It is also thought the mineral can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other illnesses which can cause a lot of problems in later life.

In order to really get the benefits from calcium, it is important to incorporate it with other nutrients and vitamins, as they work in conjunction with each other to produce the most effective results. Vitamins such as C and D3 help the body to absorb calcium so that the benefits are maximised. If these vitamins are not present in the diet, it won’t be absorbed sufficiently, which means the calcium won’t offer the benefits you would expect from it.

We don’t all require the same intake of calcium; there are factors which affect the level of calcium we should consume in our diet. Children require a lower level than adults and women are usually required to take in more calcium than men. Pregnant women should also try to take in a higher level of calcium as it will be beneficial for both mother and baby.

We know that calcium is essential for the body, but we have been led to believe that we need a lot more in our diet than what we actually need. It is also a misconception that the only way we can get the calcium we need is through the consumption of dairy products and in particular milk, which is not the case. There are many other foods which provide a good quantity of calcium and more than enough to ensure we have an adequate amount in our bodies. It can also be detrimental if we consume too much calcium, as it inhibits the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is important for a healthy body and a lack of this can have an adverse effect on the body.

As a strict Paleo diet excludes dairy, many people wrongly assume eating this way will result in a Calcium deficiency. However, this simply is not the case. Not only are there some far better sources than milk – when the processed foods are removed from your diet your calcium requirements are actually lower. In fact, it is not calcium intake that is important, rather calcium balance. Processed things such as soft drinks actually use calcium in their digestion – effectively leeching calcium from your body. If you eat a lot of these types of foods, your calcium requirements are clearly going to be a lot higher. When you eat a natural Paleo diet – real food – your requirements are going to be a lot less.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Good Paleo Calcium Sources

There are lots of foods other than dairy products which many people just don’t associate with calcium. These foods act as a good source of calcium and provide us with other health benefits, including providing an adequate amounts of essential vitamins and other minerals.

Leafy green vegetables are a great calcium sources, as are high quantity of fish, such as salmon and mackerel. These can also offer a substantial amount of the mineral, as well as providing us with vitamins and antioxidants which are the perfect way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Walnuts and hazelnuts are other foods which act as a good source of calcium. It is important not to eat too many of these though due to the Omega 3/6 ratio, so sticking to a low quantity will achieve the desired result. Eggs are also a way of ensuring calcium is present in the body and in particular egg yolks are a good source. It is a good idea to take note of the calcium levels of the foods you are eating, so you know whether you are taking in too much or too little.

Do you eat dairy? Where do you get most of your calcium from? Share in the comments below!

Vitamin K2 & The Paleo Diet-min

Vitamin K2 & The Paleo Diet

So you follow a strict Paleo diet? Does this mean you’re in optimum health? Perhaps not. It’s still possible to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, even with a healthy Paleo diet. By being aware of some of the common deficiencies you can monitor your nutrition to ensure you avoid these. This week, we move from Magnesium,  to Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is one of those vitamins that a lot of people have never heard of, so it’s hard to know if you’re deficient in something you didn’t even know about!

What are some of the deficiencies linked to Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 deficiency has associations with many issues, such as osteoporosis, calcification of the arteries that may lead to heart disease and tartar build-up on the teeth – which if left on the teeth leads to tooth decay.

How do you become Vitamin K deficient?

Vitamin K2 is present in select foods, but of course when people don’t know about it, they don’t go out of their way to ensure they eat sufficient levels of foods that provide it. Also there is often a lack of the Vitamin K containing foods in the diets of the animals we actually eat, leaving the animals with nothing to convert Vitamin K via stomach fermentation. For example cows raised in paddocks are able to convert the Vitamin K1 found in grass into Vitamin K2. Those cows who have no access to grass will have very little Vitamin K1 to convert. Another reason to hunt out that grass-fed (and crucially grass-finished) beef.

What are some of the best sources or ways we can add Vitamin K2 to our diets?

Foods such as goose liver, grass fed butter, eggs, fish eggs and aged cheese (if you’re following more of a Primal diet, rather than a Paleo Diet) are good sources of Vitamin K2. Of course, if the animal didn’t eat well, it’s meat, eggs and dairy won’t be as rich in vitamins and minerals. This is why it really is so crucial to know where your food comes from – and make sure it is good quality.

Vitamin K2 & The Paleo Diet-minx

On Dentist Weston A Price’s pioneering research trip, studying  the teeth of various indigenous and native populations, he found that many tribes and natives had great jaw structure and teeth. Most of these groups had diets that were rich in fish oils and butter oil. The two ingredients provide all the necessities for strong bones and good teeth. At that time Vitamin A was a crucial factor that helped build strong teeth. The other, Ghee – or butter oil, was an unknown and Dr Price named it Activator X. In 1993 Vitamin K2 was discovered – and it is believed to be Dr Price’s Activator X.

Vitamin K comes in 2 forms – K1 and K2, which overlap when it comes to functionality – K2 seems to have a greater effect on forming teeth and bones while K1 actually reduces the requirement of K2, so it is better to concentrate on both vitamins together rather than just on one.
Primal Diet Supplements Mineral Vitamin Deficiencies






We create Vitamin K1 in our stomach from the bacteria in green vegetables, with some people also being able to create K2 as well. Unfortunately this creation occurs in the colon where it can’t be absorbed, which also happens with Vitamin B12, but, it is still beneficial to eat plenty of green vegetables, aged cheeses and Ghee to obtain the full range of Vitamin K vitamins.

Have you given much thought to Vitamin K? Do you think your levels are sufficient?

Selenium Paleo Diet Vitamin Mineral Deficiency Primal Diet-min

Selenium & Deficiency On A Paleo Diet?

Despite following a healthy Paleo Diet, if not enough attention is paid to getting a wide variety of different foods, deficiencies are still possible. I've been looking into a number of the more common deficiencies to understand how to tweak your Paleo diet to ensure deficiencies don’t occur. This week, I've been looking into Selenium.

What is Selenium?

It is a trace mineral that is only needed in small amounts but it is essential for good health. Some of the functions selenium performs include helping regulate the thyroid gland, assisting the immune system and protecting our cells from the damage caused by free radicals. In dietary terms the selenium content of plant foods are proportionate to the soil concentration of selenium where the food was grown.

These days severe selenium deficiency in adults is very rare, particularly when following a healthy Paleo diet, but minor deficiencies do occur and that can have some rather unpleasant effects on our health.

Some of the selenium deficiency symptoms include polyneuropathy and muscle damage that can look a lot like the side effects of statins. Selenium supports the synthesis of the thyroid hormone and is needed for the conversion of the T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 hormone. As a result deficiency can look like hypothyroidism.


So, how do you become Selenium deficient?

It can be as simple as just not eating enough Selenium rich foods, or if you suffer from an intestinal disorder such as Celiac, Chron’s disease or an ulcerative colitis these can all reduce the body’s absorption of selenium from foods.  While deficiency does not cause those illnesses it can make the body more susceptible to illnesses caused by biochemical or infectious stress due to the role selenium plays in the immune system.

It can also be due to a lack of selenium in the soil where your food has been grown. Just like other minerals, it must be in the soil or it won’t be present in the food grown in the soil.

Where can you get it from, in keeping with the Paleo diet?

You can find good sources of selenium in lamb, turkey, prawns, salmon, cod, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, kidney’s,  egg yolks and halibut.

Keeping your thyroid healthy is important with many people dealing with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism. There have been many research studies that have shown the benefits of selenium supplements when treating some thyroid conditions. One such study has found that selenium supplements have reduced the inflammation damage to the thyroid tissues. While studies have shown that selenium supplements can help prevent thyroid tissue damage there is more research needed to determine the long-term effects.

Mineral Deficiency Paleo Diet

Making sure that your selenium intake is at its peak may give both your thyroid and immune system that little boost it needs to help function better. Whether you use supplements or include more selenium-rich foods in your diet it is important for those who are managing a thyroid condition to make sure their selenium intake is adequate.

As important as it is not to be deficient, it’s also important not to go over board. Over increasing your intake of selenium over long periods of time can lead to complications including garlic breath odour, hair loss, mild nerve damage, gastrointestinal upsets, white blotchy nails, irritability and fatigue.

The best option is to include selenium rich foods in your diet. While high in omega-6 fats it takes just a couple of Brazil nuts a day to boost your immune function and improve the amount of selenium in your diet.

Have you given much consideration to your Selenium intake? Which minerals and vitamins are you most concerned about, in your Paleo diet?

Selenium Paleo Diet Vitamin Mineral Deficiency Primal Diet-min

Iodine paleo diet deficiencies supplement-min


So you’re following a “perfect” Paleo diet… surely you can’t be deficient in any vitamins or minerals that your body needs? Well, you might be surprised; have you thought about your iodine levels lately?

I've been looking into some of the popular supplements that people take, and minerals that some are careful to ensure they are not deficient in. I’ll be writing about a few of the popular ones, but iodine is one of the first minerals that regular seems to be spoken about.

Iodine paleo diet deficiencies supplement-min


What actually is iodine?

It’s a trace element that has quite a big impact on our health and is especially associated with our thyroid. While iodine deficiency is mainly linked with third world and developing nations, research shows that even those living in developed countries like Australia or the United Kingdom have been found to be deficient. It’s probably no surprise, given the SAD diet so many people in the developed World live on.

Iodine deficiency is not a good thing and can cause a number of health issues.

Conditions such as Goitre can be caused by iodine deficiency. The thyroid gland enlarges, as it lacks the necessary iodine in order to compensate for the imbalance. This produces a large and highly visible lump in the neck. Not pretty.

Cretinism occurs when a woman is iodine deficient during a pregnancy. This can result in the child being born with a lower IQ and abnormal neuro-development.

Another result of iodine deficiency is Hypothyroidism.  Iodine is one of the major ingredients in the thyroid hormone, so where thyroid lacks enough, it will reduce the thyroids ability to makes the hormone. Symptoms of a thyroid lacking iodine include – elevated blood lipids, infertility, weight gain and the inability to lose weight, dry skin, hair loss and a lack of libido – just to name but a few.

So why do iodine deficiencies occur?

Especially on a Paleo diet, when you eat natural, real foods? Foods such as sea food and seaweed are rich in iodine – so not having many of these foods in your diet, makes it harder to get decent levels of iodine.

A common source of iodine is iodised salt – which of course on a Paleo diet, is often replaced with mineral and sea salts – naturally iodine free!

Mineral Deficiency

Some foods are rich in Goitrogen, such as broccoli. If eaten to excess, these foods may interfere with the iodine uptake needed by the thyroid gland. While this doesn’t lead to a whole body deficiency it does limit the thyroids ability to get the amount of iodine it needs.

Where can you get iodine from?

Seaweed is a great source, especially from kelp (or Kombu) and hijiki, just add a strip to your next pot of chili, soup or curry. Eat more seafood – crustaceans, fish, and shellfish – anything that lives in the ocean, provided it is high quality. While the iodine content of fish varies you can get the most from abalone, codfish and pollack. The way you cook also determines how much iodine will remain. If you boil fish it will lose most of its iodine content but if you fry it most of the iodine content will remain. Grilling retains more than boiling does, but a little less than frying.

Free range eggs are another great source – although the specific amount will depend on the laying hens diet – if there is iodine in the chicken’s diet it will show up in the yolk.

Finally supplements are a popular alternative to ensure you are getting sufficient levels of iodine in your paleo diet.

So how do you ensure you get enough Iodine?