Why do I feel cold every day?
I always feel cold, particularly in my extremities. A friend recently suggested this might have a nutritional basis, what are your thoughts? Thanks, Roz
Hi Roz. Feeling cold all the time, particularly in your extremities, can be caused by poor circulation, insufficient dietary fat and micronutrient deficiencies to name a few of the more common causes. Let’s explore a few below:
VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY
If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you might experience numbness in your extremities. This sensation may feel like cold or tingling. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage. Tiredness, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, constipation and weight loss often accompany these symptoms. If you are vegetarian, vegan, or have problems with digestion it’s best to consult your GP to have this tested.
Difficulty maintaining body temperature can be a symptom of iron deficiency. Iron is critical for your red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body. Low iron levels often produce symptoms of fatigue, weakness and susceptibility to the cold because your cells are not getting the oxygen they need to operate effectively. Iron deficiency anaemia is also incredibly common. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a staggering 2 billion people in the world, in both developing and industrialised countries are irondeficient. Research suggests between 20 and 30 per cent of women of child-bearing age in Australia and New Zealand are iron-deficient.
Iodine is the key to a healthy thyroid and metabolism. It is best known for being a part of thyroid hormones, which are used in every cell of our bodies to regulate metabolism by controlling the burning of fat for energy and body temperature. Everything I read is always about weight loss, but I can’t gain weight – howcan I do so safely? Thank you, Sam
Hi Sam. That’s a great question! An inability to gain weight can most definitely have a genetic basis; it can also be due to a highly stressful environment or a tendency to anxiety and high levels of adrenaline can result in difficulty gaining weight.
For healthy weight gain it’s important to increase energy intake by increasing nutrient and energy rich foods. You need to supply your body with all the essential nutrients it needs for muscle growth and maintenance.
You should be aiming to put on healthy weight by increasing muscle mass with a healthy proportion of body fat.
To do this you need to increase your daily food intake of protein foods, healthy fats and slow releasing complex carbohydrates.
Obviously it’s important to steer away from heavily processed or refined foods that are not nutrient dense and tend to be higher in sugar, salt and poor
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Protein is also essential for growth and maintenance of muscles; good sources include oily fish, chicken, red meat, nuts and seeds.
Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrate foods such as starchy vegetables (potato, kumara, pumpkin, corn) brown rice and oats (if you digest them well), may help assist healthy weight gain, without disrupting your blood sugar levels. Upping wholefoods fats is also beneficial, such as those found in avocado, nuts, seeds, organic butter, coconut, oily fish and grass-fed meats. Also try including more energy and nutrient rich snacks in your daily diet such as smoothies/bliss balls.
It’s also important to continue to eat plenty of vegetables, as they should be a major part of any diet. It may also be worthwhile considering conditions such as an over active thyroid, as obviously this can influence your ability to gain weight.
Feeling cold all the time can be caused by various issues.