5 reasons to have a Nutrition Check

Diet

Our Nutrition Check includes 13 different tests to help you understand whether you need to include more vitamins and minerals in your diet, or whether you might benefit from taking a supplement.

17/07/2019


Emily Condon
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

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Most balanced diets should provide us with all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need without the need for supplementing or testing, but even with the best intentions, not everyone eats as well as they could all the time. You may even choose to cut things out of your diet whether for animal welfare, sustainability, health and performance issues, or maybe there are certain foods that just don't agree with you. Whatever your reason, our Nutrition Check which includes 13 different tests can help you understand whether you need to include more vitamins and minerals in your diet, or whether you might benefit from taking a supplement. Read below to find out why you may benefit from a Nutrition Check blood test.

1. To check you are getting enough vitamins and minerals and whether you would benefit from taking a supplement

The majority of people should get most of the nutrients they need through eating a balanced and varied diet. There are, however, circumstances where an individual may not get all the vitamins they need from diet alone, like vitamin D for example. There are a limited number of foods that contain vitamin D, including fatty fish (mackerel, tuna and salmon), fish liver oils, egg yolks, beef liver and cheese. However, these food types are not enough to provide the body with optimum vitamin D levels. Because of this, many of us in the UK are vitamin D deficient. It's recommended that everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should look at taking a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter months. A good approach is to monitor your vitamin and mineral levels with a blood test. If you’re low in a certain nutrient, you can up your intake of foods rich in these nutrients. However, supplements are may be necessary in some cases.

2. You follow a restrictive diet 

Plant-based, keto, clean, gluten-free, flexitarian, vegetarian, high-fat-low-carb (HFLC): everyone has a label for their diet nowadays and it is becoming more normal to cut entire food groups completely out of our diets. While many of these diets can have health benefits, they can also put us at increased risk of deficiencies. Vegans and those on a plant-based diet won't be able to get B12 from their food, putting them at risk of a deficiency if they aren't supplementing at all or are taking too little of the supplement. Conversely, those on a ketogenic or high protein diet may be at risk of raised cholesterol due to their high meat consumption. Our Nutrition Check offers a simple way to check that your diet is keeping you healthy.

3. You are low in energy and want to make sure that low vitamins and minerals are not to blame

If you find yourself feeling exhausted even when you have had a good night's sleep, it can be difficult to know whether you are simply doing too much or if there is an underlying reason as to why you are constantly sleepy. Our Nutrition Check is an easy way to rule out some of the most common and treatable causes of fatigue - low iron, vitamin D and B12 levels. Iron is an element important for many different bodily processes such as creating new red blood cells, carrying oxygen around the body and strengthening the immune system. Low iron levels can lead to a decrease in the amount of oxygen carried around the body which eventually leads to iron deficiency anaemia. Vitamin D, which is commonly referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is important in maintaining healthy teeth, muscles and bones. Many of us in the UK are vitamin D deficient - with symptoms including fatigue. Vitamin B12 is necessary for keeping blood cells healthy and helps make DNA - the important genetic material present in all cells. Low B12 levels can lead to anaemia and other symptoms including fatigue, feeling faint and constant headaches. 

4. You want to keep an eye on your cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential fat (lipid) in the body manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Although there are a number of different types of cholesterol, the two main components of total cholesterol are HDL (high density lipoprotein) which is protective against heart disease and LDL (low density lipoprotein) which, in high levels, can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Although family history plays a role in your cholesterol levels, diet and lifestyle can make a difference too. Foods containing high levels of saturated fats (including red meat and full fat dairy products) can contain high amounts of unhealthy cholesterol. Our Nutrition Check includes a cholesterol check to see whether you have healthy levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (protective) cholesterol.

5. You want to measure your inflammation

Inflammation is increasingly recognised as a risk factor in the development of many chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke. Diet and lifestyle play an important role in keeping inflammation levels low. A diet high in whole-foods, lots of different coloured vegetables and healthy oils, as well as regular exercise, can all combine to keep inflammation low. A high sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) test is included in the Nutrition Check to detect low-level inflammation thought to damage blood vessels which in the long run can lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

Medichecks Nutrition Check blood test

The best way to know whether you are at risk of low vitamins and minerals or to know whether you could be eating healthier is to measure your levels is through a blood test. Our Nutrition Check is designed to give you this insight into your health, and with 20% off this month (July 2019), what better time than now to get tested?


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