Malnutrition and starvation may cause pica, a disorder where the victim starts eating objects that are inedible or even dangerous, even when they regain access to proper food. Keep an eye on people who had suffered malnutrition.
Grow and stockpile foods rich in ascorbic acid to avoid vitamin C deficiency. Citrus fruits and other plant-based products will help keep scurvy away.
Folic acid prevents spina bifida and other infant-related health issues. Make sure to stockpile multivitamins that include this vital B-vitamin for pregnant women.
Avoid iron deficiency by adding kidney beans and sardines to the food stockpile. Both foods contain considerable amounts of the mineral — eating them helps prevent anemia.
Beef, sardines, and other meats contain heme iron that the body absorbs with ease. Beans and pumpkin seeds have the non-heme version of the mineral, which proves more difficult to access.
Storing lots of iodized salt prevents deficiencies in iodine and sodium. However, make sure the salt is clean and natural. Dairy products, eggs, fish, and seaweed also provide iodine. (Related: How to prep if your loved ones have food allergies.)
Avoid malnutrition when SHTF by stockpiling nutritious food and nutritional supplements
If a prepper or homesteader plans to grow or stockpile non-GMO organic corn as food, he needs to treat the harvested food with pickling lime. The treatment unlocks the niacin and tryptophan for easy absorption.
Corn naturally contains niacin. However, the B-vitamin takes a form that isn't accessible by humans. A corn-heavy diet will not provide enough vitamin B3 and may lead to pellagra.
Pickling lime preserves food such as pickles. When corn gets cooked in the alkaline solution, it undergoes a chemical process that converts the niacin into a form that the body may use.
Corn flour made from pickling lime-treated corn is called masa harina. Hominy, tortillas, and other Latin American foods use this treated flour.
The body creates vitamin D when ultraviolet light hits the skin. Make sure to soak up enough natural sunlight to support bone health and the immune system.
People with darker skin find it more difficult to absorb vitamin D from sunlight. While there are nutritional supplements and foods rich in the nutrient, non-sunlight-derived vitamin D is harder to access.