20 Signs Your Body Is Low On Key Nutrients
It can be so hard to know if you’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Even if you try extra hard to eat a full basket of fruits and vegetables every day, you eat a healthy ratio of a vegetarian to a carnivorous diet, and you take supplements, you still could come up short on some things. Doctors and nutritionists talk about vitamins and nutrients so much, that it can start to sound like total jargon. In fact, a lot of people have the dangerous misconception that there’s no such thing as being “low” on a certain nutrient but rather that we just get bonus points for getting any of it. Every vitamin and nutrient has an important job, so if you’re low on one, you’ll start to notice your body and mind malfunctioning. Here are 20 signs you’re low on important vitamins and nutrients.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with anemia, you may be missing iron. Iron plays a role in helping deliver oxygen to all of the cells in your body, so without it your organs can’t function properly. You can get it from fish, eggs, yogurt, beef liver and fortified cereals, red meat, seafood, beans, dark leafy greens, dried fruit and fortified cereals.
Diarrhea or constipation
If you regularly suffer from diarrhea or constipation, you could be missing B-12. B-12 is important for keeping your digestive tract strong. You get it mostly from animal products like meat, fish, and poultry, but if you’re a vegetarian, you can take a supplement or get injections.
Do you often wake up with black and blue marks when you barely hurt that area of your body? You could be missing vitamin C. Get it in green leafy vegetables, kiwis, tomatoes, strawberries, and potatoes.
Vitamin C is essential for healthy hair, which is why it’s often recommended to people losing their hair. If you’re missing this vitamin, you might find your hair thinning. If that’s the case, you may want to take a more aggressive approach than eating more Vitamin-C heavy foods, and take a supplement.
You feel depressed
Vitamin D from the sun helps boost serotonin, the chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy and relaxed. Several studies have found that people who spend little time in the sun are more likely to develop depression than those who go outside regularly.
Do your bones feel achy? It’s a strange sensation since you thought you just worked out your muscles. But if your bones feel this way, you could be vitamin D deficient. You need vitamin D to deliver calcium to your skeleton and keep it strong.
Muscle, neck and back pain
Pain in your muscles—especially in your neck and back—can be an additional sign of a vitamin D deficiency.
Dry, flaky or itchy skin
A B-3 deficiency can cause dry, flaky or itchy skin. If you drink a lot of alcohol, you’re at a higher risk for being B-3 deficient. Get more of it in fish, lentils, peanuts, and whole grains.
Nausea and vomiting
If you regularly suffer from nausea or vomiting, you might be low on potassium. Get in in bananas, orange juice, carrots, spinach, beans, peas, and yogurt. Know that diuretics can cause a potassium deficiency, too.
Arm and leg cramps
If you wake up to terrible leg cramps or get muscle cramps any time you do the smallest action, you could be low on potassium.
Do you see red drops on your keyboard too often? You might be low on vitamin K, which contributes to normal blood clotting. Get it in kale, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, mustard greens, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
If you suffer from arthritis or joint problems, you may be low on vitamin K. Keep in mind that antibiotics put you at risk of a vitamin K deficiency by destroying healthy bacteria.
Abnormal eye movement
Do your eyes twitch or wander? You might have a vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E helps your body make red blood cells, as well as utilize vitamin K. Get it in sunflower seeds, almonds, sweet potatoes, avocado and cold-pressed oils like soybean or olive oil.
If you’ve noticed yourself shrinking in spite of your high protein diet and long gym sessions, you might be low in vitamin E. It comes in soft gel capsules that are easy to swallow or put on your food.
Are you often forgetting things, and think you’re way too young for that? You might be choline deficient. Choline is a macronutrient that’s important for healthy brain function. Get it in salmon, chickpeas, navy beans, turkey, cauliflower, goat milk and chicken breast.
Choline is very important for supporting energy levels, too. If you’re low on it, it can feel like you’re always tired no matter how much sleep you get.
There’s a reason magnesium is called “The original chill pill”—it helps you feel relaxed. If you’re low on magnesium, you might experience increased anxiety.
Studies have found that low magnesium can bring on a migraine attack. Migraine sufferers who take a magnesium supplement daily report a decrease in migraine incidents.
You’re always hungry
Are you hungry 45 minutes after a meal? You may not be getting enough fiber. Fiber digests slowly, keeping you full for a long time. Without it, you’ll digest your food fast and need a snack.
You have high cholesterol
Studies have found a link between a low fiber diet and high cholesterol. Some researchers believe that low fiber diets tend to also be diets high in cholesterol-spiking foods.