Look out for these signs of a nutrient deficiency to aid in overall health
Vitamins and minerals are crucial to keep our bodies healthy. But how can you tell when you are not meeting your body's needs? A nutrient-deficient diet might result in several unpleasant symptoms. These signs and symptoms are your body's way of alerting you to possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is crucial to look out for the signs of nutrient deficiency as it can alter bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level. To simplify things, we have compiled a list of five common signs of nutrient deficiency that you need to be aware of.
Brittle nails and hair
Brittle nails and hair are the most common signs of nutrient deficiency. These can be caused by a variety of factors. One of them is a biotin deficiency. The body uses biotin, often known as vitamin B7, to convert food into energy. Although a biotin deficiency is extremely rare, some of the most obvious signs include brittle, thinning or split nails and hair. If you have weak hair or nails, you can take a supplement that contains 30 micrograms of biotin daily. You can also incorporate foods like egg yolks, organ meats, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, yeast, whole grains and bananas into your diet because they are rich in biotin.
If you have an irregular heartbeat, it can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. There is a high possibility that you are deficient in calcium. Since your heartbeat is regulated by calcium, an arrhythmia, abnormal heartbeat, and even chest discomfort can develop from calcium deficiency. Other signs that you might not be getting enough calcium include:
- Twitches around your face and mouth: Calcium aids in the proper contraction of muscles.
- Muscle cramps: The muscles cannot completely relax if you are deficient in calcium.
- Fractures: Strong bones need calcium. Without it, osteoporosis, or bone loss, can increase the risk of fractures.
If you want to overcome calcium deficiency, incorporate these food items into your diet:
- Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and milk.
- Okra, kale and other green leafy veggies
- Fish with edible bones, such as sardines and pilchards,
- Soy beverages with added calcium
- Bread and other items prepared with fortified flour
Your bleeding gums could be a clear indication of nutrient deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency in the diet is one of the major causes of bleeding gums. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, helping in the prevention of cell damage, and is crucial for immunity and wound healing. Scurvy, which weakens the muscles and bones, suppresses the immune system and leaves you feeling tired and sluggish, is another harmful effect of severe vitamin C deficiency. Fruits and vegetables like oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and white potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Moringa is another great source of vitamin C. Its leaves have seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
Severe hair loss
While it is normal to lose around 100 strands of hair every day, losing clumps of hair could be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Severe hair loss can be a symptom of more serious problems, such as thyroid disease, which can cause rapid, unexplained weight gain or loss, low iron levels, which impair your energy or low hemoglobin levels, which can affect your energy. To combat severe hair loss, consume foods like meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains, as these are good sources of iron and zinc.
Poor night vision
If you are deficient in vitamin A, your night vision and the sharpness of your sight can decline over time. This condition is often known as night blindness. That's because rhodopsin, a pigment located in the retinas of the eyes that aid in night vision, cannot be produced without vitamin A. Night blindness can progress into xerophthalmia, a disorder that can damage the cornea and eventually cause blindness if not treated. A diet rich in vitamin A, including milk, eggs, mangos, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes and apricots, can help reverse this condition.