Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that are essential to your overall health, no matter what your age.
The body needs nutrients for optimal functioning, for the growth and function of immune cells, and for providing us with the energy we need to survive. It also helps prevent some diseases, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Nutrient deficiencies are common in people, but they have no idea that they are deficient. That’s why, in this blog, we’ve compiled a list of the top five tell-tale signs to look for when experiencing a nutrient deficiency.
1. Extreme hair loss
While everyone loses approximately 100 strands of hair per day, excessive hair shedding and hair loss should be reported to your doctor. It could be a symptom of a larger problem, such as low iron levels, which affect your energy, or thyroid disease, which can cause unexpected weight gain or loss.
Some studies have shown that consuming the following nutrients can help improve hair loss —and your health:
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Biotin (Vitamin B7)
- Linoleic acid (LA)
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)
Corrective action: Some foods that help restore the levels of nutrients in the body include sweet potatoes, whole grains, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, eggs, dairy, poultry, egg yolks, and bananas.
2. Dry, scaly patches/dandruff
Seborrheic dermatitis may be caused by many factors, but a nutrient deficiency is often to blame. Lower levels of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), and Zinc have been intrinsically linked to the disorder of the skin. It is characterized by flaking and itchy skin. The skin condition generally affects the armpits, groin, face and upper chest. Dandruff is restricted to the scalp.
3. Bleeding gums
According to a recent study, if your diet lacks adequate quantities of Vitamin C or Vitamin K, you might have a nutrient deficiency causing bleeding gums. Your body does not create vitamin C on its own, so the only way to get more is by increasing its intake.
4. Brittle nails
If your nails are dry, cracked, brittle, and irregularly shaped, you may have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Many people believe this could be due to a genetic predisposition, but it’s often a sign of a deficiency of biotin, also known as vitamin B7.
5. Mouth lesions
Lesions in or around your mouth may be linked to an insufficient intake of certain vitamins. A study found that patients with mouth ulcers, also commonly referred to as canker sores, were twice as likely to have low iron levels. Another study found that patients with mouth ulcers had a deficiency in three nutrients:
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
Corrective action: Some foods that help restore the levels of nutrients in the body include seafood, nuts, dairy, whole grains, meat, whole grains, fish, organ meats, dairy, nuts, legumes, poultry, green vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and seeds.
The best way to prevent nutrient deficiency is to eat a balanced diet that includes whole, nutrient-dense foods. If you believe that you are suffering from any nutrient-related symptoms, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. A simple blood test can reveal your levels of vitamins and minerals.
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