There are moments when your body just feels off and you know there’s something wrong, even if you aren’t running a temperature or throwing up. There is a lot that nutrients do for the body, and we don’t realise how vital they are until there’s a deficiency. This is why it is paramount that you ensure you treat your body right by feeding it with the right requirement of vitamins.
The face can sometimes betray the whole body by giving telltale signs that you have been eating right. Even with a well-thought-out balanced diet, there are some vitamins that are easy to overlook but are vital to your body development. Certainly, there are lots of benefits to eating a balanced and nutritious meal, but when that meal lacks a particular nutrient often, it leads to certain unpleasant symptoms. In actuality, it is advisable to go to the hospital for a regular checkup, one that would involve a blood test to check your body nutrients.
However, you can simply stand before a mirror and see some signs you don’t need a test to tell you. Once you’ve identified the signs, you can adjust your diet to meet your body’s nutrient requirement. Here are five signs of nutrient deficiency you should look out for.
1. Cracks on the side of your mouth
There are several that cause the mouth to split or bleed. It could be caused by excess salivation or dehydration. But usually, it is caused by an insufficient intake of iron and B vitamins such as thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6) and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
If you experience these symptoms, you should add certain foods to your diet. Take foods with good sources of thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine and iron. This includes whole grains, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables, starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grain.
2. Irregular heartbeat or chest pain
This is a sign of calcium deficiency and, since calcium works with your muscles and bones, these are other signs that you lack calcium:
- Twitches around your face and mouth.
- Muscle cramps. Without enough calcium, the muscles do not fully relax.
- Fractures. Calcium is needed for strong bones and without it, bone loss, or osteoporosis, can lead to more fractures.
Patricia Graham MD, an internal medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center, says, “Calcium regulates your heartbeat, so a deficiency could cause an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, and even lead to chest pains.” You should include the following in your diet: broccoli, dairy products, non-fat dairy yoghurt, calcium-rich foods including salmon and sardines.
3. Poor night vision
We all know what this means based on how often we’re told about why we need our Vitamin A. This vitamin is needed to produce rhodopsin, a pigment found in the retinas of the eyes that helps you see at night. Low intake of Vitamin A leads to night blindness, which reduces people’s ability to see in low light or darkness. It can progress to xerophthalmia, a condition that can damage the cornea and ultimately lead to blindness.
If you notice these signs early then you should include the following vitamin A rich meals to your diet: organ meats, dairy, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens and yellow-orange coloured vegetables.
4. Pain in the bone
If you are feeling pains in your bones, you might be deficient in vitamin D. You can take a natural dose of Vitamin D through the sun. Go into the sunshine in the early hours of the morning for 10 minutes without sunscreen. Use a sunscreen if you will be out for longer. “If you’re an adult and it feels like you’re having growing pains — as you had as a kid — tell your doctor,” Graham says.
Food to eat to when lacking Vitamin D include salmon, herring, sardines, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp and mushrooms. Or choose cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, oatmeal and cereals that are fortified with vitamin D. For severe deficiencies, your doctor may prescribe a vitamin D supplement.
5. Hair loss
When hair loss becomes severe and more often, then it because a cause to worry. You know it’s severe when you start finding clumps of hair on your pillow or after a wash. It could mean something worse like thyroid disease. So you should do a checkup when this happens. If your iron level is low, then you would also feel cold, have headaches and feel dizzy often. You should include iron in your diet.
When experience hair loss, take foods rich in iron and zinc like meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, organ meat and vegetable oil.