When your body receives the nutrients it needs, it functions optimally — and results in increased energy, better sleep patterns, improved immune system function, and much more.
When your body is lacking in nutrients, it will often reveal signs of malnourishment, which is your body’s way of letting you know that you need to improve your eating patterns.
Here are common signs that indicate your body may be suffering from nutritional deficiency.
White spots on nails
White spots and ridges on your nails indicate signs of mineral deficiencies — most specifically iron and zinc. Biting your nails is another sign of mineral deficiency. To add more iron to your diet, increase your intake of foods such as dark, leafy greens, beans, lentils, and artichokes. To add more zinc to your diet, boost your intake of foods such as garlic, nuts, and seeds.
Muscle cramps (especially calve muscles)
Experiencing muscle cramps at night time, especially in your calve muscles, is an indication that your body is lacking in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can often result in muscle cramps, eye twitching, fatigue, and tingling in the muscles, and can also cause muscle spasms. Dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, beans, lentils, and bananas are all examples of foods rich in magnesium.
Hair loss and balding
Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not just due to aging and growing older. Hair loss can actually be a sign of major nutritional deficiency and indicates your body could be low in iron, vitamin B, fatty omega-3 acids, and folic acid. Abnormal or low hormone levels can also contribute to hair loss. Make sure you increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 such as avocados and fish, and exercise on a regular basis. As you begin to lose weight, your hormone levels will likely return to normal and healthy levels over time.
Small red bumps on arms and thighs
Small red bumps that show up on the back of your arms, thighs, and even on your cheeks or buttocks indicate deficiencies in vitamins A, E, and D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. This condition is known as keratosis pilaris and affects roughly 50% of the global population. But, the better you take care of your body from a nutritional standpoint, the less you’ll be seeing of these tiny bumps.
Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
Some people associate tingling or numbness in the hands and feet with having limbs “fall asleep,” but in reality, tingling and numbness is associated with a major deficiency in vitamin B. Those who frequently experience these symptoms should increase their intake of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.
Consult with your physician about taking supplements if you feel you’re unable to get the number of vitamins and minerals your body needs from food alone. Your doctor will be able to provide you with information about the number of daily vitamins your body needs to stay healthy, and may even be able to recommend certain brands of supplements.