As a Board Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Practitioner, there is one thing I know for sure: Good health begins with good nutrition, and the road to chronic health issues and diseases often begins on our plate! North Americans are overfed, yet, undernourished. Many people turn to medication for relief and the downside of this strategy is that it usually covers symptoms rather than addresses the root cause(s) of the issue.
Below are ten signs that your lack of health, happiness and vitality might be a signal your body is sending you to inform you that you are nutrient deficiency:
#1 – You are chronically fatigued
Fatigue is a huge problem for many of my clients, which keeps them from living life to the fullest. Do you sometimes feel like you want to do so much but are just too tired to do anything? If you’re lacking energy, you might be deficient in: H2O (dehydrated!) vitamins B1, B3, B11, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, iron, potassium, or magnesium.
#2 – You have brittle hair & nails, or hair loss.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, beautiful hair and nails are really nice to have. If you’re not too happy with yours, you could be deficient in: vitamins B5, B6, B12, or biotin.
#3 – You get sick or experience infections often.
Nobody wants to be sick all-the time or constantly deal with infections. A strong immune system can fend off a lot and help you heal. If your body’s defense is constantly letting you down, however, it may be calling for: vitamins A, C, D & E, chromium, selenium, magnesium, or zinc.
#4 – You can’t sleep.
Did you know that 90% of people who suffer from sleeplessness also suffer from other chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease or high blood pressure? They are also more likely to feel depressed or gain weight. If getting enough zzz’s seems impossible, you could be deficient in: Vitamins B11, E, calcium, magnesium, and/or zinc.
#5 – You have digestive issues.
We are not just what we eat. We are what we keep. If you don’t digest your food properly, your body will not be able to absorb the nutrients from your food either. If you’re suffering from poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or other GI tract troubles like IBS, you might be lacking: vitamin B11 & iron, B8, B12, C, D, E, K, selenium, magnesium, or zinc.
#6 – You’re suffering from anxiety and depression.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 21 million American adults suffer from a mood disorder every year. A deficiency in the following nutrients may be linked to anxiety and depression: B vitamins, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, chromium, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron.
# 7 – Your bones are weak.
Many of my female clients over the age of 50 are suffering from osteoporosis. No matter how old you are, strong bones are vital to feeling fit and healthy. If you have troubles in this department, you might be deficient in: vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K, copper, chromium, zinc, magnesium, and molybdenum.
# 8 – You’re experiencing hyperactivity/ADHD.
Sometimes meds are necessary to help you calm your mind. But maybe you’re lacking attention and calm “simply” because you are deficient in: vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, or zinc.
# 9 – You have skin issues.
Acne, eczema, rashes and age spots can be very annoying and undermine our self-esteem. There’s a lot we can put onto our skin, but if you want to heal your issues from within, it’s good to know that skin troubles are often caused by a deficiency in: vitamins A, B3, biotin, B8, C, E, omega-3 fats, copper, selenium, or zinc.
# 10 – Your muscles and joints hurt
Joint pain, muscles spasms, low back pain & neck stiffness are very common, unfortunately, and can not only slow you down but impact your mood, your social life and family life. If you cannot keep up with your kids or grand kids or cannot get a good night sleep because you are in pain, you might be deficient in: H2O (dehydration), vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium, omega-3 fats or iron.
What to do if you suspect you might be nutrient deficient?
Get a comprehensive blood test to assess your blood levels and possible deficiencies. Discuss the results with your health care practitioner. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, rich in a rainbow of colors. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Some ideas to help you do this:
- Have “liquid salads”, aka green smoothies
- Put a bowl with fruit on your kitchen counter.
- Keep easy-to-snack-on veggies in your fridge: baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, sweet peppers
- Keep easy-to-snack-on fruit in your fridge: grapes, berries, apples, bananas
- Have at least 3 colors from the rainbow on your plate with every meal