A well-balanced and nutritious diet has many benefits. On the other hand, a diet lacking in nutrients could lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are the body’s way of letting you know that there are potential mineral and vitamin deficiencies. When you recognise them, you can adjust your diet accordingly.
In this article, we’ll be showing you a few ways your body may be telling you that it is mineral and vitamin deficient, but don’t worry, we’re not stopping there – we’ll also show you how to fix them.
Signs of a Vitamin Deficiency
Brittle Hair and Nails
There are different factors that could make your nails and hair brittle, one of them is a lack of biotin.
Biotin, also referred to as vitamin B7 helps to convert food into energy. A deficiency in biotin isn’t very common but when it does occur, the result is nails that are brittle and hair that splits or thins.
Other symptoms of biotin deficiency include cramps, tingling sensation in the hands and feet, muscle pain, cramps and chronic fatigue.
Heavy smokers, excessive drinkers, pregnant women and people with digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and leaky gut syndrome are the groups that are majorly at risk of developing a biotin deficiency.
People who use antibiotics or anti-seizure medications are also at risk of developing a biotin deficiency.
Eating raw egg whites may also lead to a biotin deficiency because raw egg whites contain avidin. Avidin is a protein that binds to biotin and can reduce its absorption.
Fish, egg yolks, dairy, organ meats, meat, seeds, nuts, broccoli, bananas, whole grains, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, yeast etc are examples of foods rich in biotin.
Adults that have brittle nails or hair could consider trying a supplement about 30micrograms of biotin per day.
However, for better result, it’s best to eat diet rich in biotin as supplements will not do as much.
Mouth Ulcers or Cracks in the Corners of the Mouth
Lesions in and around the mouth could be linked to an insufficient intake of certain minerals and vitamins.
Fortunately example, canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers could be the result of iron or vitamin B deficiencies.
A study notes that patients suffering from mouth ulcers seem more likely to have low iron levels. Another study found that around twenty eight percent of patients with canker sores had deficiencies in riboflavin(vitamin B2) , thiamin(vitamin B1) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Angular chelitis, which causes corners of the mouth to bleed, crack or split could be as a result of dehydration or excess salivation. However, it could also be as a result of insufficient intake of vitamin B (especially riboflavin) and iron.
Examples of foods rich in iron include meat, fish, poultry, dark leafy greens, whole grains , legumes and seeds.
You could consume thiamin, pyridoxine and riboflavin from poultry, fish, meat, dairy, organ meat, eggs, green vegetables, seeds, starchy vegetables, legumes, nuts etc.
When your gums bleed, it maybe as a result of a rough tooth brushing technique or a deificiency in vitamin C.
Vitamin C plays an important role in boosting immunity, healing wounds and even acts as an antioxidant, helping to prevent cell damage.
Vitamin C is not naturally produced by the human body, therefore maintaining adequate levels can only come from a vitamin C rich diet.
If you consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you will hardly suffer from a vitamin C deficiency.
This may explain why studies performing routine screenings of healthy populations estimate low vitamin C levels in 13–30% of the population, with 5–17% of people being deficient.
Consuming only a little vitamin C could bring on the symptoms associated with a deficiency in vitamin C including bleeding gums and in severe cases, teeth loss.
Scurvy is another symptom of vitamin C deficiency. It depresses your immune system, makes you feel lethargic and fatigued and weakens bones and muscles.
Other symptoms of a lack of vitamin C include slow wound healing, easy bruising, frequent nosebleeds, dry scaly skin etc.
Be sure to consume enough amounts of vitamin C by eating at least two pieces of fruits and three to four portions of vegetables each day.
Poor Night Vision and White Growths on the Eyes
Your vision could be affected by your nutrient-poor diet.
For example, not taking enough vitjaim A is associated with night blindness which affects your ability to see in darkness.
This is because vitjaim A is used in the production of rhodopsin, found in the retina which helps you to see at night.
If night blindness is left untreated, it can get worse and become xerophthalmia, a condition that damages the cornea and ultimately leads to blindness.
If you suspect that your vitamin A levels are low, you should eat more vitamin A rich foods like eggs, fish, organ meats, dairy, yellow-orange coloured vegetables and dark leafy greens.
Avoid taking vitamin A supplements if you have not been diagnosed of a vitamin A deficiency as it can accumulate in the body’s fat stores and get toxic since it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity could be serious and include headaches, nausea, joint and bone pain, skin irritation, coma and in extremely severe cases, even death.
Scaly Patches and Dandruff
Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are in same group of disorders that affect areas of the body responsible for producing oil. Both are associated by flaking skin, itchiness etc.
Dandruff is mostly restricted to the scalp whilst seborrheic dermatitis could also affect other areas of the body like the face, groin, upper chest and armpits.
According to studies, both conditions are common and could be caused by factors such as a diet containing little nutrients. For instance, low levels of niacin, zinc, riboflavin, pyridoxine etc.
The exact link between a nutrient-poor diet and these skin conditions is not fully understood. However, people suffering from dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis might want to consume more of these nutrients.
Foods rich in niacin, riboflavin and pyridoxine include whole grains, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Seafood, meat, legumes, dairy, nuts and whole grains are all good sources of zinc