Malnutrition is often associated with a lack of food, but it’s just as likely to occur when you do not get enough nutrients in your food. People with an imbalanced diet can suffer from a form of malnutrition because they don’t get a good range of vitamins or minerals.
A well-balanced diet is the best way to give your health a boost, but many foods do not have the same nutrients they did a few decades ago. The soil the plants are grown in is not as full of nutrients as it once was, thanks to over-farming and poor growing techniques. Here are 10 signs your diet may be imbalanced in nutrients.
Ongoing weakness is a symptom of many different nutritional deficiencies. Anemia, or the lack of iron, can cause the body to feel weak. Other deficiencies that may cause muscle fatigue and overall tiredness include B12 and potassium. Stop dieting and see your doctor to improve your overall health. Then, consult your dietitian before starting any new diet plan.
While depression is a mental illness and there are many things that make you feel depressed, studies have shown that nutritional insufficiency can be linked to mental health issues as well. The exact deficiency varies, but may include omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids and several vitamins and minerals.
3. Hair loss
A lack of vitamin B6 can cause hair loss, but it is also a symptom of a zinc deficiency. If the hair is also dry and brittle, it could be a lack of vitamin A causing the problem. While some hair loss is normal on a daily basis, losing more than a few strands a day can indicate nutritional problems.
4. Bad breath
Halitosis can be caused by a number of issues, including untreated tooth decay and sinus infections. Bad breath may also indicate that you need more zinc, B6 or magnesium in your diet. Snack on pumpkin seeds to increase your zinc intake, bananas or lean chicken to boost your B6 intake, or incorporate more vegetables, beans and nuts into your daily diet to increase your magnesium intake.
Commonly associated with teens, acne can affect people of all ages. It has been linked to several nutrient deficiencies, including niacin, zinc and essential fatty acids. What you eat may also affect your skin. Trans fats are most likely to provoke acne. However, it’s hard to say whether your diet is the main cause of your acne, so it’s best to consult a dermatologist first.
If you tend to bruise easily, you may need more calcium and vitamin C in your diet. A lack of folic acid, vitamin K and vitamin B12 can also cause skin to bruise more easily than normal. Even light bumps or touches may cause dark marks to form on the skin. Bruises are more likely to show up on light-skinned people.
7. Facial tics
It can be irritating when your eyelid starts to twitch. The involuntary muscle movements can be associated with insufficient amounts of magnesium or potassium. Increasing your intake of the missing nutrient can eliminate tics completely. Some of the best sources of potassium are salmon, chicken, citrus fruits and avocados. It’s also important to stay hydrated during the day.
If your diet is low in vitamin B12, you may experience intestinal upsets and diarrhea. Intestinal issues may also be caused by a low level of zinc in your system. However, taking too much of certain vitamins, including vitamins D and C, can also cause diarrhea. If you experience diarrhea, especially with a fever, you should immediately see your doctor.
9. Night blindness
Night blindness is very common, but easily remedied. In most cases, this issue is caused by a lack of vitamin A in the person’s diet. In some cases, night blindness may indicate a need for zinc or vitamins B2 and B6. Include more foods that are good for your eyes in your daily diet to prevent any eye problems.
10. Memory loss
Forgetting why you went into a room once in a while is normal. Forgetting things several times a day or experiencing frequent lapses in memory may be a sign of a calcium or vitamin B12 deficiency. It may also mean you need to increase the amount of iron in your diet.
Often, diseases and health problems are caused by a lack of nutrition. Even people who eat very well may not get enough nutrients because of poor farming techniques and soil deficiencies. If you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency, you can usually get tested to check. You may need to improve your diet or begin taking supplements to ensure your return to health, just make sure you consult your doctor first.