Overfed But Undernourished? 9 Signs You're Nutrient Deficient
As a nutritionist, I know one thing's for sure: the road to chronic disease often begins on our plate! While many people turn to pills for relief, the downside of this strategy is that meds often address symptoms rather than treat the root cause(s) of disease.
Here are nine signs that your lack of health and happiness might actually be a nutrient deficiency:
1. 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.
2. Your bones are weak.
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 lacking: vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K, copper, chromium, zinc, magnesium, and molybdenum.
3. You have brittle hair & nails, or hair loss.
It doesn't matter if you're male or female, beautiful hair and nails are really nice to have. If you're not too happy with yours, you could be needing vitamins B5, B6, B12, biotin, or chlorine.
4. You're tired all the time.
Do you sometimes feel like you want to do so much but are just too tired to do anything? Fatigue is a huge problem for many of us and keeps us from living life to the fullest. If you're lacking energy, you might be missing: vitamins B1, B3, B11, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, iron, potassium, or magnesium.
5. 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.
6. You have poor immunity, or you experience infections often.
Nobody wants to be sick all-the time or constantly deal with inflammation or 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.
7. You have skin troubles.
Acne, rashes, eczema 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.
8. You're dealing with digestive issues.
If you don't digest and absorb your food properly, the best diet in the world is pretty useless. If you're suffering from poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or other GI tract troubles, you might be lacking: vitamin B11 & iron, B8, B12, C, D, E, K, selenium, magnesium, or zinc.
9. 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, or zinc.
What to do if you're worried that you're nutrient-deficient
Keep a diary and note down when exactly you experience which symptoms. Once you've got a good overview, call your doctor to schedule a comprehensive blood test and, if possible, discuss the results with someone experienced in orthomolecular therapy.
Also, 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 every table in your home.
- Keep containers with a mix of veggies in your fridge to take with you when you leave the house.
- Dehydrate veggies.
- Make your own veggie chips.
- Schedule actual fruit breaks in your agenda (with reminders).
If our body and mind are out of balance, there is a lot we can do ourselves to make things better. Start slowly with simple and real food, find alternatives for coffee, alcohol, and white sugar (because these affect the absorption of nutrients) and learn about a holistic approach to health and happiness.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.