Signs of a Nutritional Deficiency
We pay attention to a myriad of things all day long. Many people are connected to their smartphones all day checking email, texts, the weather and keeping up with all the latest news. Perhaps you pay attention to the stock market, the economy, professional or work issues and other specific interests. Hopefully you spend a good portion of your attention on your spouse and/or family members. One thing we might not pay enough attention to is ourselves. Our body gives us lots of clues if we aren’t getting enough nutrients, rest or hydration. Are you listening?
Here are a few clues your body could be giving you:
1. White Spots and Ridges on your Fingernails. This could be the sign of a Mineral Deficiency often specifically iron and zinc. Thyroid issues also can result in brittle nails. Eat more beef (grass fed organic), Chia Seeds, Cashews, Cocoa, Spinach to ramp up on these minerals.
2. Cracks at the corners of your mouth. This can be due to a lack of Iron, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and B12. You can get these by eating more poultry, salmon, tuna, eggs, oysters, Swiss chard, peanuts and lentils. Iron absorption increases with vitamin C so add in broccoli, red bell peppers, kale and cauliflower.
3. Muscle Cramps and Spasms. This can be caused by a deficiency in magnesium, calcium, and potassium. This is especially true for those of you that are working out vigorously since you lose water-soluble minerals with excessive sweating. Eat more bananas, almonds, squash, cherries, apples, broccoli, kale and spinach. The recommended dose of magnesium in adult men and women is 300 to 400 mg daily.
4. Hair loss. If you are noticing your hair is thinning or you are losing a lot each time you brush, it may be a nutritional deficiency and not old age! Hair loss can indicate a need for more Biotin (B7) which is known as the hair vitamin or low levels of folic acid, iron or essential fatty acids. Since low thyroid hormones often cause hair loss be sure and rule this out with a healthcare professional. Eat more eggs, salmon, avocados, cauliflower, nuts, raspberries and bananas. Also molasses can help in overall hair health. See Natural News Blog Post Grandmas Molasses Cookies.
5. Tingling, prickling, and numbness. After making sure there is no serious medical condition causing these sensations you may just need some B’s. The peripheral nerves that connect to the skin need B vitamins like folate (B9), B6, and B12 to function properly. Deficiencies in these can lead to tingling and numbness. Try eating more spinach, asparagus, beets, beans, eggs, clams, oysters and chicken.
6. Tongue Color. Perhaps your mother always told you not to stick out your tongue, but it could tell you a lot about your overall health. A healthy tongue should be pink, slightly moist, and smooth with no bumps or spots and be layered with visible taste buds. If your tongue is pale you might be low on hemoglobin and it could be why you are feeling tired all the time. Eat foods rich in Iron and Vitamin C. If your tongue is purple you should check for high cholesterol levels, may have low oxygenation of the blood and also indicates poor circulation. A white coating on your tongue can be a sign of dehydration. It can also be caused by smoking or alcohol. A white coating can also be a sign of yeast infections.
So take a few minutes to listen to your body and then consider giving it more of what it needs.
Here’s my recommended reading on this subject: Your Body’s Sign Language: Clues to Nutritional Wellbeing