A small headache; an aching joint; trouble sleeping. It can be incredibly easy to write off the little inconveniences, not recognising them as potential symptoms of a larger problem.
But when it comes to diet and nutrition, sometimes the human body can be far more subtle. The following easy-to-miss clues could be signs that your food intake needs to change.
Spotted or Soft fingernails
Have you ever noticed those tiny white spots on your nails? This is very common, and something most of us get at one point or another.
This could be a clue to one of several nutritional deficiencies: calcium, zinc or protein.
- Zinc deficiency can show up in the form of white streaks or spots. To improve the zinc in your diet, you can explore options such as oysters, beef and wheat germ.
- If your body needs more calcium, it could be a great excuse to up your dairy intake.
- Protein deficiency will show up as a horizontal line across the nail. Foods rich in protein include yoghurt, lean beef, salmon and assorted nuts and seeds.
If your nails themselves feel soft or brittle, this could point to an absence of magnesium in the diet. Once again, leafy greens, nuts and grains are all great options.
Flaky or scaly skin can have any number of causes, from dehydration to simple changes in the weather. But according to Little Things, this could also come from a severe lack of vitamin A.
This vitamin is responsible for regular turnover of the skin cells. Without regular intake, this process is interrupted, leaving the skin to get rougher.
Eating foods rich in vitamin A can potentially reduce the risk of dry skin. Popular options include sweet potatoes, carrots, greens, seafoods and tropical fruits.
Cold hands and feet
Do you often feel the cold? While there are any number of reasons, there’s a chance iodine deficiency may be to blame. If left unchecked, this can lead to extremely uncomfortable swelling, ultimately resulting in a goiter.
Since the body does not make its own iodine, it’s essential to work this into your diet. Dairy products, seafood, baked potatoes, eggs and certain breads are among the most common recommendations. You can also find specifically iodised table salt.
Like dry skin, sore or cracked lips can have any number of outside causes. However, they may be a clue that your body is not getting the internal nourishment it needs.
One common cause is a lack of riboflavin, or vitamin B2. Foods that can help you address this include cheese, oily fish and lean beef.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it’s important to first get a correct diagnosis to ensure your nutrition is correctly adjusted. Be sure to speak to a GP or nutritionist if you suspect your vitamin intake needs to change.
How do you feel about your vitamin intake? Have you ever had a small symptom clue you in to something more serious?