Signs of nutritional deficiency (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)
Letting out yawn every now and then shouldn’t be a cause for concern. But what if you lost count of the times you did. More importantly, what does it say about your health? National Nutrition Week 2019 is on and it’s time for some introspection — are you truly healthy? The week-long observation from September 1 to 7 aims to raise awareness about nutrition. And home is the best place to start. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your body stays undernourished. So if you are more tired than usual and are dozing off at work, you need to evaluate your diet. These are some major signs that your body is undernourished and needs more nutrition. How To Eat Healthy – 5 Simple Secrets of Good Health.
1. Tiredness and Yawning
Despite a good night’s sleep, if you find your eyes shutting off in the middle of the day, get a blood test done. A lack of energy and constant yawning could point towards iron deficiency. Eat iron-rich foods like whole grains, red meat, spinach, legume, shellfish, liver and pumpkin.
2. Bad Skin
Does your skin look sallow, dry and dull? Maybe you need a better diet and not a new moisturiser. Pale-looking skin could mean anaemia. Deficiency of micronutrients like vitamin A, B and C could also manifest as skin dullness, slow-healing wounds and bumps known as keratosis pilaris. Eat yellow and orange coloured fruits and veggies for vitamin A. Citruses, gooseberries and strawberries can plug vitamin C deficiency. Eating whole grains, meat, eggs, dark greens, seeds and nuts can take care of your vitamin A needs.
3. Bad Oral Health
Your mouth is an important indicator of your health. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you could suffer from bleeding gums, gingivitis (swollen, inflamed gums) and tooth loss. These dental problems could also manifest as bad breath. Before you try to brush it away with some heavy-duty toothpaste, try fixing your diet instead. Let’s Take a Look at the State of Nourishment in India.
Can’t go despite your morning cuppa? Constipation could be a sign that your body isn’t getting enough fibre for roughage. Straining too hard may cause haemorrhoids and piles. So instead of loading up on laxatives and coffee, eat fibre-rich foods like oats, fresh leafy greens, whole grains, etc.
If you are feeling low, an unhealthy diet may be to blame. Nutrient deficiency can wreak havoc on your mental health, causing terrible mood swings and depression.
6. Hair Fall
Hair fall is not always a cause of concern, but if you are losing more than the usual 100-150 strands of hair per day, it’s time to sound alarm bells! Low iron levels are a big cause of hair fall apart from thyroid problem. You will see a stark difference when you start eating iron-rich foods. Brittle hair can also be caused by low levels of folate and vitamin C.
7. Spoon-Shaped Nails
If your nail of your index or third finger is curved like spoons, chances are you are deficient in iron. Low levels of protein, calcium, or vitamins A, B6, C, and D can also make nails extremely brittle.
To fix these deficiencies, it’s imperative to go on a balanced diet. Stay away from extreme diets such as keto or paleo, which shut out a particular food group. Ensure your diet is full of fibre, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Reduce dependence on sugar and other processed foods, and stay away from vices.