You probably don’t need a lecture. You already know that your body needs healthy food and essential nutrients every single day in order to function at its best. Maybe you’re one of the smart ones that starts every day out with a protein packed smoothie for breakfast, totes a healthy lunch to work each day, and finishes it all out with a sensible dinner. That’s fantastic! But are you sure that you are meeting 100% of your body’s nutritional needs every day? Here’s how to tell if you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals… and what to do about it!
How to Know if You’re Getting Enough Iron
Iron is an essential mineral that helps your cells stay oxygenated and improves your blood flow. You need about 18 mg of it every day to avoid serious health issues like anemia. Other indicators of iron deficiency include shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, pale skin, and always feeling cold. You can increase the amount of iron in your diet by eating more nuts, seeds, fish, and spinach.
How to Know When You Need More Fiber
Do you find yourself starving by lunchtime every day? You might need to eat more fiber at breakfast. Not only does fiber make you feel fuller longer, but it also helps to prevent digestive issues like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Upping your fiber intake can also lower your cholesterol. It’s pretty much your stomach’s best friend! Try to eat at least 25 grams of fiber each day by including fiber-rich foods like broccoli, beans, and whole grains.
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein
With the popularity of keto and vegan diets these days, protein has become a major buzzword in the health and fitness world. Women who are trying to gain muscle mass should be eating 1 gram of protein per pound every day. Signs of protein deficiency include muscle loss, weakened immune system, muscle soreness, thinning hair, and inability to build muscle. Obviously eating more red meat will increase your protein intake, but you can also get plenty of protein through plant-based sources like beans, nuts, legumes, and soy.
How to Know if You’re Diet Includes Enough Calcium
We’ve heard since childhood that calcium is important for strong teeth and bones, but there’s more to it than that. According to health and nutrition experts at MBSF Health, calcium is also crucial for a healthy heart and for preventing blood clots. If you’re not getting enough calcium, you may also notice muscle cramps, fatigue, or even develop osteoporosis over time. Adults need about 1,000 mg of calcium every day from sources like almonds, salmon, cheese, leafy greens, and milk.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency takes a toll on the body over time, causing major issues like a weakened immune system and soft bones and teeth. You probably won’t notice signs of vitamin D deficiency day to day, but the longer you go without getting enough of it, the more likely it is to cause problems. You need about 600 IU of vitamin D every day, and the only way to make sure you’re getting enough of it is to have your levels checked with a blood test. To be on the safe side, make sure you’re getting plenty of sunshine and eat vitamin D rich foods like fatty fish and almonds every day.
How to Know if You Need More Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects your body against major diseases like cancer and heart disease. It can also help prevent and fight off the common cold. If you’re deficient in vitamin C, you may experience high blood pressure, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, slow wound healing, depression, gingivitis, and you may bruise easily. To boost your vitamin C intake, eat more fruit, especially citrus fruit.
How to Know if You’re Getting Enough Vitamin A
Vitamin A is critical for healthy cells and wound healing. It also keeps your immune system strong and improves your eyesight. If you experience issues like dry skin, night blindness, dry eyes, or diarrhea, you could be deficient in Vitamin A. Your body needs about 2,333 IU of this vitamin every day. To up your intake, try eating more tuna and orange or yellow vegetables, including squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
No matter how healthy your diet is, there’s a good chance that you’re still lacking in some key nutrients. Consider taking a vitamin and mineral supplement every day to fill in the nutritional gaps. Meeting your daily nutritional needs is essential now, but it will also keep your body healthier as you get older, too.