5 Signs You're Not Getting the Vitamins You Need

Staying healthy can be tough, especially if you're not getting the vitamins you need. It can be more difficult than you think to get the right nutrition in your diet every single day, and you may even need to take supplements and up your exercise routine—and that's before you factor in health problems. Thankfully, vitamin deficiency is common enough that it's easy to spot and fix. In this blog, we'll talk about how to look out for your body and make sure it has what it needs to keep you healthy and happy. It may be that all you need is a daily multivitamin to regulate your internal systems.

What Are Vitamins?

In a way, your body is a lot like a garden. It needs sunlight and water to grow—water to help fill out the plant and sunlight to fuel the growth. A plant with lots of water and no sunlight won't be able to use the water to grow, and sunlight without water results in a plant that exhausts all its minerals and dries out (like when you have too much coffee before breakfast). A good balance between food and fuel is key to your body growing strong and staying healthy. Vitamins are the sunlight in this garden metaphor—they provide little food value of themselves, but they are key to converting better food sources into sugars and helping proteins transform into other cells. You might be surprised by how well your body can handle a poor diet. One professor at Kansas State University proved that as long as you stay within the right number of calories, you can lose weight eating Oreos and Twinkies. But weight loss isn't always healthy, and without the right vitamins, your brain and other organs can suffer. By ensuring you have the right vitamin and mineral balance, you will not only maintain healthier body weight, but you'll also have more energy to get through the day.

Restless Energy Isn't the Good Kind of Energy

Your body has its own ways of communicating, and one of those is an inability to relax. If your foot keeps tapping to a breakneck tempo no one else can hear, it's possible you aren't getting enough iron in your diet. One study showed that iron-deficient patients with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) responded positively to increased iron in their diets. Iron is found in red meat and nuts. Restlessness can also be a symptom of problems with cerebrospinal fluid, which is why another potential treatment for RLS includes drugs that supplement that fluid, such as gabapentin. If your restlessness is so severe that you can't sleep, you should see a doctor. For less severe cases, however, it might be worth looking into how much iron, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidant minerals you're eating. Deficiencies here can cause problems with how your brain communicates with your muscles. You can also consider supplementing your body's endocannabinoid system by taking a CBD supplement. CBD has been shown to help manage pain, sleep, and appetite.

Malaise in Your Mouth

Dealing with bad breath? Bleeding gums? Canker sores? Your mouth is a great barometer for your health, as it is the starting point of your gastrointestinal tract. When everything is in balance, your mouth has everything it needs to get food digestion started, but when things are off, your chomper doesn't waste any time letting you know. For example, if you're not getting enough vitamin C, your gums could start to bleed. Why? Because vitamin C provides energy for your body to break food down and build strong bones and blood. Without it, those raw materials are not bioavailable, meaning they are simply passed into the urine or stool as waste. Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, can lead to huge health problems, including bone pain, bad breath, and even the resurgence of years-old wounds! It is more prevalent among people who drink lots of alcohol and coffee, and it can be fatal. Whether you're drinking a glass of orange juice each day or taking a multivitamin, you've got to make sure you're getting enough vitamin C. Canker sores can be another sign of vitamin deficiency. While these mouth ulcers can form for a variety of reasons—including stress—one common cause is a lack of vitamin B12, iron, and folate. Dealing with bad breath? Chances are you're either not getting enough water throughout the day or you're lacking vitamin C in your diet. Bodies need more water than most of us drink. If this sounds like you, it might be time to put a whiteboard on the refrigerator and mark off your eight glasses a day.

Weakened Hair & Nails

One sign of good health is a healthy head of hair and strong fingernails. Why? Because this is how well your body converts protein into alpha-keratins. When your hair and nails become weak, it can be a sign that you're not getting enough protein or enough fuel to convert those proteins into other materials. You may want to consider taking a biotin supplement like this one to enhance your body's ability to create hair and nails. Another way to get more biotin in your diet is to include organ meats (like liver and kidney), bananas, mushrooms, and/or cauliflower into your diet. Hair and nails are formed when the body takes proteins and weaves them into fibrous structures known as alpha-keratins. Because of their woven pattern, they can handle a lot of stress without being thick or heavy. When they become weak or brittle, it is likely a sign that your body doesn't have the right energy to convert protein into alpha-keratins.

Dry, Irritated, Itchy Skin

Did you know your skin is an organ? Just like your kidneys and your stomach, your skin performs a unique and vital function. When you go outside, your skin absorbs sunlight as vitamin D, which is an essential energy source for bone growth. When your skin gets itchy or flaky, it's worth addressing. You could be suffering from a loss of niacin, riboflavin, and zinc, all of which can be found in fish, raw vegetables, and nuts. Consider making these foods a more regular part of your diet. Another way to deal with dry skin is to use a high-quality moisturizing balm like this one. Vitamin A is also important in maintaining healthy skin. As a bonus, vitamin A can also improve your vision if you suffer a deficiency since it fuels the production of rhodopsin which plays a part in your ability to see at night.

Be Smart About Your Health

You're smart enough to know that you can't eat junk food and drink beer all day and expect to be healthy. Exercise is crucial to your body's ability to use the food you give it, and without getting your heart pumping a little bit each day, you could suffer heart disease and oxidative stress to your nervous system. Along with planning out a balanced diet, schedule a few walks into each day. Your body will appreciate the exercise, and getting outside improves your mood (possibly preventing another canker sore).

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