13 Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies and What to Do About Them

Why does our body need nutrients??

Everything your body needs to function comes from the food and water you put in your body. Without essential nutrients... well, you die. Your body needs amino acids, fatty acids, sugars, vitamins, minerals, and water to keep every cell and system working right.

Without key nutrients, our bodies struggle to do what they need to do.  The right nutrients, in the right quantities, must be present to build and repair muscles, send signals to and from our brains, contract and relax muscles, and a million other functions.

If we are lacking in key nutrients, our bodies develops symptoms! Manifestations--if you will--of some processes that aren't working right.

Some are petty, simple symptoms. Others can be signs of a deeper, more dangerous problem.

What are the signs of nutrient deficiencies??

Here are 13 signs that your body is missing vital nutrients!

  1. Nose bleeds and tendency to bruise easily. This is a common sign of bioflavonoid deficiency. Bioflavonoids are a class of compounds commonly found in brightly colored fruits or vegetables. They stabilize membranes in the body, especially blood vessel membranes. If you have frequent nose bleeds, try increasing your fruits and vegetables, or take a bioflavonoids supplement buffered with Vitamin C to help with absorption!
  2. You wake up without remembering your dreams.  This can often be a sign of B1 (thiamine) deficiency as well as other B vitamins.
  3. You experience calf, foot or toe cramps. This is a common sign of calcium, magnesium, and potassium deficiencies. These electrolytes are in charge of contracting and relaxing your muscles.
  4. You crave chocolate. This is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency! Raw cacao is high in magnesium and your body can crave it if you are deficient. Other signs of magnesium deficiency are being extremely ticklish, experiencing agoraphobia (hate being in large crowds), insomnia, or your feet have a strong odor.
  5. You have lots of white spots on your nails. This is a sign of poor mineral absorption in the body--especially zinc. Low zinc levels can also be manifested by early gray hairs, slow healing of cuts, scarring easily, a loss of taste or smell, and acne.
  6. Small bumps on the back of your arms.  If you experience this, you most likely are deficient in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, so making sure to eat plenty of whole fats (both animal fats and unrefined plant fats) can help reduce those small bumps on the back of your arms. (I experienced this for years on a low fat diet. When I started eating fats again, these little bumps completely went away!)
  7. Tendency to anemia or pernicious anemia.  Anemia can be caused by low iron, yes, but is more often caused by poor absorption in the gut of a lot of different nutrients--namely vitamin B12, folic acid, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6. Copper, zinc, and iron all compete for absorption in the body. Simply supplementing with iron is hard on the body and healing the gut to properly absorb all minerals is a much healthier, and long term solution to anemia.
  8. Vulnerable to insect bites. People who are vulnerable to insect bites are often low in B vitamins, especially B1! The thought is that  the B vitamins put out an odor the mosquitos don't like. Those who get bit who are sufficient in B vitamins often experience very little swelling and itchiness compared to those who are not.
  9. You experience frequent polyps or warts. This is a sign of a need for folic acid and other B vitamins.
  10. Frequent yawning in the afternoon, experiencing a mid afternoon slump. If you are eating a clean diet (no processed foods and balanced fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) and still experience low energy and lots of yawning, it's likely that your adrenal glands need some support. Vitamin B1 is helpful in support adrenal glands and increasing energy levels.
  11. Low resting pulse and very fatigued after only moderate exercise.  This is also true for people who are in need of B vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine).
  12. Limbs or whole body jerk when falling asleep. Those precious electrolytes--calcium, potassium, and magnesium--are important in helping your muscles not jerk when you are falling asleep. Try adding a pinch of RealSalt in your water throughout the day to increase your trace minerals, increase electrolytes, and get better sleep!
  13. History of stress fractures and bone loss. Although we have heard how important calcium is for bones, it is not the only mineral that is responsible for healthy bone structure! An imbalance of calcium, manganese, vitamin K, potassium, and more.

So what do you do??

If you resonated with any of these nutrient deficiencies--don't worry! There is much you can do to replenish missing nutrients!

There are two things that are of equal importance.

One. You must eat foods that provide these nutrients! Unfortunately that's harder than it seems. Modern high-tech farming, lack of sustainable farming practices, high pesticide use, and shipping food thousands of miles all deplete nutrients. Poor soil quality in high-tech farming decreases levels of chromium (which help curb sugar cravings, among many other important roles), manganese, zinc, and molybdenum, among others

Eat as many locally produced foods as possible. Buy produce that is grown organically, as soil quality tends to be a little better through organic practices.

Avoid processed foods. These are both stripped of nutrients AND will strip your body of nutrients (every time you eat sugar, you are depleting your body of magnesium!)

Two. You must be able to digest and absorb the nutrients you put in your body!

This is less common than you might think. Our busy culture, heavy reliance on medications, high intake of processed foods, and lack of proper nutrition destroy the digestive system. The vast majority of people do not have the proper gut health to even absorb the vitamins and mineral that are contained in their foods!

Vitamins and minerals in food must first be extracted from the food before it is bound to enzymes or made soluble, etc,--processes that allow it to be absorbed from the digestive tract into the rest of the body! In order for this to happen, the acidity in your stomach has to be VERY acidic. For most of us who are constantly stressed or who are always eating on the run, our bodies simply don't produce enough acid (or secrete other vital fluids containing enzymes and digestive aids) that allow vitamin and mineral absorption to take place.

Then there is the condition of the small intestines itself! Low pancreatic functioning. Imbalance of gut microbes. Low essential fats that are required for the digestion of vitamins A, E, D, and K. And a whole lot of damage and inflammation to the digestive tract.

Nearly all of the clients I see in my practice have poor digestive functioning. Between the low nutritive content of our foods and the poor functioning of our digestive system, it's no wonder we are so depleted of vital vitamins and minerals! You can never be healthy if your digestive system is damaged. Period.

If you suspect your gut is not healthy, I highly recommend you work through my online course "Healing The Digestive System: Eat with Confidence, Not Gas." Not only does the course walk you through the 6 Steps you need to heal, but it will allow your digestive system to start working as it should.

Learn more at https://nourishfamily.teachable.com or click the link below to preview the class!

Enroll in My Online Digestive Healing Course

But what about supplements??

Supplementing with specific nutrients can help balance nutrients in your body. But be very careful. The last thing you want to do is over-supplement with forms of nutrients that throw the body more out of wack.

Food companies usually add vitamins and minerals (especially cereals and juices that are so devoid of nutrients they are REQUIRED to add vitamins back in by the FDA) to make them appear more healthy. However, these food companies are more about appearance than helping you be healthy. They often add in the wrong kinds of supplements. Vitamin D, for example, is often added to foods in the form of Vitamin D2. This isolated form, however, does more damage to your body than good. It is Vitamin D3 that our bodies can recognize and use properly.

If you want to supplement with vitamins and minerals, work with a qualified practitioner who can help you. He or she will identify the root causes--the real reasons-- you are deficient in certain nutrients and will work with you to help you start healing.

You can also set up a time to meet on the phone or via Skype for a personalized consultation.

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