We all know eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get the necessary vitamins and minerals. But at least one in ten people are deficient in one vitamin according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. This is where supplements can fill in the gaps, but you need to find what you’re deficient in, to know which one to take.
The first point of call should be talking to your GP, who may be able to test you for certain deficiencies. There are also certain signs you should look out for, to determine yourself which vitamins you may be lacking.
Brittle Hair and Nails
Brittle, dry and weak hair or nails points to a deficiency in biotin. You can get enough biotin naturally from foods such as salmon, chicken, eggs, whole grains, nuts and dairy. If you don’t eat these foods, ask your local GP about taking a biotin supplement (up to 30 micrograms a day should suffice).
Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that works to protect cells from free radical damage. Things like cigarette smoke, air pollution and UV rays from the sun may enhance a deficiency. Vitamin C also helps to keep the immune system in top working order. Without it, you may notice you start to bruise really easily which points to weakened blood vessels near the skins surface. Increase your intake of citrus fruits, guava, kale, peppers and strawberries.
Tired All the Time
Being unusually tired all the time could mean you are deficient in calcium. If you don’t get enough, your bones can start to weaken which leads to fatigue. To increase your calcium intake, eat foods like; yogurt and milk, chickpeas, dark greens and almonds. If you can’t eat these foods, consider taking a quality health supplement.
One extremely noticeable sign of a vitamin B2 deficiency is bloodshot eyes. Not getting enough B2 is usually linked to people who have digestive problems or those who are severely underweight. Get more vitamin B2 by eating meat, milk, eggs, fish and leafy green vegetables. Talk to your doctor about a supplement if you can’t eat these foods.
Cramping in the Legs
Vitamin E is essential for our body helping the immune system to function, slow down the ageing process and to protect eyesight. Although a vitamin E deficiency is rare, it’s sometimes seen in people who follow very low fat diets or who have Crohn’s disease causing the body to not absorb fat properly. One side effect of a vitamin E deficiency is leg cramps or restless leg syndrome. Get more vitamin E by eating seeds, nuts, vegetable oils, eggs, leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals.