When your body is trying to tell you something for example, that you are vitamin deficient, it can go to some strange lengths. "With today's diet of processed foods, it's easy to become vitamin deficient, either from not eating enough of the right foods or not absorbing properly due to digestive issues," says Dr. Susan Blum, founder of the Blum Center for Health and author of the book The Immune System Recovery Plan.
If you are vitamin deficient, you may not necessarily get a disease, but you can end up with functional problems, as vitamins are cofactors for all biochemical reactions in the body. We need them in order to function properly. This impaired functioning can sometimes manifest itself in mysterious ways.
Signs that you are deficient in vitamins
Here are five unusual warning signs that tell you that you are vitamin deficient. The good news: Most can be corrected with diet, all the more reason to make nutrition a priority. But if food cures don't work, be sure to check with your doctor.
1. Boqueras. Cracks in the corners of the mouth
Deficiency: iron, zinc, and B vitamins such as niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and B12. "It's common that if you're a vegetarian you don't get enough iron, zinc, and vitamin B12," says Blum. The same is true if you are skimping on essential immunity-building proteins due to dieting.
The solution: Eat more salmon, tuna, eggs, oysters, clams, sun-dried tomatoes, chard, sesame paste, peanuts, and legumes like lentils. Iron absorption is enhanced by vitamin C, which also helps fight infection, which is why these foods are combined with vegetables such as broccoli, red bell pepper, cabbage, and cauliflower.
2. Red skin rash on the face (and sometimes elsewhere) and hair loss
Deficiency: Zinc. When hair loss is directly related to a lack of zinc, there are usually other manifestations that occur simultaneously with hair loss and that can serve as a clue to confirm that it is a dietary problem.
For example, we can mention that the lack of Zinc in the body causes hair loss, makes it difficult for wounds to heal, bruises appear at the slightest blow, the skin appears dry and with frequent eruptions.
The solution: Eat foods that contain zinc such as brewer's yeast, pumpkin seeds, nuts, whole grains, and unpasteurized dairy. It also cooks hard-boiled eggs (cooking them deactivates avidin), salmon, avocado, mushrooms, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, raspberries, and bananas.
See also: Top 7 Plant-Based Protein Sources.
3. Red or white acne-like lumps
Red or white acne-like bumps, usually on the cheeks, arms, thighs, and buttocks
Deficiency: Essential fatty acids and vitamins A and D.
The solution: Skimp on saturated fat and trans fat - which you should be doing anyway - and increase healthy fats. Focus on adding more salmon, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like ground flax, hemp, and chia. For vitamin A, a good bunch of leafy greens and colorful vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers. "This provides beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, that your body will use to make vitamin A," Blum said.
4. Tingling, tingling, and numbness in the hands, feet, or elsewhere
Deficiency: B complex vitamins, such as folic acid (B9), B6 and B12. "It is a problem directly related to the peripheral nerves and where they end in the skin," says Blum, noting that these symptoms can be combined with anxiety, depression, anemia, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances.
Solution: Eat spinach, asparagus, beets, beans (pinto, black, beans, lima beans), eggs, octopus, mussels, clams, oysters.
5. Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps in the form of shooting pains in the feet, calves, the arches of the feet, and the backs of the legs.
Deficiency: magnesium, calcium, and potassium. "If it's happening frequently, it's a clue that you are missing these," says Blum. And if you are training hard, you can lose more minerals and B vitamins (water soluble) through excessive sweating.
The solution: eat more bananas, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin, cherries, apples, grapefruit, broccoli, bok choy, and green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and dandelion.
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