If you don’t get proper nutrition, there are plenty of signs. Here are just a few:
Overweight (too much fat)
If you are carrying too much weight around, something is out of balance. It may be too much sugar in the diet. It may be you’re choosing ‘easy’ grab and go foods that are not able to be broken down—and consequently, are being stored in your fat cells. We all have to eat, but it is important to eat to fuel yourself well, NOT to store your foods in your fat cells.
Something to try: Try almond butter and apple for snacks instead of chips-a simple and easy swap.
A weakened immune system
If you’re catching every virus that comes your way, you’re food is not fortifying you properly. There are many reasons why people get sick, and it is too simplistic to suggest that diet ALONE results in poor health. However, frequent illness and a weak immune system can be signs that you are not getting the proper vitamins, minerals and nourishment you need.
Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system. To ensure you’re getting enough, make sure to include some orange and green-colored foods into your diet: sweet potatoes, apricots, carrots, kale, & spinach.
Vitamin C helps to boost immunity by stimulating the formation of antibodies. Eat red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice and citrus for a good dose of vitamin C.
Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and improves immune function. Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and spinach are good choices here.
Protein is part of the body’s defense mechanism. Eat a variety of protein foods, including good quality seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas nuts and seeds.
Something to try: Try a whole foods smoothie for breakfast—lots of vitamins there! (blend almond or coconut milk, almond butter, a handful of spinach, 2 tbsp. hemp hearts, & a couple of frozen strawberries or ½ banana, cinnamon.)
Excessive fatigue may not be explained solely by poor nutrition, but it is a common symptom. So often I see blood sugar swings and stress as contributors to ongoing fatigue. Again, eating breakfast is one of the best things you can do to balance yourself and give your body the energy it needs.
Something to try: Take a little more time in the am. Eat a quick scrambled egg. It helps.
Changes to hair and nails
Changes to your hair and nails may suggest deficiencies in your diet. Protein is especially important in maintaining healthy hair and nails, but these features also also require sufficient healthy fats, and other nutrients. Rapid hair loss, or brittle, dry hair, could signal that your diet is lacking in healthy fats. Ridged or spoon-shaped fingernails can also indicate a lack of B vitamins, protein and maybe iron.
Something to try: Eating a salad with protein on top for lunch several times a week. Don’t forget to put some healthy oil as a salad dressing. It’s the fats that deliver the vitamins from the salad to your cells.
This may be the most obvious of all the symptoms. Persistent gas or diarrhea would suggest that your diet does not sit well with your body, and should prompt a reevaluation of what you’re eating. Healthy, regular bowel movements are indicative of a healthy diet, so prolonged intestinal distress could indicate that your body is rejecting some aspect of your diet. Stress depletes stomach breakdown power, so bloating may be associated with the lack of digestive enzymes. Also, food intolerance may be an issue here.
Something to try: lemon water in the AM. I know, everyone says to try that, but really, it does make a difference in that it stimulates your digestive fire-power.
If you think you have impaired digestion, or are not getting what you need, please reach out to the nutritionists at Healthy Nest Nutrition. A new customized diet design might just be the answer you’re looking for. We help you find you’re BEST diet so that you can have optimal health with food.