You eat right, try to stay healthy, and make sure to get enough sleep. You even wear one of those fitness watches that can guilt you into parking just a little farther from the supermarket to get your steps up. But good health can sometimes be hard to measure. For example, how do you know when you have a vitamin deficiency, short of a blood test?
Having a Vitamin Deficiency is Very Common
It turns out, your body holds the clues. When you’re low on certain vitamins and minerals, it will show: in your skin, hair, and even in your overall mood. This problem is more common than you think; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 10 percent of people in the U.S. over the age of one have a vitamin B6 deficiency, while 8 percent of the population has a vitamin D deficiency. And about 6 percent of the U.S. population older than 6 has a vitamin deficiency. The latter means that more than 1 in 20 people are experiencing this.
If you’re concerned about any of your symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor or take our free test. In the meantime, here are just a few ways to look for signs you might have a vitamin deficiency:
Hair and Scalp Issues
- Sources of copper: canned clams, oysters, mushrooms
- Sources of iron: beef, beans like chickpeas and kidney beans, lentils, spinach
- Sources of fatty acids: fatty fish, walnuts, flax
- Sources of B12: animal foods like lean red meat, poultry, and eggs, or fortified foods like soymilk, cereal, and nutritional yeast.
Feelings of Fatigue
- Sources of potassium: bananas, whole grains, milk, vegetables, beans, peas
- Sources of vitamin D: fortified dairy in the form of yogurt or milk, certain fish like sardines
- Sources of magnesium: almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, edamame
Red Bumps on Your Skin
If you find you have little red bumps on the back of your arms, it could be keratosis pilaris. This could indicate that you’re missing out on key nutrients like vitamin A and zinc. And you aren’t alone: according to the CDC, about 17.3 percent of the global population is at risk for zinc deficiency, while 1 in 3 pre-school aged children and 1 in 6 pregnant women are vitamin A deficient.
- Sources of vitamin A: sweet potatoes, cantaloupe
- Sources of zinc: poultry, hummus, pumpkin seeds