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You May Find These 6 Things Common, But They’re Actually Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency

You May Find These 6 Things Common, But They’re Actually Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency

Finding the right balance in your diet is no easy task. Eating all the right things, taking supplements, and also getting adequate exercise are precursors to a healthy lifestyle, but it’s certainly easier said than done.

No matter how whole our choices are and how good we are at consuming the right foods in the right quantities, there’s still more for us to discover about what we’re putting into our bodies. Signs of nutrient deficiency can arrive even when you feel like you’ve been doing a good job taking care of yourself.

Here are some signs to look out for and how best to respond.

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1. Fatigue

Being unusually tired and fatigued is a symptom of an iron deficiency. Low levels of red blood cells are responsible for the deficiency, and can ultimately lead to anemia. Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States, especially in older adults with poor diet habits or women who are pregnant, whose bodies have a higher demand for blood supply.

Dietary supplements can be an excellent source of iron. Implementing them into your diet can help bring more energy into your day and keep anemia far at bay.

2. Brittle Hair

Since hair is made up of protein, a lack of protein in your diet can lead to brittle and dry hair, or even hair loss. Yes, brittle hair and hair loss can simply be symptoms of aging. But admitting to yourself that “I must be getting old” might be a lazy excuse.

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It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of protein and essential fatty acids and iron at all ages. Fish is an excellent source of all these essentials. If you’re vegetarian or vegan and fish isn’t an option, integrate more flaxseed, canola oils, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds into your routine consumption.

3. Cracked Mouth

Inadequate amounts of protein, B-vitamins, iron and zinc can also result in cracked and inflammed corners of the mouth. As described earlier, be sure that you’re getting enough of these in your diet. This might prove more difficult for vegans and vegetarians, though.

Protein, iron, and B-Vitamins may be hard to come by in diets that don’t include meats, fish and poultry. Be sure to fill in the blanks with foods rich in these nutrients, including beans, quinoa, tofu, sprout-grained bread, and more.

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4. Acne

Just because your acne went away just in time for prom doesn’t mean that it could never come back again. Red or white bumps on your thighs, arms, or cheeks can be signs of a Vitamin A and Vitamin D deficiency.

Leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and squash are bountiful in Vitamin A. Cantaloupe melons, mangos, and dried apricots and peaches also pack a hefty Vitamin A punch. Take it all in while your outside to get your Vitamin D from sunlight. If it’s a cloudy day, then eggs, mushrooms, cheese, fortified dairy products, and fatty fish will help fill the Vitamin D void.

5. Muscle Cramps

This is another one of those things we assume happen just because we’re getting older. However, muscle cramps can be indication of deficiency in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

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When this happens, almonds and hazelnuts can help ease the symptom away. Apples, kale, spinach, squash, and broccoli are also allies in the fight against muscle cramps.

6. Mood Swings

Mood swings are signs of nutrient deficiency and should be taken seriously. While other factors do impede moods, a lack of proper nutrients may be the root of the problem. Fill up on the right foods and supplements, and stick with a routine. Falling out of a routine and returning back to bad eating habits can lead to depression settling in again.

Even when things get tough, remind yourself that overeating and loading up on sugary foods is only doing your tongue a favor. A fleeting resolution like that can consequently make your mood worse. Treat your body right with whole foods filled with nutrients, and do New Year’s resolution that lasts for the first two weeks of January.

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Kyle Hiller

Author, Writer

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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