26 Mar 5 Signs Your Diet Isn’t as Balanced as You Think
“Balanced diet” is a term so overused these days most people just ignore it. Or, they assume having some variety in their food choices means they’re guaranteed to have no nutritional deficiencies.
But if you’re having skin problems—particularly those of the dry and odd sort, spontaneous muscle cramps unrelated to your workouts, or trouble staying focused, there’s a good chance your diet’s lacking one or more key nutrients. In no certain order, here are five signs your diet isn’t as balanced as you think.
Sign #1: You have premature grays.
Some things are genetic; others are nutritional. Finding gray head and pubic hairs in your twenties could be a sign of a folate deficiency. To up your folate intake, include more beans, leafy greens, and oranges in your diet.
Sign #2: You have dry skin.
Chronic dry skin, despite swapping moisturizers and ruling out medical conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, may be the result of vitamin D and fatty acid deficiencies. Increase your consumption of fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, or tuna) and add a serving of nuts to your diet daily.
Sign #3: You’re prone to muscle cramps.
Everyone gets muscle knots and the occasional Charley horse. But chronic cramps and muscle soreness all over could be a sign of a calcium deficiency. In addition to building strong bones, calcium controls muscle and nerve function. Increase your dairy intake—or if dairy isn’t an option, start taking a high quality calcium supplement and add more dark leafy greens to your diet.
Sign #4: Your lips and mouth crack (especially at the corners).
Cracked lips are especially embarrassing, not to mention painful. If you have this problem, you could have several nutritional deficiencies: iron, zinc, protein, or B12. Try adding more high quality protein to your diet in the form of shellfish, seeds, and eggs to alleviate a cracked mouth.
Sign #5: You get non-acne acne.
Do you get weird red or white bumps on your body that look like acne, but in fact, are not? Your diet is most likely lacking essential fatty acids, or vitamin A. Omega oil supplements (fish, krill, primrose) may take care of this, along with actually eating more fish, especially the skin.
You can also get more vitamin A from carrots, sweet potatoes, and liverwurst (which also happens to be very iron-rich).
So, don’t risk your health for an assumption! If you have signs of any nutritional deficiencies, adjust your diet accordingly. If they persist, check with your doctor to ensure a minor dietary gap hasn’t developed into a more serious condition.