How To Tell If You’re Getting Enough Vitamins

Even healthy eaters may fall short of key vitamins and minerals. If you have any of these symptoms, you may be deficient in critical nutrients.


Anemia isn’t the only sign of iron deficiency. Brittle nails (on fingers and toes) can signal you’re low in this mineral, found in dark leafy greens, legumes, and red meat.


A lack of vitamin B12 can prevent your body from producing enough red blood cells, causing you to become anemic, which in turn prevents the body from naturally bringing blood pressure back up when it drops. If you can’t get enough from foods like eggs, poultry, shellfish, or fortified cereal, consider a multivitamin that contains it.


The electrolyte potassium builds muscle and protein, so a dip in levels can cause muscle cramping, particularly in the calf. Deficiency is rarely related to diet; diarrhea and vomiting are more likely culprits.


Low vitamin C levels may zap your energy, especially if you smoke. A study in the Academy Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that smokers’ vitamin C levels were roughly 30 percent lower than nonsmokers’, probably due, in part, to increased oxidative stress caused by the toxins in cigarette smoke. Load up on citrus, berries, peppers, and leafy greens.


Several recent fractures may signal you’re at risk for or have osteopenia, a low bone mass condition that heightens the risk of osteoporosis. Ask your doctor if a calcium supplement may help.

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