The possible culprit:Â Your iron levels are low.
Iron is an essential mineral that keeps your energy levels highâ€”it aids oxygen transportÂ throughout the body, helping your body function at its best. But when levels are low, energy can lag: Your body isn’t able to make enough of the red blood cells that carry oxygen and keep you charged. That’s why one of the top signs of anemiaâ€”or low iron levelsâ€”is fatigue, says Schapiro.
The fix: If you feel like a zombie, stock up on iron-rich foods like red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals, and peas, suggests Schapiro. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests women ages 19 to 50 take in about 18 mg of iron each day. If you think you could be iron-deficient, make an appointment with your doc, who can test your iron levels through a simple blood test. If you are deficient, iron supplementsâ€”which sometimes contain the full 18 mgâ€”could be an option. But don’t take them unless you really are deficient. The NIH says that too much iron could lead to issues like constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and feeling faint.
2. You’re super-moody.
The possible culprit: You might not be taking in enough calories.
Yes, you really can be “hangry.” To keep your energy up and your blood sugar stableâ€”two factors that are not only key for physical health but also for moodâ€”you have to make sure you’re eating enough calories, says Schapiro. For healthy women, that means at least 1,200 calories a day. If it’s less? Get ready for mood swings (on top of other health issues). “You’ll likely need more calories than that based on your activity level,” says Schapiro.
The fix: If you’re active, she suggests aiming for between 1,500 and 1,800 calories a day to maintain a healthy weightâ€”and about 1,400 a day for weight loss.
3. You’re constipated.
The possible culprit: You’re not eating enough fiber.
Ah, fiber. It might not be the sexiest of nutrients, but it’s important. “Fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping it to pass through your digestive system easily,” says Schapiro. And if you’re lacking it? Things could get clogged up.
The fix: If you’re not used to having fiber in your diet, add it in slowly to prevent cramps, bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Try foods like beans, oats, oat bran, barley, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, raspberries, pears, avocados, lentils, peas, artichokes, and broccoli. And keep track of how much you’re taking in: The Institute of Medicine suggests that women under 50 aim for 25 g of fiber a day.
4. You’re feeling downâ€”and think you might be suffering from symptoms of depression.
The possible culprit:Â You’re not eating enough carbs.
“Cutting down on carbs can result in weight loss, but going carb-free can lead to low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood, which could lead to depression,” says Schapiro.
The fix: If you’re sticking with a super-low-carb or no-carb diet, make sure you’re eating enough consistently throughout the day to prevent blood sugar dips and mood swings, she says. But your best bet is to slowly up your carb intake. The key is to do this gradually to prevent major increases in blood sugar and weight gain, says Shapiro. Start with “good carbs”: a slice of whole grain toast at breakfast, an apple for a snack, or even a small sweet potato or half cup of brown rice with lunch or dinner. Of course, if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, make an appointment with your doctor just to be safe.
5. You notice clumps of hair in the shower drain.
The possible culprit: Your nutrients are out of whack.
Essential nutrients like protein, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and copper aren’t just crucial for good healthâ€”but for good hair, too, says Schapiro.
The fix: To keep everything in check, start by adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. It seems simple, but produce is super-rich in vitamins and minerals, which all promote hair growth, she says. Focus particularly on protein (chicken, fish, turkey, pork, nuts, Greek yogurt, and eggs are all good sources). After all, your hair is made up mostly of protein (who knew?), and without the strengthening nutrient, your locks could turn lackluster. And don’t skimp on iron-rich foods (pumpkin seeds, beans, lentils, spinach), either! Hair loss has also been attributed to a lack of iron.
Source: Signs Of Poor Diet | Prevention