Experts have revealed the everyday symptoms which could show you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, including cracked lips, headaches – and bad breath.
Persistent dandruff, itchy or dry skin, low mood and even stress could also be signs you need more of a certain vitamin or mineral in your diet.
Other issues which could point to a deficiency include thinning hair, a low libido, white spots on your nails and tiredness.
The findings come after a survey by Healthspan to launch its new magnesium range, found 44 per cent of Brits admit they have no idea about the different vitamins and minerals they should be consuming.
One in twenty, of the 2,000 adults polled, believe they need to be eating krill oil and vegetable oil for a healthy body, while some even said they thought kryptonite and kerosene are essential vitamins and minerals.
And almost six in ten admit they are clueless about the signs which could show they are suffering from a mineral deficiency.
Worryingly, almost half of Brits are unaware that taking medications, antibiotics and even drinking tea and coffee can all affect how you absorb vitamins and minerals.
Healthspan’s head of nutrition Rob Hobson said: “Many of these symptoms are things people put up with every day, thinking they are just par for the course.
“But often, they could be a sign that you are suffering a vitamin or mineral deficiency and simply eating foods which contain the item you are lacking could ease your symptoms.
“For example, a headache could be an indicator that you need more magnesium, vitamin B12 and B6 – something you can get from eating pumpkin seeds, prunes, banana or fortified nut milk.
“And even bad breath, while a possible sign of poor oral hygiene, could also be linked to your gut health and an iron deficiency.
“It’s important to bear in mind that your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals can also be affected by medications you are taking, such as antibiotics or the oral contraceptive pill as well as aspects of your diet such as whether you drink tea or coffee.”
Cracking lips can be a sign of a vitamin C or iron deficiency, with eating more red meat, red peppers, kale and tofu a way of boosting levels of the vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Persistent dandruff could be an indicator you need more biotin or vitamin B7 while feeling stressed could be a sign you need to consume more magnesium, zinc or essential fatty acids.
A magnesium deficiency could also be indicated by insomnia, PMS or PMT and restless legs.
Thinning hair could be a result of a mild iron and vitamin C deficiency and white spots on the nails could signal a lack of zinc and iron.
The research found 36 per cent of people have made a conscious effort to boost their intake of certain vitamins and minerals because they felt they were lacking in them, while 28 percent have even sought professional help.
And one in five has suffered from a symptom or health condition which was caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
It also emerged 41 per cent of Brits are currently taking a supplement, with 68 percent of those saying they do so to improve their health.
But almost one in five have the supplement as an insurance policy and one in ten take it for a ‘quick boost.’
Healthspan’s Dr. Sarah Brewer added: “An estimated forty per cent of UK adults take at least one dietary supplement, whether vitamins, minerals, fish oils, glucosamine, isoflavones or herbal remedies such as Devil’s Claw or Saw Palmetto.
“Many people taking a food supplement or herbal remedy are also taking at least one prescribed drug.
“In fact, the popularity of complementary medicine has now increased to the extent that 30% of people use them at the same time as conventional medications.
“Although the risk of serious interactions between vitamins, minerals and prescribed drugs is low, many drugs appear to deplete body stores of vitamins and minerals and, in these cases, a replenishing supplement is desirable – but are you taking the right one?
“Many popular dietary ingredients also deplete levels of certain vitamins and minerals and can interfere with the absorption of food supplements.”
|Physical signs and symptoms:||What could be:||Foods which can help:|
|Cracking lips||Iron and or /vitamin C deficiency||Red meat|
|Persistent Dandruff||Biotin or vitamin B7 plus deficient in essential fatty acids||Fresh salmon|
|Thinning hair||Could be mild iron and vitamin C deficiency||Lemons|
Red kidney beans
|Psoriasis||Vitamin D deficiency plus mixed vitamin B, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiency||Eggs|
|Itchy /dry skin||Omega-6 essential fatty acid deficiency||Sunflower seeds|
|Acne||Possible zinc deficiency||Crab|
|White spots on nails||Could be lack of zinc or iron||Lean pork|
|Split brittle nails||Iron deficiency||Flaxseed|
|Red greasy skin at side of nose||Sign of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin and or vitamin B6 and/or zinc deficiency||Feta cheese|
|Recurrent mouth ulcers, sore tongue||Iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, B3 deficiency||Black beans|
|Bad Breath||Poor oral hygiene but can be linked to gut health as well as iron deficient||Raisins|
Fortified breakfast cereals
|Headaches||Magnesium plus could be vitamin B12 and B6 as well dietary factors||Pumpkin seeds|
Fortified soy milk
|Lost sense of taste||Possible zinc deficiency||Eggs|
Red kidney beans
|Depression||Low in Vitamin|
B, Vitamin D, magnesium deficient as well as low in essential fatty acids
|Low Mood||Vitamin D as well as the B vitamins and magnesium||Quinoa|
|Low Libido||This time of year can be vitamin D||Mushrooms|
Fortified breakfast cereals
|Anxiety||A whole raft of deficiencies from vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins and even calcium||Tofu|
|Stress||Magnesium, zinc, essential fatty acids||Fresh tuna|
|Tired all time||B vitamins, iron and magnesium deficiencies but also underactive thyroid||Dried apricots|
|Can’t sleep /Insomnia||Could be deficient in magnesium||Spring greens|
|Restless legs||Lack of magnesium/iron or folate||Avocado|
|Aching joints||Low levels of Magnesium, potassium, sodium, vitamin B1 and vitamin D if there is hypocalcaemia (low calcium levels)||Trout|
|PMS / PMT||Low levels of magnesium and levels of oestrogen||Cashew nuts|
|Cold hands and feet||Could be due to anemia so lack of iron||Red meat|
Do You experience any of these symptoms? Leave your comments below.
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