by Kathleen M McCoy February 07, 2023 4 min read

Our body gives us signs when something is becoming imbalanced internally. For example, when our immune system is low, one of the first signs you may experience is a lack of taste or smell, or you may start to feel run down. Physical signs aren't our body "messing up", but rather the way that it communicates potential underlying imbalances, including possible nutrient deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and other macronutrients.

Since it's difficult to see what is going on inside the body, recognizing early warning signs of nutrient deficiencies is important. So, what are the common signs to look for, what key nutrients could you be lacking, and how do nutrient deficiencies impact our immunity? Let's take a closer look at those questions, plus outline the key diet and lifestyle steps we can take to best support optimal nutrient levels.

Physical Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies

Do you experience any of the following common physical signs? If so, it could be linked to a possible nutrient deficiency, weakened immunity or a gut imbalance:

  1. Dry skin or flaky scalp that happens all year round can often be a sign of low omega 3 essential fats, yeast overgrowth in the gut or lowered thyroid function
  2. Thin brittle hair can be a sign of low biotin (vitamin B7), zinc, vitamin C, and a diet that is too low in protein and collagen; key nutrients for healthy skin, hair and nails
  3. Grey hair at a younger age or that comes on suddenly, can be indicative of low zinc and copper
  4. Canker sores or cracks in the corners of the mouthmay be associated with low B vitamins and zinc
  5. Bruising easilyis often a sign of low iron or B vitamins
  6. Bleeding gumscan be a sign of low vitamin C
  7. Vertical ridges or horizontal lines on the nailsare two common signs that there may be a deeper underlying health issue, including weakened digestion or a gut imbalance that can affect the absorption and production of key nutrients
  8. Eye twitching or leg cramps can be sign of a deficiency in calcium and magnesium, two key minerals involved in muscle contraction (calcium) and relaxation (magnesium)
  9. Irregular or uncomfortable bowel movements may be the result of diet that does not have enough fiber or water, or signal a deeper digestive imbalance.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Weakened Immunity

There are three key nutrients our immune system requires to keep our defenses strong:

  1. Vitamin C is widely known for its role in optimizing immune health; a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radical damage, absorb and store iron and a key nutrient to form connective tissues and support the bodies healing process
  2. Vitamin Dplays a key role in hundreds of processes in the body and when it comes to immunity, a deficiency has been linked to lowered immunity, weakened bones and more
  3. Zincsupports the growth and normal functioning of immune cells, even a mild or moderate deficiency can slow down the protective function of white blood cells that protect the body from exposure to harmful invaders

Optimizing Nutrient Intake Through Diet and Supportive Supplementation

We know that eating a well-balanced, nutritious whole food diet is the primary way our body obtains the essential nutrients it needs. That's why it's vital to include a wide variety of colorful fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and protein daily. Here are some of the top nutrient rich foods to consider:

  • Vitamin A: green leafy vegetables, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sweet potatoes
  • Vitamin C: leafy greens, papaya, strawberries, and peppers
  • Vitamin D: egg yolks and wild-caught fish (salmon, sardines and mackerel)
  • Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts
  • Folate: leafy greens, chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli
  • Iron: oysters, clams, mussels, free-range poultry, and lean, grass-fed red meat, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and beans
  • Selenium: Brazil nuts, poultry, meat, and wild-caught seafood
  • Zinc: oysters, crab, beans, and chickpeas

When our nutrient stores are in range and balanced, we promote a solid foundation for our body to function optimally and stay as healthy as possible. It's why our diet cannot be ignored, and supportive nutritional supplementation can help us further. Starting with a daily activated multivitamin and mineral supplement, can enhance the benefits of a healthy diet and remove the uncertainty of whether your levels are balanced. You can make a delicious smoothie with frozen greens, antioxidant packed blueberries, chia seeds and an all-in-one protein powder formulated specifically with all your daily nutrition requirements in mind.

When it comes to your immune system, you don't need to wait until you're unwell. Instead, you can support your immune system all year round by taking a specially formulated protocol that includes this immune boosting trio -- a proactive step you can take for robust immunity.

If you're experiencing physical signs something isn't right, you can get a deeper understanding your individual vitamin and mineral levels as well as insight on your digestive health, which can provide in-depth answers about any imbalances. With the support of a certified health coach, armed with your results and an appropriate diet and lifestyle plan right for you -- you can restore nutrient deficiencies to rebalance your body and feel great.

It's important to understand that even if you have the healthiest wholefood diet, you may not have optimal nutrient levels due to depleted mineral content of soil, digestive imbalances and high levels of stress. Take a listen to this podcast to understand why we need to be even more focused on our daily food intake and prioritize total nutrient intake.

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