The negative effects of a poor diet often don’t happen overnight. Normally, the signs of an unhealthy diet build-up for a while before displaying physical symptoms.
Although we all feel tired from time to time, persistent tiredness is sometimes the result of a poor diet. B vitamins including B1 and B12 are important as they help your body convert the food you eat into energy. Similarly, minerals like iron can also affect your energy levels. Too little iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia, which happens when your blood doesn’t contain enough healthy blood cells. Fatigue can also sometimes be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, like diabetes, a thyroid problem or heart disease, so it’s important not to ignore other symptoms. Read more about iron deficiency anaemia here and simple tips to help boost your energy levels here.
2. Brittle or Thin Hair
If your hair is feeling straw-like, is thinner and breaking more easily than it used to, it may be a sign your diet isn’t as good as it could be. Iron, folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C, vitamin A and protein are just a few vitamins and minerals which can affect your hair health.
3. Dental Problems
Your mouth can often be one of the first places signs of poor nutrition can show themselves. For example, vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding, irritated gums or gingivitis (gum disease). In some very severe cases, poor nutrition can even cause tooth loss. Some healthy foods like crunchy fruits or vegetables may be painful to eat if you have dentures or loose/missing teeth. This just means you might need to be a bit more creative with your meal choices. For example, home-made vegetable soups and fruit smoothies are something you might consider. Sugar is another culprit which can affect oral health. One study has shown that it’s not just about how much sugar you consume, but the frequency of consumption. So if you’re sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day, your teeth are constantly being exposed to sugar. If this sounds like you, try to give your teeth a break by cutting back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
4. Bruising Easily or Healing Slowly
If you find you’re bruising more easily and without obvious cause, you may be deficient in vitamins and minerals like protein, vitamin C or vitamin K. Your body uses all of these to help heal wounds. Amongst other things, vitamin C can help tissue repair itself, and vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
5. A Low Mood
A poor or unhealthy diet can sometimes cause a low mood. The old adage “healthy body, healthy mind” isn’t a myth. For example, low blood sugar can cause mood swings and lethargy. Eating too many complex carbohydrates like sugar may give an initial spike in your insulin level, but you’ll feel sluggish soon after due to the dip in your blood sugar.
The best way to give your body all the nutrients it needs to keep you feeling fit and healthy is to ensure you’re getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals. And the easiest way to do this isn’t by taking dietary supplements in the form of vitamin and mineral pills – it’s by ensuring you’re giving your body what it needs through proper diet and nutrition.
Make sure your diet is balanced and contains a good mix of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, wholegrains, low fat dairy, and healthier oils and fats. Try to limit the amount of processed or pre-packaged foods you eat, as these are often low in nutritional value and high in salt and saturated fats.