Bruising on your legs
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: Vitamin C
If you merely bump into something and wind up with an enormous bruise, consider if you’re getting enough C. Surprisingly, it’s on the list of nutrients Americans frequently fall short on, according to Health.gov. Vitamin C helps make collagen, which is involved in making blood vessels. Bruising often “may be a sign that you have weakened capillaries that allow you to bruise,” says Small. What’s more, stress saps your supply of vitamin C, meaning you may need more than you think. Strawberries, broccoli, and mango are all foods that have more C than an orange. Here are some more signs you’re running low on vitamin C.
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: Magnesium or calcium
As an electrolyte, magnesium plays an important role, along with and calcium, in muscle contraction. “Getting what you need can make a world of difference,” says Small. She recommends food sources such as pumpkin seeds, bananas, and avocados for magnesium. As for calcium, fortified non-dairy milk often contains more than its cow milk counterpart. If you’re thinking of popping supplements instead of looking for food sources, keep in mind that some vitamins are a waste of money—and can even be dangerous.
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: Fiber and magnesium
Being backed up (having fewer than three bowel movements per week) has at least a dozen possible causes. One that’s common: a lack of fiber in the diet. In fact, adults consume just about half of the recommended 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women daily. Magnesium also plays a role in moving stool along, says Wagner. Along with eating more magnesium-rich foods, you may also consider a 120 mg supplement of magnesium citrate and increasing until regularity improves, she advises. And don’t forget the fiber. Good choices include lentils, broccoli, and apples. These are the warning signs your vitamin supplements aren’t going to work.