Your nails are brittle
When your body is running low on the mineral iron, parts of the body become weak and pale. This may express itself as brittle fingernails—or toenails—or pale inner eyelids. Women with heavy menstrual bleeding are at a greater risk for iron deficiency, as are vegetarian women—although men are more likely to have excess iron intake, per a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are the other signs of iron deficiency you should watch out for.
The fix: Premenopausal women need 18 milligrams (mg) a day, and men and postmenopausal women require 8 mg. Your body best absorbs animal-based iron, the type found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Pair vegetarian sources of iron, such as spinach or chickpeas, with citrus or other vitamin-C-containing foods to increase absorption.
Your blood pressure is too high
You may have a vitamin deficiency in vitamin D. Although only 3 percent of non-Hispanic whites are deficient, 31 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 12 percent of Mexican-Americans don’t get enough, according to the CDC study. Preliminary research links higher intake of this fat-soluble vitamin with lower blood pressure—and people who get enough aren’t as likely to develop hypertension.
The fix: Adults need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. This is one nutrient that’s difficult to get from food, as few options contain significant amounts. But here are a few that do: swordfish, salmon, fortified milk and orange juice, and mushrooms grown in sunlight or UV light, such as those produced by Monterey Mushrooms. Supplementation in postmenopausal women and older men may be beneficial; choose the D3 version, the active form of the vitamin. These 8 foods may help reduce blood pressure.