6 Signs Your Body Is Starving for Nutrients and How to Fix It

Woman sitting at a desk in front of a laptop holding her glasses and looking sleepy.

Many think of fatigue as a normal physiological reaction but it can also indicate dietary deficiencies. (Image: Fizkes via Dreamstime)

Just like a car needs fuel, your body needs proper nutrients. However, your body can show signs of nutrient deprivation without the right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. From often feeling tired to slow wound healing, here are six signs your body gives you when you lack nutrients.

6 indications that your body lacks nutrients

1. Feeling tired often

Many think of fatigue as a normal physiological reaction, but it can also indicate dietary deficiencies. To combat fatigue, it is essential to replenish energy by eating whole-grain staples and foods rich in high-quality protein.

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Additionally, iron and vitamin C supplements can help. Protein sources include lean meat, eggs, milk, soybeans, and soy products, while iron can be found in beef, green beans, and spinach. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes. 

2. Ulcers and gingivitis

Repeated inflammation or bleeding of the gums may be caused by a lack of vitamin C. Dental caries and tooth loss can be caused by too much sugar and insufficient fiber in the diet. Therefore, mixing coarse and refined grains, meat, and vegetables is essential to improve oral hygiene and dietary structure.

Eating fewer sweets, fried foods, and hot foods is also recommended. Vitamin C and cellulose supplements can help. When cooking vegetables, combining hot frying and cold salad is best to avoid losing vitamin C. Eating enough vitamin D is also essential. Sources include sea fish, animal liver, egg yolk, cream, and cheese. 

A jigsaw puzzle shaped like a brain.
The brain consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy intake, so if it is not functioning correctly, it may be a sign of malnutrition. (Image: Designer491 via Dreamstime)

3. Brain fog

The brain consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy intake, so if it is not functioning correctly and suffering from brain fog, it may be a sign of malnutrition. Therefore, consuming appropriate carbohydrates is essential to meet the brain’s energy needs.

Sources include grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids in deep-sea fish, fish oil, walnuts, and choline in eggs, animal liver, and beans are essential for brain health. 

4. Dry hair

A lack of protein, fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc, and iron can cause hair dryness, yellowing, and shedding. Many young women go on diets for beauty, which can lead to insufficient protein and energy intake, resulting in weight loss and hair loss.

To moisturize the hair follicles and grow shiny hair, your diet must ensure a sufficient intake of staple foods, protein, and essential fatty acids. Sources of fatty acids include fish, lean meat, eggs, and milk, while zinc can be found in lamb, shiitake mushrooms, and seafood. 

5. Early aging symptoms

Unbalanced nutrition can accelerate skin aging, wrinkle growth, and physical decline. Vitamins A, C, D, and E and antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids can help people retain a youthful appearance. Eating two servings of fruit and three or more vegetables daily is recommended.

A serving of fruit is equal to 2 small fruits (such as kiwis) or one medium-sized fruit (such as apples and oranges), or half a large fruit (such as grapefruit). A serving of vegetables equals one bowl of raw vegetables or half a bowl of cooked vegetables with various colors, and dark vegetables should account for more than half. 

An unbalanced intake of nutrients can accelerate skin aging, wrinkle growth, and physical decline.
An unbalanced intake of nutrients can accelerate skin aging, wrinkle growth, and physical decline. (Image: Victorrustle via Dreamstime)

6. Slow-healing wounds

Consuming protein, trace elements, and energy is essential to accelerate wound healing and enhance immunity to avoid wound infection. For example, eating one egg, 1 cup of milk, seafood, cheese, whole grains, and mushrooms daily can help heal wounds and improve skin health.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, lycopene, and carotene, which is beneficial for wound healing. Black fungus is rich in iron and zinc and is a natural blood food that can help avoid excessive blood loss after surgery. 


In conclusion, paying attention to dietary intake is essential to ensure your body gets the nutrients necessary to stay healthy and function properly. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods, including whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, can help prevent nutrient deficiency and its associated symptoms.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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