You may not have spent much time thinking about it but your body is in a pretty serious relationship with food. Feed your body the right things, and you will feel wonderful inside and out. Your skin will glow, you'll have more energy and your brain will be clear. If you are feeding your body the wrong things, you will feel that too. Unfortunately, it is easy to ignore the signs of a poor diet and chalk them up to being a side-effect of a busy, over scheduled, life. Sometimes you aren't eating enough, sometimes you are missing important nutrients.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might want to consider reevaluating your diet. Ilyse Schapiro, R.D., author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?,
has weighed in, offering some insight as well as some solutions!
1. You are completely wiped all of the time.
low iron levels.
Iron is essential for keeping your energy levels high. It helps to transport oxygen throughout the body, keeping everything functioning as it should. But if you have low levels of iron, your energy can take a serious hit. Your body is not able to properly utilize the red blood cells that carry oxygen and your energy dips. This is why low energy is one of the first signs of anemia, or low iron, according to Schapiro.
Stock up on foods that are high in iron like, red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals and peas, says Schapiro. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that women between the ages of 19 and 50 should be getting 18 milligrams of iron each day. If you think you may be iron deficient, make an appointment with your doctor for a simple blood test. If you are in fact deficient, iron supplements may be a good option for you. But don't take the supplements unless you are deficient. Too much iron can cause problems like constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and feeling faint.
2. You're super moody.
You may not be getting enough calories.
A lack of calories can lead to feelings of hanger
. Having a stable blood sugar and high energy levels are not only important for your physical health, they play a role in your mood as well. In order to strike this balance, you need to make sure you are eating enough calories. Schapiro says for a healthy woman, that number should never dip below 1,200 calories a day.
Schapiro suggests adjusting your calorie intake based on your activity level. She recommends aiming for 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight and somewhere around 1,400 calories a day if you are looking to lose weight.
[bctt tweet="5 Signs That It Is Time To Clean Up Your Eating Habits"]
3. You're constipated.
You are not eating enough fiber.
Fiber isn't an overly sexy nutrient but it is a pretty important one. “Fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping it to pass through your digestive system easily,” says Schapiro. If it is missing from your diet, you may find yourself backed up.
If fiber isn't something you are used to having, increase your intake slowly to avoid cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Try adding foods like beans, oats, oat bran, barley, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, raspberries, pears, avocado, lentils, peas, artichokes, and broccoli. Pay close attention to how much fiber you are eating. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women under 50 eat 25 grams of fiber every day.
4. You're feeling down and think you might have depression.
You are not eating enough carbohydrates.
“Cutting down on carbs can result in weight loss, but going carb-free can lead to low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood, which could lead to depression,” says Schapiro.
If you are on a strict no-carb or low-carb diet, make sure you are eating consistently throughout the day to avoid dips in blood sugar, says Schapiro. However, your best bet is to slowly increase your carb intake. This gradual reintroduction will prevent weight gain and spikes in blood sugar. Start by adding some "good" carbs like, whole grain toast with breakfast, an apple for a snack, or a small sweet potato with lunch or dinner. Of course, if you think you may be experiencing depression, make an appointment with your doctor to be on the safe side.
5. You notice clumps of hair in the shower drain.
Your nutrients are out of whack.
There are many nutrients that are not only essential for good health, they are the keys to good hair, too! These nutrients include protein, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and copper.
To keep everything balanced, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. It may seem like a simple solution, but produce is loaded with everything you need for hair health. Schapiro says to pay special attention to protein. Lean meats, nuts, Greek yogurt, and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. You hair is mostly made of the stuff and if you aren't getting enough, it can lack sheen. And don't forget your iron -- hair loss has also been attributed to low iron.
If you are unsure of how to make all of this work for you, we can help! The BodyRock Meal Plan is a 30-day guide that will get you started, giving you the tools you need to build healthy eating habits for life. Covering all diets from meat eater to vegan, this plan takes the guesswork out of clean eating. The plan includes 30 days worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and snacks (two a day) that are nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare. Each week we give you a detailed grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along. No more meal planning, no more confusion. Are you ready to make a change in your eating habits? Check out the BodyRock Meal Plan here
Have you experienced any of these physical symptoms?
Source: Women's Health