Common Signs and Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiencies You Shouldn’t Ignore

Having a healthy diet is crucial for healthy living, However, poor food choices or unavoidable circumstances like poverty, and medical conditions amongst other factors, may hinder your body from getting and absorbing the nutrients in the recommended amounts, and this is what brings about deficiencies.
The set RDA for minerals and vitamins are to prevent deficiencies, and even small amount of nutrient insufficiency can cause big problems.
Nutrient deficiencies may not seem very serious from a distance, but they affect the normal functioning of the body.

The most common deficiencies like vitamin A, D, b 12 may or may not show any signs and symptoms, but here is what you need to know;
Vitamin A deficiency. VAD

Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble nutrient. Essential because you must have it from food.

Vitamin A is needed by the body for proper vision, maintaining a healthy immune system, and growth and development. It is one of the most important vitamins that you must not ever miss in your diet.
  • The Main sources of vitamin A include most fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, mangoes, orange-fleshed potatoes, and animal sources like liver, eggs, and milk.

What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency?

First of all, there wouldn’t be an immediate sign or symptom to show a deficiency, but you can know you are deficient when you start to notice frequent infections, extremely dry skin, and very dry eyes.

How to prevent vitamin A deficiency.

To avoid the extreme effects of vitamin A deficiency :

  • Include Vitamin A-rich foods in your diet, by eating most fruits and vegetables (the more profound the colours the more the vitamins)
  • Avoid overcooking dark green leafy vegetables, and preserve most of the nutrients. Often cover these vegetables with a lid when cooking.
  • Breastfeed your child for up to 6 months exclusively, as breast milk contains enough vitamin A.
  • Ensure your child gets vitamin A supplements from the hospital as soon as they are 6 months and continued at intervals of 6 months until they are 5 years.
  • Cook these vitamin A-rich foods with fat, as vitamin A is fat soluble.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. Otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin. 

Because exposure to the sun helps your body produce vitamin D which in turn helps your body absorb calcium from the foods that you eat.

Why do you need vitamin D?

For healthy teeth, bones, and muscles. Vitamin D basically prevents onset of conditions like osteoporosis.

What are the sources of vitamin D?

Most sources are animal sources for example fish, egg yolk, and other fortified foods.

NB: if you are on a strict vegan diet, you are most likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and that is why it will be important to include most of these vitamin D rich foods in your diet.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

  • Weak bones may hence lead to rickets.
  • Pain in joints and bones.

How to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

  • Get some sunlight exposure, especially for small children.
  • Eat more foods that are vitamin D rich especially for older adults.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency

Vitamin B 12 is an essential vitamin found in animal sources.

Strict vegans may actually need supplements for that matter.

Why do you need vitamin B12

  • Helps keep blood cells healthy.
  • Helps make DNA.
  • Helps prevent megaloblastic anemia.

Where can you get vitamin B12

Mostly from animal sources like meat, fish, and chicken. OR from fortified food items.

Some of the signs and symptoms may include :

  • Anemia.
  • Pale skin, therefore.
  • Full body malaise.
  • Nerve issues.
  • Difficulty in breathing.

How to prevent vitamin B 12 deficiency.

  • Eat enough B 12-rich foods
  • If you are a strict vegan, consider taking vitamin B 12 supplements.
  • Look for vitamin B 12 fortified foods.
To prevent most of these deficiencies you also may want to learn, ways to enjoy eating more Fruits and vegetables.

How to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

When people think about nutrition, they think of green and the food stops being delicious or attractive anymore.

Fruits and vegetables provide so many benefits to our bodies, more especially the fiber that tags along phytochemicals, and minerals but of course not forgetting the very many vitamins that can help prevent most deficiencies. 

A diet that consists of these vegetables and fruits prevents you from developing so many diseases including many cancers and even type 2 diabetes.


Vegetables come in very many different attractive colors, vegetables contain so many different vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, k and so many others. Your body needs these vitamins, to boost your immunity to be able to fight diseases. To enjoy most of these vegetables;

  • Add vegetables like tomatoes to your sandwich.
  • Enjoy a side plate of vegetable salad at lunchtime.
  • Serve vegetables first, and fill up half your plate before serving other foods.
  • Incorporate vegetables in other foods, what about vegetable rice?
  • Mix up vegetables of different types, textures, and colors.
  • Make a fruit juice/smoothie for breakfast.
  • Carry along a fruit snack.
  • Enjoy a fruit salad after your lunch.
  • Make small bites for children to snack on.
  • Take advantage of seasonal fruits, and stock them.
References and resources

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