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—while men are more likely to have excess iron intake, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Be sure to watch out for these other signs of iron deficiency, too.
The fix: Premenopausal women need 18 milligrams (mg) a day, and men and postmenopausal women require 8 mg, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 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 vitamin D, according to the CDC report. Research has linked high blood pressure to a lack of vitamin D— although it’s not clear whether taking the supplement can help with hypertension once you have it.
The fix: Adults need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, according to the NIH. 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. And try these eight foods that may help reduce blood pressure for other reasons.