5 Signs You're Meeting Your Daily Nutrient Needs

Jan 02, 2024
5 Signs You're Meeting Your Daily Nutrient Needs
When you eat well, you feel well, but there’s more to good nutrition than just a feeling. Here are the positive signs that your body is getting enough of the good stuff.

It’s easy to find articles about what happens when you don’t eat right. Poor nutrition has become an epidemic in the United States, directly contributing to 678,000 deaths yearly

We want to focus on the positive.

Board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Asif Aziz and our Prestige Primary Care team in Dallas, Texas, want to explain the dangers of a poor diet but also want to encourage you with the good news of how a few dietary changes can make a huge difference in your overall health. Here’s Dr. Aziz’s guide on how your body uses nutrients and the signs that show you’re on the right track.

A balanced nutritional intake is crucial to maintain overall health and well-being. It's not just about eating your fruits and vegetables; it's about ensuring your body gets the right amount of essential nutrients to perform optimally. These nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Your body functions efficiently when it receives these nutrients in the required quantities. However, when you fail to meet these needs, your body sends signals indicating a deficiency.

Anemia or iron deficiency is a prime example of a specific nutritional deficiency.

Iron is essential in producing hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. When you don’t get enough iron in your diet, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. Signs of anemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Brittle nails
  • Cold extremities

These symptoms occur because your organs aren’t getting what they need to function properly.

Most people can resolve mild anemia by eating more iron-rich foods like lean meats, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, and iron-fortified cereals. However, Dr. Aziz might recommend iron supplements if you have severe anemia.

Signs you’re getting the nutrients you need

We promised a positive look at nutrition, and here it is — five signs that you’re on the right track.

1. Energy levels

Junk food may taste great, but it leaves you listless. One of the primary signs of a balanced diet is consistent energy levels throughout the day. Carbohydrates and fats are the main energy sources for your body, so if you find yourself energetic and active, chances are you’re getting enough of these nutrients.

2. Healthy skin, hair, and nails

Nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, biotin, and minerals like zinc and iron play a significant role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. If these look good, it’s a sign you’re getting these nutrients in adequate amounts.

3. Good digestive health

A healthy gut shows you’re getting enough dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which aids digestion and prevents constipation.

4. Strong immunity

Winter ushers in cold and flu season. If you rarely get sick, it indicates a strong immune system powered by vitamins C, D, and E and minerals like zinc and selenium.

5. Optimal brain function

Good memory, mental clarity, and mood stability indicate optimal brain function, a sign you’re getting plenty of nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants.

What does “balanced nutrition” mean?

Everyone is different and has varying nutritional needs, but in general, the recommended daily nutritional intake for an average adult (based on a 2000-calorie diet) includes:

  • Protein: 52 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 130 grams
  • Fat: 25-35 grams 
  • Fiber: 30 grams
  • Vitamins and minerals: varied amounts, depending on the specific vitamin or mineral
  • Water: eight cups (64 ounces)

Note: This list is for general purposes only. Athletes training for a marathon have very different nutritional needs than an elderly obese person trying to lose weight. Dr. Aziz can guide you according to your unique situation.

Failing to meet your nutrient needs can lead to various health problems that read like the opposites of the five items on our list: fatigue, weakened immunity, poor skin health, and cognitive issues. 

Dr. Aziz can determine the source of your symptoms and let you know if a simple diet change will help or if you need supplements or treatments. 

If you’re feeling nutritionally off balance, call Prestige Primary Care, or book an appointment online.