A common cause of some medical conditions is a nutrient deficiency that occurs due to poor eating habits. However, these health problems will not surface overnight. Still, you’ll know that something is wrong because your body will send signals to inform you of its needs. So, when should you consider changing your eating habits? Here are five signs of a bad diet.
1. Digestive Problems
If you’re constantly having digestive problems, specifically irregular bowel movements, you need to review your diet. As you know, fiber plays several roles in your digestive health. Thus, if you don’t eat enough fiber, you may experience frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation. Remember, this nutrient will not only make you feel full, but it’s also an essential ingredient to make your stool bulky, firm, and easy to pass.
For this reason, health experts recommend women consume about 25 grams of fiber a day. The best sources of this nutrient are whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. You can also opt for frozen products if fresh produce is unavailable.
Aside from that, keep in mind that lack of fiber is not the only culprit for your digestive issues. Eating a lot of sugary products may also lead to bloating. Furthermore, a diet rich in spicy and acidic foods can also cause gastrointestinal problems.
2. You Lack Energy
One of the most common signs of a bad diet is lack of energy. If you have this problem, there are numerous reasons you’re always tired. One, in particular, is inadequate amounts of iron in your diet. As you know, this essential mineral is necessary to create red blood cells that transport oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body. The best plant sources of iron are nuts, spirulina, and some soybean products. Aside from iron, other valuable nutrients are proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
In addition to food, you also need to get enough rest- preferably seven to eight hours of sleep. Remember that poor eating habits may also cause sleeping problems. As much as possible, you have to avoid sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants in the afternoon or after dusk.
3. Inability to Focus
Most of us try to avoid all kinds of fats, especially when we’re trying to shed some pounds. However, our bodies need some fats to survive. Take the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as an example. This fatty acid is necessary to ensure that your brain is developing and functioning efficiently. For this reason, you have to regularly consume foods rich in omega-3, such as seeds and nuts.
However, keep in mind that not all kinds of fats are good for your health. One study revealed that women who ate a lot of saturated fats scored low on tests (thinking and memory) compared to those who avoid eating foods containing saturated fats, like fries and burgers.
4. Mood Swings and Irritability
Another common issue in this list of signs of a bad diet is irritability or mood swings. Basically, a common cause of these negative emotions is a low-calorie diet, which is typical when we’re trying to lose weight and are avoiding your favorite foods. This is one reason some experts believe that the 80/20 rule or an occasional treat can greatly help prevent mood swings related to food cravings.
Furthermore, you should also eat enough complex carbohydrates. Remember, this macronutrient will fuel your body and help with serotonin (happy hormone) production.
In general, adult women should consume at least 2,000 calories per day. If you have an active lifestyle, you should aim for about 2,200 to 2,400 calories.
5. Premature Aging
Ever wonder why some women look so young for their age? As you know, your lifestyle habits can affect your overall appearance. But, did you know that poor eating habits can cause wrinkles and acne? In fact, numerous studies have revealed that a nutritious diet can help promote healthy and youthful complexion.
The most valuable nutrients for your skin are vitamins A, C, D, and E. Aside from that, you also need to fight free radicals – the common cause of premature aging. You can achieve this by eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in carotenoids and flavonoids.
Overall, if you experience any of these signs of a bad diet, opting for healthy eating habits can certainly make a difference. Before you start any major diet change, consult your doctor.