Vitamin and mineral deficiencies manifest in slightly different ways, making it that much more difficult to pinpoint the problem yourself. But if you're experiencing fatigue, hair loss, or abnormal paleness, you could be iron deficient—which is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States.
"Iron helps deliver oxygen throughout the body," explains renowned nutritionist and health expert Libby Weaver, who listed iron as the number one nutrient people don't get enough of. "[It] is important for transforming food into energy, it assists in making neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain), and it even plays an important role in the immune system."
Although blood tests are the only way to officially diagnose an iron deficiency, the "principle sign" of this issue is fatigue, sluggishness, or weakness due to your body "having a hard time carrying the oxygen to your cells," writes Everyday Health. Weaver recommends erring on the side of caution by filling up on iron-rich foods like beef, lamb, eggs, mussels, dates, and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. "Variety is key, as there is a small amount of iron in many foods," she advises.
Be sure to consult your doctor regarding a potential iron deficiency, and share your favorite iron-rich foods with us below!