There's no doubt our bodies change as the temperature drops in fall and winter, but dietitian Olivia Wagner, MS, RDN, LDN, says there are a few signs you shouldn't just attribute to cold weather. In an article for Insider, Wagner explains that our body offers hints about what's going on inside us, via subtle physical changes. Perhaps the most misread? Dry, cracked lips.
If you get ulcer-like spots in your mouth or cracks on the side, it could be a sign of B12 deficiency. "I see people come in with this who have a B12 deficiency," she says. Thankfully, it can be corrected with a supplement or by adding B12-rich foods to your diet. Poultry, red meat, and eggs are all high in the vitamin, as well as fortified milk for vegetarians.
Here are three other signs that often point to a vitamin deficiency:
1. Fingernail ridges: Apparently, this could be a sign you suffer from inadequate stomach acid, which can prevent you breaking down food and absorbing the vitamins and minerals.
2. Calf cramps: This could signal a magnesium or calcium deficiency, experts suggest.
3. Flakey scalp: You might not have dandruff—according to Staci Small, RD, it could be a sign you're not getting enough fatty acids from your diet.
Looking to boost your vitamin D deficiency ahead of winter? Stock up on these nine foods, stat.