With the New Year fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about what your resolution will be for 2015. If these six signs your diet needs a makeover (courtesy of our friends at Shape) seem familiar, you may want to work on improving your diet in the New Year.
Bad diets are like bad breath: You don't always realize when yours is gross (but here are 11 "Bad-for-You" Foods That You Should Add Back to Your Shopping List!). Dozens of studies and national polls have found people to be poor judges when it comes to their own diets—in fact, almost everyone thinks they're eating pretty well (or at least better than the average person), even if they're most definitely not, suggests one big survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation.
So, there's a pretty good chance your own health compass might be busted. Here are six signs—besides an expanding waistline—that you need to make some changes.
1. Your Hair Is Whack
From iron deficiencies to too little protein or plant polyphenols, problems with your diet tend to show up in your hair, concludes one UK study. If your mane feels brittle, seems to be growing slowly, or is falling out in clumps, your crappy diet—or, a lack of fatty acids, vitamin B12, or folic acid—could be to blame, the research shows. Here are The Top 5 Foods To Add to Your Diet for Healthy Hair!
2. You Have Skin Issues
Itchy rashes, pimples, and premature aging are just a few of the signs your diet is messing with your skin. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies, too few fatty acids, and plenty of other diet-related issues can wreak havoc on your hide, shows a review study from the Netherlands. Find out How to Get Rid of Acne with Face Mapping.
3. You're Down in the Dumps
Depression has been linked to eating too few omega-3 fatty acids (like those found in olive oil), as well as very low-carbohydrate diets, shows a large review study from India. Ditto for protein, vitamin D, and lots of essential nutrients. Your brain doesn't work properly if you're malnourished, so you're more susceptible to the blues if your diet sucks, the authors say. Find out whether you're just having one of those days or if You Could Have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
4. Your Poop Is Persnickity
Sorry to go here, but your feces is one of the best indicators of some big-time diet shortfalls. Research from the Cleveland Clinic shows soluble fiber is super important for heart function and digestive health, but most women aren't eating close to the 25 daily grams their bodies need. If your poo is hard and pebbly, or doesn't seem to leave your body without a fight, you need more fiber, says gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, M.D., in his book What's Your Poo Telling You? Not sure if you're normal? We've got your back . . . side covered with this Not-So-Gross Guide to Your Poop!
5. You're Always Wiped Out
Eating lots of heavily processed snack foods can torpedo your blood sugar levels (but when you do feel like noshing on a sugary snack, 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss are fantastic substitutes!), leaving you feeling drained, shows a study from Pomona College. If you're frequently tired, dehydration could also be to blame, shows research in the Journal of Nutrition.
6. You're Sick All the Time
Your immune system requires a healthy range of vitamins and minerals to fend of disease and illness. If you're often under the weather, chances are good that your diet is lacking in some essential nutrients, shows research from Cornell University. Start adding these 14 Super Boosters to your morning smoothie to strengthen your immune system this winter!