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Some people assume that you need to be practically starving to be malnourished, but that’s not the case. A simple change in mood could indicate that you’re missing some important nutrients or vitamins. Any type of deficiency is malnutrition, and it can be difficult to tell if you’re malnourished since the symptoms can be so subtle. But, if left unchecked, they could lead to much more serious issues. Here are some common signs that you may be malnourished.


A lot of people don’t realize how much food can affect mood. Even something as simple as being slightly dehydrated can affect things like concentration and even exacerbate the symptoms of depression and anxiety in certain adults.

This is why you need to look at your diet if you’re feeling depressed. Saturated fats, for instance, have been shown to increase the chances that you develop depression while foods rich in omega-3 fats, like salmon and other varieties of fatty fish have been shown to decrease them. So, you might want to replace red meat with fish at least two times a week if you want to up your weekly intake of good fats and feel better.

You’re Feeling Sluggish

If you’re lethargic and feel like you can’t get out of bed in the morning, this is one of the clearest signs that something may be missing from your diet. Brain fog is another one. Brain fog, for instance, has been associated with a deficiency in iron, vitamin B12 vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, while fatigue is also associated with a vitamin D and iron deficiency.

This is something you need to pay extra attention to if you’re suffering from a health issue that may affect your food consumption, like dysphagia, for instance. If you’ve been eating less because you can’t get through the taste of your thickened foods and beverages, you may want to switch to a new thickener and see if it makes food more palatable. SimplyThick makes a great line of products that are recognized for their great taste, so try them if you haven’t already.

Also, try to add more protein and calories to your meals to make them more nourishing. Adding eggs to mashed potatoes, for instance, or olive oil to vegetables will instantly increase the nutrient content without adding volume or changing the texture of the food you eat.

Mood Swings

Mood swings can be the result of things happening in your life, but they can also be exacerbated by imbalances in your diet. People who are deficient in magnesium, for instance, are more prone to having mood swings and showing signs of bipolar disorder. This is why you may want to look at a magnesium supplement if you have mood issues.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a good idea to look at your diet and pay closer attention to what you’re eating. You should also consider seeing a doctor so you can get to the bottom of your issues.