Many of us suffer from bad breath, cracked lips and agonising headaches. But they could all be a sign of something much more sinister.

These are just three of the common signs of vitamin or mineral deficiencies, experts have warned on the back of a new poll of 2,000 adults, according to the Daily Mail.

Other issues which could point to an insufficient diet include thinning hair, a lower libido, white spots on your nails, dandruff, stress and even dry skin.

The findings, commissioned by Healthspan, showed six in ten adults are clueless about signs that could show they are suffering from a deficiency.

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But according to Rob Hobson, a London-based nutritionist, adding more spring greens, red meat and nuts to your diet could help combat any distressing symptoms.

Here, MailOnline Health reveals the common signs of any potential deficiencies, and the foods you could eat to help you overcome them.

CRACKED LIPS

What it could be a sign of:

Iron or vitamin C deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Red meat, red peppers, kale and tofu

DANDRUFF

What it could be a sign of:

Biotin, vitamin B7 or essential fatty acids deficiencies

Foods that may help overcome it: Fresh salmon, almonds, peanut butter and sunflower seeds

THINNING HAIR

What it could be a sign of:

Iron and vitamin C deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Lemons, kiwi fruit, strawberries and red kidney beans

PSORIASIS

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin D, vitamin B, zinc or essential fatty acid deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Eggs, prawns, fresh tuna, mushrooms

Mushrooms may be able to overcome white spots on nails, psoriasis, low libido and depression. Photo / 123RF
Mushrooms may be able to overcome white spots on nails, psoriasis, low libido and depression. Photo / 123RF

DRY SKIN

What it could be a sign of:

Omega-6 essential fatty acid deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Sunflower seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds and turkey mince

GREASY SKIN AROUND THE NOSE

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B2 or zinc deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Feta cheese, almonds, mackerel and asparagus

WHITE SPOTS ON NAILS

What it could be a sign of:

Zinc or iron deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Lean pork, mushrooms, chickpeas and dried apricots

BRITTLE NAILS

What it could be a sign of:

Iron deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Flaxseed, chicken liver, pistachio nuts, lentils

ACNE

Acne could be a sign of zinc deficiency. Photo / 123RF
Acne could be a sign of zinc deficiency. Photo / 123RF

What it could be a sign of:

Zinc deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Crab, spinach, cashew nuts and cocoa powder

ULCERS/SORE TONGUE

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B12, B3, iron or folic acid deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Black beans, pak choi, avocado and trout

BAD BREATH

What it could be a sign of:

Iron deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Raisins, peas, fortified breakfast cereals, adzuki beans

HEADACHES

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium, vitamin B12 or B6 deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Pumpkin seeds, prunes, banana, fortified soy milk

NO TASTE

What it could be a sign of:

Zinc deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Eggs, red meat, yoghurt and red kidney beans

DEPRESSION

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B, D or magnesium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Cashew nuts, kale, mushrooms and barley

Cashew nuts could help with PMS, depression and acne. Photo / 123RF
Cashew nuts could help with PMS, depression and acne. Photo / 123RF

ANXIETY

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B, D, magnesium or calcium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Tofu, milk, bananas and dates

BAD MOODS

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B, D or magnesium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Quinoa, salmon, avocado and french beans

STRESS

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium, zinc or essential fatty acids deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Fresh tuna, cocoa powder, prawns and sunflower seeds

CONSTANT FATIGUE

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin B, iron or magnesium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Dried apricots, prunes, liver, walnuts

INSOMNIA

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Spring greens, Brazil nuts, soya beans and chickpeas

RESTLESS LEGS

Avocado may be able to help overcome issues such as ulcers, sore tongue, bad mood and restless legs. Photo / 123RF
Avocado may be able to help overcome issues such as ulcers, sore tongue, bad mood and restless legs. Photo / 123RF

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium, iron or folate deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Avocado, dried oregano, bulger wheat and dark chocolate

LOW LIBIDO

What it could be a sign of:

Vitamin D deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Mushrooms, fortified breakfast cereals, mackerel and eggs

ACHING JOINTS

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, vitamin B1 or D deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Trout, pork, chia seeds and macadamia nuts

PMS

What it could be a sign of:

Magnesium deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, mackerel and wild rice

COLD HANDS AND FEET

What it could be a sign of:

Iron deficiency

Foods that may help overcome it: Red meat, kale, tofu and cumin

Cumin may be able to help overcome issues with cold hands and feet. Photo / 123RF
Cumin may be able to help overcome issues with cold hands and feet. Photo / 123RF

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR DEFICIENCY?

• Vitamin B6:

This vitamin is known to help control levels of an amino acid in the blood that is linked to heart disease. Therefore, people who do not get enough B6 in their diet are believed to have a higher risk of heart disease. However, a lack of this vitamin is considered rare in the Western world.

How much do you need? Adults under the age of 50 are required to get 1.3mg in their diet each day - the same as three pork chops.

• Vitamin B12: Symptoms usually develop gradually but can worsen if the condition goes untreated. It can lead to heart palpitations, bouts of diarrhoea and even vision loss, according to research. Getting enough B12, which comes from milk and eggs, is a specific concern in the vegan diet.

How much do you need? Adults need 2.4mcg of vitamin B12 each day. This is the equivalent of slightly more than two eggs.

• Vitamin C: According to the NHS, the symptoms of scurvy usually begin three months after a person stops getting enough vitamin C in their diet. Left untreated, scurvy can cause potentially fatal heart problems. This is rare in Britain, but smokers are known to be at a higher risk.

How much do you need? Adults should aim to consume 40 mg per day - the same amount as slightly less than one whole orange.

• Vitamin D: This regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, both needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. But research is showing it has many other health effects - and may protect against a number of diseases. Official figures show 23 per cent of adults are deficient in Britain.

How much do you need? Children over the age of one and adults need 10mg daily - a similar amount to that found in one whole salmon fillet.

• Zinc: A zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system and slow wound healing, Boots says. It may also cause tiredness. It is also more common in older people, those living in care homes, and in those who take drugs to lower blood pressure. However, having too much zinc could have be damaging.

How much do you need? Everyone over the age of 14 should try to consume 11mg of zinc each day - which can be found in two raw oysters.

• Iron: This is believed to be the most common deficiency in the US. It can lead to anaemia - a condition where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells. If left untreated can lead to heart failure, the NHS claims.

How much do you need? Adults are advised to consume 10mg of iron - but pregnant women should get more. This amount could be found in a 300g steak, 100g of spinach and around four slices of white bread.

• Magnesium: This little-heard-of deficiency is surprisingly common among women - one survey found one in ten suffers from it, but some experts cite figures as high as seven in ten - and the effects can be devastating. Left untreated, it can lead to seizures.

How much do you need? Adults are recommended to consume around 400mg of magnesium daily. This can be found in 100g of dark chocolate, one avocado and slightly more than an ounce of almonds.

• Calcium: The body uses this mineral to help build strong bones and teeth. As a result of a deficiency, humans are prone to developing diseases like osteoporosis - giving them fragile bones. It is estimated that three quarters of adults in the US lack enough calcium in their diet.

How much do you need? The World Health Organization recommends adults get 500mg daily - this can be found in around one cup of milk and two ounces of sardines.

Graphic / NZ Herald
Graphic / NZ Herald

DON'T JUST ACCEPT THE SYMPTOMS

Healthspan's head of nutrition Rob Hobson said: "Many of these symptoms are things people put up with every day, thinking they are just par for the course.

"But often, they could be a sign that you are suffering a vitamin or mineral deficiency and simply eating foods which contain the item you are lacking could ease your symptoms.

"For example, a headache could be an indicator that you need more magnesium, vitamin B12 and B6 - something you can get from eating pumpkin seeds, prunes, banana or fortified soy milk.

"And even bad breath, while a possible sign of poor oral hygiene, could also be linked to your gut health and an iron deficiency.

"It's important to bear in mind that your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals can also be affected by medications you are taking, such as antibiotics or the oral contraceptive pill as well as aspects of your diet such as whether you drink tea or coffee."