Usually your body is a pro at sending out clear orders that tell you exactly what it needs. (Stomach growling like a feral cat? “Feed me now!” Can’t keep those eyes open? “Go to sleep!”) But when your diet has a nutritional gap, those messages can be less straightforward. “Your body may tell you when you’re low on certain nutrients, but people normally don’t realize it because they think the symptoms are from something else,” says Rachel Cuomo, R.D., founder of New Jersey-based Kiwi Nutrition Counseling.

Case in point: Would you ever guess that a swollen tongue can mean you need more folate, or that a never-ending scab is often a sign of zinc deficiency? Check out these unexpected signals that your diet might be missing something so you can adjust your eating and better your body. (And always consult your doctor to confirm the cause of any ailment.)

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