Lately, the nutrition industry is dominated by macronutrient tracking, but what about micronutrients? Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals we get from the whole foods we eat. With the nutrition world spending so much time on macronutrients, we’ve lost sight into how beneficial micronutrients are to our health and fitness.
What Are Micronutrients?
We can break them down into two parts: micro and nutrients. Nutrients are chemical substances contained in food that are necessary to sustain life. They play major key roles in the body for energy, structure, and function. Micro means crucial in small amounts; micronutrients serve as essential substances for physiological function and structural building blocks. Like macronutrients, they are essential for optimizing your health.
Micronutrients are classified into two categories: vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are organic substances, made from plants or animals. Minerals are inorganic elements that come from the earth, soil, and water.
Vitamins are important to your health and growth. To optimize their functions, you need the right support of minerals, enzymes, and other vitamins. For example, vitamin A absorption is enhanced by vitamin E, zinc, and iron.
Minerals have many vital roles in the body as well. They include acting as cofactors for enzymatic reactions, maintaining pH balance, regulating tissue growth, and maintaining proper nerve conduction. You cannot make them internally either. You get them from eating plants and animals that have absorbed the minerals through rocks, soil, and water in the ground.
5 Foods Packed with Micronutrients
Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse that supports healthy bones, vision, and immune function.
This fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. It is also rich in vitamin D, B vitamins, and minerals such as selenium and potassium.
Known for their antioxidant properties, blueberries are loaded with vitamins C and K, as well as manganese. They contribute to brain health, skin health, and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
These nuts provide a good amount of vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. They are also a great source of healthy fats and fiber, making them a nutritious snack option.
Packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber, sweet potatoes offer a range of health benefits. They support eye health, boost the immune system, and provide sustained energy.
Micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, play essential roles in our overall health and fitness. They are necessary for energy production, bodily functions, and structural integrity. Vitamins, derived from plants and animals, require the support of minerals and enzymes to optimize their functions.