20 May Knowing Your Micros
Now that we have a better understanding of macronutrients (the big three), let’s take a moment to learn about their small but mighty counterparts, micronutrients. While there are three macronutrients, do you have any idea how many vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) our body relies on? The answer is about 30. Wow, right?!
As you can probably imagine, we could spend a blog post PER micronutrient, but for today, we’ll hit some high points to get you acquainted with our new friends.
CRITICAL FUNCTIONS OF SELECTED MICRONUTRIENTS:
- B vitamins are needed to extract energy from food
- Vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant and plays an essential role in maintaining a strong immune system.
- Vitamin B12 is required for proper nerve function and to make red blood cells
- Vitamin A is needed for good vision, immunity, and healthy skin
- Vitamin D is required to form bone, healthy immune function, and functions like a hormone throughout the body
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage
- Vitamin K is needed to form blood clots and to shuttle calcium into bone
- Calcium is needed for muscle contraction and bone formation
- Iron is required to transport oxygen throughout the body
- Magnesium regulates muscle contraction and nerve transmission. It helps form teeth and bones and is needed in over 300 metabolic reactions.
- Potassium is needed for muscle contraction, proper nerve conduction, and maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance
Read the full article about micronutrients here and continue learning what registered dietitians and other medical professionals have to say about micronutrients.
How to include micronutrients in your diet:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Whole grains, meat, fish
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Organ meats, eggs, milk
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): Meat, salmon, leafy greens, beans
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Organ meats, mushrooms, tuna, avocado
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Fish, milk, carrots, potatoes
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): Eggs, almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes
- Vitamin B9 (folate): Beef, liver, black-eyed peas, spinach, asparagus
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Clams, fish, meat
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): Citrus fruits, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts
- Vitamin A: Retinol (liver, dairy, fish), carotenoids (sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach)
- Vitamin D: Sunlight, fish oil, milk
- Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds
- Vitamin K: Leafy greens, soybeans, pumpkin
- Calcium: Milk products, leafy greens, broccoli
- Phosphorus: Salmon, yogurt, turkey
- Magnesium: Almonds, cashews, black beans
- Iron: Oysters, white beans, spinach
- Manganese: Pineapple, pecans, peanuts
- Copper: Liver, crabs, cashews
- Zinc: Oysters, crab, chickpeas
- Iodine: Seaweed, cod, yogurt
- Fluoride: Fruit juice, water, crab
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, sardines, ham
That is all for now. Jot down any questions you have about micronutrients and feel free to send them to email@example.com.