What are Micronutrients?
In my previous blog I delved into the importance of macronutrients and what they consisted of. It should be reiterated that your body needs daily requirements of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to help the body function properly. But now I want to go over with you ‘other’ nutrients your body needs. Even though it is in small amounts compared to your macronutrients, make no mistake. They are just as vital to your health. These are referred to as micronutrients.
These micronutrients are present in the body and diet in small amounts and do not provide a significant amount of calories. Their main purpose is to act as cofactors in making biomolecules have structural roles, function as electrolytes and as enzymes. These micronutrients consist mostly of the different types of vitamins and minerals as well as other dietary biomolecules which are important for your health.
Vitamins are defined as organic compounds that are required by the body for maintenance of health and growth. They can be broken down into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The term ‘vitamin’ typically refers to certain nutrients that the body cannot manufacture itself. Therefore, you must get through the consumption of food to obtain these micronutrients. There are many different vitamins, each with their own roles in the body’s function. If you are deficient in any of these vitamins, metabolism can be affected as well as other vitamin deficiencies symptoms can occur.
Minerals, just like vitamins, are essential to your body’s health as well as vigor. They are inorganic elements that the body requires. Even though minerals are found throughout the body, they only make up about 4 to 6 percent of the body. But they are just as important in the many structural and metabolic roles they provide. Similar to vitamins, each mineral provides the body with specific functions to maintain good health.
Like I said, even though micronutrients are not required in large amounts compared to your macronutrients, doesn’t mean they are any less important to your health and overall performance. It is important to make sure we get the necessary amounts of micronutrients as well as macronutrients if we want to fuel our body properly and maintain good overall health.