What Are Micronutrients? Why They’re an Important Part of Any Diet
If you’re striving for a healthy diet, you already know that you’ll need to eat a well-balanced blend of proteins, fats, and carbs. But, you’ll also need a daily dose of micronutrients.
Are you asking yourself – what are micronutrients?
If so, this is your article. We’ll walk you through all that you need to know about these precious vitamins and minerals. And, we’ll explain it all in easy to understand terms. Keep reading for all the details!
What Are Micronutrients?
To begin, it’s essential that you understand the difference in micronutrients vs macronutrients.
Simply put, micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and other trace elements. By contrast, macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Both macro and micro nutrients are essential to our health. And our body doesn’t produce them. That’s where a balanced diet and supplements come in!
You might be thinking that you don’t need to add supplements to your wellness routine. Think again!
Your body depletes just as many micronutrients as their macro counterparts via exercise and the requirements of daily life. So, it’s essential to add them back in!
Micronutrients don’t give your body extra power in the form of calories, but they do help its various systems to run properly. And, a deficiency can lead to major health concerns!
Did you know that nearly a third of the US population is at risk for developing a micronutrient deficiency of at least one vitamin or mineral?
Sadly, long-term deficiencies can lead to a variety of health concerns and diseases, some of which are even life-threatening. However, more common complications include poor digestion, skin disorders, chronic illness, stunted bone growth, and fatigue.
And, even an inadequacy leading up to deficiency can take its toll. A shortage of essential micronutrients can leave you with dull skin, brittle nails, and thinning hair. It can also cause reduced energy levels and a general run-down feeling.
In most cases, a healthy diet isn’t enough to get all the different types of micronutrients that your body needs. Some of the most common shortages include:
Vitamins A and D
Even if you’re taking a multivitamin, you might not be getting enough of these essential elements.
This is especially true of pregnant and lactating women, young children, and aging adults. Because Vitamin D is essential to bone health and strength, you might want to add Vitamin D Supplements to your routine as a preventative measure.
Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
These elements are vital to bone and muscle health. And, a deficiency can lead to minor inconveniences like cramps and spasms, as well as chronic conditions like osteoporosis.
This group of micronutrients is especially important to growing children, too. A shortage can lead to what is often referred to as “stunted growth.”
We often think of iron deficiencies as a problem solely for vegetarians and menstruating women. But this is hardly the case! Many people, even those who eat meat, aren’t getting their daily dose of iron through diet alone.
It’s also important to note that a shortage of vitamin C can impact your body’s ability to absorb iron. This, in turn, can lead to a double deficiency.
Of all the vitamins, B12 is the best known. And, it’s one vitamin that you don’t want to be deficient in. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and even neurological changes.
Adults over the age of 60 should be especially careful to get enough B12. It’s currently estimated that nearly 15% of adults in this age group aren’t getting enough of this vital micronutrient.
Micronutrients Made Easy
Now that we’ve answered your question – “what are micronutrients?” you’re probably excited to start incorporating them into your wellness routine. That’s great news! Reading this article might have been the first step toward improving your overall health.
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